Featured

The Covenant & the Cross

TCAC-logo

This podcast is designed to help you better understand the Word of God — both the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament is the story of the Covenant which God made with His chosen people Israel. And the New Testament is the story of the Cross which signifies the fulfillment of the Old Covenant with Israel and the formation of a New Covenant with redeemed people from many nations.

Listen now on the following platforms:
iTunes | SoundCloud | Stitcher | iHeartRadio
Overcast | Google Play | Spotify | TuneIn

Advertisements

Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho — and Hazor Too, Part 6 (Covenant and the Cross #100)


This podcast is designed to help you better understand the Word of God — both the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament is the story of the Covenant which God made with His chosen people Israel. And the New Testament is the story of the Cross which signifies the fulfillment of the Old Covenant with Israel and the formation of a New Covenant with redeemed people from many nations.

We always like to start out with the Word of God, and today’s passage of Scripture is from Joshua 4:13-14 which reads: “About forty thousand prepared for war passed over before the Lord unto battle, to the plains of Jericho. On that day the Lord magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they feared him, as they feared Moses, all the days of his life.”

Regarding this passage, Dr. R.C. Sproul notes in the Reformation Study Bible:

The crossing of the Jordan River, the river marking the boundary of the Promised Land, was an occasion of wonders comparable to the crossing of the Red Sea. The great significance of these wonders is indicated in Joshua 4:24. They were to remain a testimony for all peoples and for all time that the hand of the Lord is powerful. The prominence of the ark of the covenant relates the power of God to the promises of God that are at the heart of the covenant. Chapter 3 gives the events in order; chapter 4 returns to and elaborates on several points, especially the memorial of stones at Gilgal. Joshua’s exaltation is in fulfillment of Joshua 3:7. God’s powerful faithfulness to His promises has the effect of exalting the one whose leadership is based on those promises.

Today’s Covenant & the Cross quote about the Bible is from Augustine of Hippo. He said: “The Holy Scriptures are our letters from home.”

Our topic for today is titled “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho — and Hazor Too (Part 6)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin. And, I want to remind you to take advantage of our special offer. If you enjoy this podcast, please feel free to purchase a copy of this book — “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin. It is available on our website for just $20.

— DIGGING UP JERICHO

Jericho illustrates the problems involved in archaeology. This city has been excavated twice, with different conclusions. John Garstang, who excavated part of the city in the 1930s, concluded that the evidence corroborated the biblical account. He dated the destruction of the uppermost major layer, called City IV (showing evidence of a Late Bronze Age culture), to about 1400 BCE (primarily based on pottery, Egyptian scarabs found in graves, and the absence of imported pottery from Mycenea). The walls had fallen outward, indicating destruction of the type associated with an earthquake. Grain that had burned but not been looted was found stored.

In the 1950s, Kathleen Kenyon excavated another part of the city. She never overturned Garstang’s evidence and agreed that City IV had been destroyed violently. But she argued that he had interpreted the data incorrectly. She ignored the Egyptian scarabs, dated the fallen walls to the Early Bronze Age, and argued that there was no evidence of Late Bronze ruins for Joshua to attack.

More recently, other archaeologists have raised serious questions regarding Kenyon’s work. For example, John J. Bimson carefully evaluated a number of her assumptions and concluded that the pottery evidence pointed to a destruction in the fifteenth century. Bryant Wood came to similar conclusions based on four lines of evidence. One of the most telling is a quotation from Kenyon’s report that shows how the bricks from the wall fell outward and down the slope. Another is a radiocarbon dating of the destruction layer to 1410 BCE ± 40 years. The crux of the matter is that the ruins in Jericho show the characteristics that would be expected if the biblical account is accurate.

Lord willing, we will continue this topic in our next broadcast.

Let’s Pray —

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast is designed to help you better understand the Word of God — both the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament is the story of the Covenant which God made with His chosen people Israel. And the New Testament is the story of the Cross which signifies the fulfillment of the Old Covenant with Israel and the formation of a New Covenant with redeemed people from many nations.

***

Before we close, dear friend, I want to remind you that the most important thing you should know about the Bible is that it is the story of God working to save humanity from sin and the consequences of sin. He did this by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins and take the punishment that we deserve on Himself. Romans 5:8 says, “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you want to get to know Him today, here’s how.

