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    "Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events." ~Winston Churchill
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    It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or whether the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; Whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again; Who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; Who, at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; And who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. It is far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight of life, knowing neither victory nor defeat. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
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  • The Reformed Pastor – Richard Baxter

    “We must carry on our work with patience. We must bear with many abuses and injuries from those to whom we seek to do good. When we have studied for them, and prayed for them, and exhorted them, and beseeched them with all earnestness and condescension, and given them what we are able, and tended them as if they had been our children, we must look that many of them will requite us with scorn and hatred and contempt, and account us their enemies, because we ‘tell them the truth.’ Now, we must endure all this patiently, and we must unweariedly hold on in doing good, ‘in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, if God, peradventure, will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.’ We have to deal with distracted men who will fly in the face of their physician, but we must not, therefore, neglect their cure. He is unworthy to be a physician, who will be driven away from a frenetic patient by foul words. Yet, alas, when sinners reproach and slander us for our love, and are more ready to spit in our faces, than to thank us for our advice, what heart-risings will there be, and how will the remnants of old Adam (pride and passion) struggle against the meekness and patience of the new man! And how sadly do many ministers come off under such trials!”
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Joshua’s Spiritual Warfare by Thomas B. Clarke

Joshua’s Spiritual Warfare is a book written by Thomas B. Clarke. This book is not for the casual reader, and though I found the book a little hard to read, I determined to take my time and weed through it to glean the most important information he had to share. Chiastic structure, the subject of his book, intrigues me. My first experience with chiastic structure was in a Beth Moore Bible study. In Joshua’s Spiritual Warfare, he has focused on the patterns in Joshua and used them to point out what God says about spiritual warfare and how they can be managed by the use of His Scripture.

Mr. Clarke read my post about how Beth Moore pointed out chiastic structure in the book of Esther and offered his book to me for review.  If you are the type of person who likes to study the Word by delving deeper than most, and enjoy dividing the Word of God word by word, thought by thought, then this might be the book for you. I was disappointed that it was not solely KJV, though he did make reference many times to it. He used mostly the NIV, which most don’t consider to be a good translation. That said as my disclaimer, I do believe his comparisons to be very helpful.

One of the most interesting statements he made in the book had to do with anger. Having raised some “interesting” children, I’ve always wondered how to defeat anger. It seemed the more I tried to reason with the angry child, the hotter they got. The only solution seemed to be letting them sit alone until they cooled off. Thought it didn’t seem to be the best solution, it was the only one that worked. Anger is such a controller and can maim relationships in a flash, and over time can alienate and destroy a person and those close to them.

In chapter 10, Clarke discusses the chiasm in verses 1-28. His study pairs (A) verse 1 where Ai was totally destroyed by Joshua’s army with (A) verse 28 where Makkedah is totally destroyed as well by Joshua’s army. Then he pairs (B) verses 2-6 where the five Amorite kings attack Gibeon with (B) verses 16-27 where the five Amorite kings are killed. The center (C) verses 7-10 where the Lord defeats the king’s army by confusion are paired with (C) verses 11-15 where the Lord defeats the king’s army by supernatural events.  The pattern is an A-A, B-B, C-C pattern where you take the first and last together, the second and fifth sets of verses are paired and then lastly the two middle sections are paired, showing the main point to be the center of the group of verses, a C – C combination.

Put simply, the two cities are totally destroyed (A-A) with the focus on the 5 kings (B-B), and the demise of their armies by the Lord (C-C) becomes the main point. I’ve used the same patterning to parse other Scripture myself and find it to be quite enlightening – it’s like finding a hidden treasure.

Now, back to anger. Clarke used the story in Joshua 10:1-28 to demonstrate how anger protects a ruling spirit, a demon. When the kings lost their armies, their only choice was to flee because they were left exposed and unprotected. This is much like how when the demons are a ruling spirit in a person’s life. When their army (a spirit of anger) is extinguished, the ruling spirit (the demon) must flee.  The demon = the king, their army = anger. No army (anger), no protection. Anger actually is the protecting element of a demon who is actually the controlling spirit behind the anger. Hence, when we deal with an angry person, we ought to know that there is a controlling demon behind the anger.

I’ll leave the rest of the book for you to experience if you want to know more. Mr. Clarke sent me the book to give an honest review, as I have so done. Thank you for the book. I will definitely be looking for chiastic structure in future Bible study.

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