All you have to do is believe “that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” and you will be saved. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will.

Until next time, remember the word of God is the foundation to a successful life. God bless.

***

Before we close, dear friend, I want to remind you that the most important thing you should know about the Bible is that it is the story of God working to save humanity from sin and the consequences of sin. He did this by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins and take the punishment that we deserve on Himself. Romans 5:8 says, “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you want to get to know Him today, here’s how.

All you have to do is believe “that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” and you will be saved. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will.

Until next time, remember the word of God is the foundation to a successful life. God bless.


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho — and Hazor Too, Part 5 (Covenant and the Cross #99)


This podcast is designed to help you better understand the Word of God — both the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament is the story of the Covenant which God made with His chosen people Israel. And the New Testament is the story of the Cross which signifies the fulfillment of the Old Covenant with Israel and the formation of a New Covenant with redeemed people from many nations.

We always like to start out with the Word of God, and today’s passage of Scripture is from Joshua 3:15-17 which reads: “15 And as they that bare the Ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the Ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,) That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho. And the priests that bare the Ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.”

Regarding this passage, Dr. R.C. Sproul notes in the Reformation Study Bible:

The language in this passage has similarities to Exodus 15 and Psalm 78, which describe the crossing of the Red Sea. The God of the Exodus is the God of the conquest. Because the Jordan is overflowing, the crossing will be even more remarkable than previously indicated. As instrumental in the miracle, the Ark conveys the powerful message of God’s faithfulness to His covenant promises.

Today’s Covenant & the Cross quote about the Bible is from Sir William Jones. He said: “The Bible is the light of my understanding, the joy of my heart, the fullness of my hope, the clarified of my affections, the mirror of my thoughts, the consoler of my sorrows, the guide of my soul through this gloomy labyrinth of time, the telescope went from heaven to reveal to the eye of man the amazing glories of the far distant world.”

Our topic for today is titled “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho — and Hazor Too (Part 5)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin. And, I want to remind you to take advantage of our special offer. If you enjoy this podcast, please feel free to purchase a copy of this book — “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin. It is available on our website for just $20.

— ENTERING THE LAND

Joshua told the people to get ready and to consecrate themselves, since God was going to do something great the next day. As we look at this account, we realize that the special nature of their crossing of the Jordan River served a multiple purpose. First, it helped solidify Joshua as the new leader of the people. Second, it reminded the people of the earlier crossing of the Red Sea, thus unifying the nation. The older people, those who had been under twenty at Kadesh Barnea, would recall that event and relate it to the younger generations. Third, the crossing of the Jordan served to remind the nation of God’s power. We are told that the time picked for the crossing was when the Jordan was at flood stage. The Israelites had been camped across the river for several months and could have crossed earlier, so this timing made the supernormal nature of the upcoming event even more dramatic. Not only would it remind the nation of the power of God, it would also serve to warn the nations in the land.

The process was very ordered and dramatic. The priests with the Ark went first. As they stepped into the river, it stopped flowing and backed up several miles upstream. The priests moved to the middle of the river channel and then stood there, holding the Ark. At this point, the people crossed over. Before the priests were allowed to move out of the riverbed, Joshua had twelve men (a man from each tribe) take twelve large stones from the riverbank and build a cairn in the middle of the riverbed. They also took twelve large stones from the middle of the river and built a cairn on the west bank. After these monuments had been built, the priests were allowed to join their brothers on the west bank of the Jordan River in the land God had promised. After all this, the river began to flow once again.

Historically, earthquakes have blocked the Jordan River, backing up the flow of the water. Some have argued that some such natural event allowed the Israelites to cross. Even if an earthquake occurred, however, the timing was amazing. Joshua announced to the people three days in advance that they were going to cross over. Then, just as the priests reached the water, the flow stopped and remained stopped until the people had crossed and the monuments were erected. Then, as the priests left the riverbed, the flow began again.

The spectacular crossing of the Jordan served one other function. It frightened the inhabitants of the land so that they did not dare to attack Israel at their camp on the west bank. This was important, because after the crossing, God required the men who had not been circumcised to undergo that ritual. While this was an important act to show their inclusion within the Abrahamic covenant, it also served to incapacitate the army for several days. This vulnerable condition reminded the original audience of how God was indeed their Suzerain. As such, God would take care of His own when they were obedient.

As the men healed, Passover time arrived, and they celebrated the festival that reminded them of their deliverance from Egypt. As we noted in chapter 7, associated with Passover is the Feast of Firstfruits—the time when the first of the harvest is brought to God. On this occasion, the nation enjoyed the firstfruits of their new land, and with that the manna stopped.

It must have been a very exciting holiday, given that the people had now reached the objective for which they had been working for forty years. At the same time, it was probably a very sobering moment as they now confronted the idea of the actual conquest. But God had given them reasons for encouragement. The constant provision of manna for forty years showed that their Suzerain was indeed taking care of them. They had conquered the regions on the other side of the Jordan, so their troops had already been exposed to battle—and had seen victory. Furthermore, they had the reports from the spies in Jericho. God was working in the hearts of the inhabitants of the land, and victory seemed certain.

Lord willing, we will continue this topic in our next broadcast.

Let’s Pray —

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast is designed to help you better understand the Word of God — both the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament is the story of the Covenant which God made with His chosen people Israel. And the New Testament is the story of the Cross which signifies the fulfillment of the Old Covenant with Israel and the formation of a New Covenant with redeemed people from many nations.

***

Before we close, dear friend, I want to remind you that the most important thing you should know about the Bible is that it is the story of God working to save humanity from sin and the consequences of sin. He did this by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins and take the punishment that we deserve on Himself. Romans 5:8 says, “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you want to get to know Him today, here’s how.

All you have to do is believe “that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” and you will be saved. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will.

Until next time, remember the word of God is the foundation to a successful life. God bless.


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho — and Hazor Too, Part 4 (The Covenant & the Cross #98)


This podcast is designed to help you better understand the Word of God — both the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament is the story of the Covenant which God made with His chosen people Israel. And the New Testament is the story of the Cross which signifies the fulfillment of the Old Covenant with Israel and the formation of a New Covenant with redeemed people from many nations.

Today’s passage of Scripture is from Joshua 2 which reads: “And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that are come to thee, which are entered into thine house: for they be come to search out all the country. And the woman took the two men, and hid them… And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof; And she said unto the men, I know that the Lord hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.”

Today’s Covenant & the Cross quote about the Bible is from François Fénelon. He said: “Listen less to your own thoughts and more to God’s thoughts.”

Our topic for today is titled “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho — and Hazor Too (Part 4)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

— JOSHUA ASSUMES COMMAND

The first chapter of Joshua shows a major transition. For the fledgling nation of Israel, this was the first time since leaving Egypt that they had been without Moses. Now God told the new leader, Joshua, to take charge. It was time for him to lead the people into the land. This transition must have been very intimidating for Joshua and the people, and God recognized it. Three times in His short address, God told Joshua, “Be strong and courageous.” Joshua said the same thing to the people.

God also told Joshua, “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth.” These words remind us that the material we have read to this point was recorded in a book that Joshua and the people had before them. We also note how God expected the people to live out the contents of that book in their daily lives. These instructions would be important in the days and years ahead. Joshua passed the same word to the people and told them to get ready because they would cross the Jordan in three days.

Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho — and Hazor Too, Part 3 (Covenant and the Cross #97)


We always like to start out with the Word of God, and today’s passage of Scripture is Joshua 24:20 which reads: “If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good.”

Regarding this passage, Dr. R.C. Sproul notes in the Reformation Study Bible:

Joshua tells the Israelites that God’s dealing with them will change from grace to judgment. But in another sense God never changes, since His promise has always included the threat of judgment.

Today’s Covenant & the Cross quote about the Bible is from Soren Kierkegaard. He said: “When you read God’s Word, you must constantly be saying to yourself, ‘It is talking to me and about me.”

Our topic for today is titled “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho — and Hazor Too (Part 3)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin. And, I want to remind you to take advantage of our special offer. If you enjoy this podcast, please feel free to purchase a copy of this book — “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin. It is available on our website for just $20.

We will continue looking at Canaanite Religion

While El, Baal, Asherah, and Dagon were the four key figures in Canaanite pagan worship, the Canaanites had a pantheon of at least seventy gods and goddesses. It appears that the pantheon was also growing, although it was by no means as large as the pantheon of Egypt. Overall, the picture of the gods and goddesses of Canaanite religion had degenerated into a soap opera, with incestuous relationships and other abominations set forth in the pantheon. Of course, these were supposed to represent the “higher ideals” that guided the people.

The abominations showed up in the methods of worship, which were probably the most significant cause of judgment. From the OT data, we see that several reprehensible practices dominated their religious rituals. We do not have much written material from other sources that show how the Canaanites performed their rituals, but some of the archaeological data from Palestine corroborates the existence of these practices.

One of these practices was selfmutilation. The idea behind this ritual was that a worshiper showed sincerity by cutting or otherwise mutilating the body. It appears in the OT during the contest between Elijah and the priests of Baal, when the latter “slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom.”

Religious prostitution was another abominable practice mentioned in various passages. Sexual relations in the sanctuary were connected with the fertility rites, demonstrating a concept sometimes called sympathetic magic. Practitioners believed that through the practice of ritual prostitution in the temple, the god or goddess would have pity on the people and send rain to cause the crops to grow. It was an overt attempt to manipulate the deities.

A third Canaanite ritual was the sacrifice of infants. This custom is talked about in Leviticus 18:21 and is also mentioned in 2 Kings 23:10. The prophet Jeremiah condemned the people of Israel for adopting this reprehensible practice. Klei-tar-chos, a Greek writer from about 300 BCE, wrote that the ritual involved taking a hollow metal idol dedicated to one of the Canaanite gods—such as Molech, the god of fire (also known as Baal-Melech)—filling it with flaming coals until it was red hot, then laying the infant on the sizzling outstretched arms of the idol as a demonstration of piety. This practice of infant sacrifice seems to have brought on the final judgment. The conquest of the land of Canaan must be viewed within that context.

What about Canaanite monotheism? The Canaanite evidence points to a prehistoric worship of El, apparently as sole god. El is the same word the Hebrews used for God (although the Hebrews more commonly used Elohim, the plural form of El). This is not too surprising, for Canaanite and Hebrew are related languages. While many scholars see the worship of El as evidence for a developing (evolving) monotheism, the overall evidence seems to show a culture that was turning from the worship of God (that is, El) to an increasing polytheism. This development correlates with the biblical evidence we saw earlier: Melchizedek, a Canaanite, served El Elyon, God Most High, but apparently later generations pushed El aside and began to serve a multitude of other gods.

Lord willing, we will continue this topic in our next broadcast.

Let’s Pray —

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast is designed to help you better understand the Word of God — both the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament is the story of the Covenant which God made with His chosen people Israel. And the New Testament is the story of the Cross which signifies the fulfillment of the Old Covenant with Israel and the formation of a New Covenant with redeemed people from many nations.

***

Before we close, dear friend, I want to remind you that the most important thing you should know about the Bible is that it is the story of God working to save humanity from sin and the consequences of sin. He did this by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins and take the punishment that we deserve on Himself. Romans 5:8 says, “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you want to get to know Him today, here’s how.

All you have to do is believe “that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” and you will be saved. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will.

Until next time, remember the word of God is the foundation to a successful life. God bless.


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.

Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho — and Hazor Too, Part 2 (The Covenant & the Cross #96)


This podcast is designed to help you better understand the Word of God — both the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament is the story of the Covenant which God made with His chosen people Israel. And the New Testament is the story of the Cross which signifies the fulfillment of the Old Covenant with Israel and the formation of a New Covenant with redeemed people from many nations.

Today’s passage of Scripture is Joshua 2:9-11 which reads: “And Rahab said unto the men, I know that the Lord hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the Lord your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.”

Today’s Covenant & the Cross quote about the Bible is from Charles Spurgeon. He said: “The more you read the Bible, the more you meditate on it, the more you will be astonished by it.”

Our topic for today is titled “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho — and Hazor Too (Part 2)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

— CANAANITE RELIGION

Why were the Canaanites judged? To answer this question, we need to look at two aspects. The first involves the gods of the Canaanites, and the second involves their mode of worship. As we look at the available documentation, we find that by the time of the conquest the Canaanites had developed an extended hierarchy of gods. This system demonstrated a degraded view of God and religious ideals.

The data suggest that early in their culture the Canaanites had very few gods (most likely only one), although the evidence is not as solid as it is for some of the other ancient near eastern cultures. The indications are that the early Canaanites served only El, the Semitic term for god/God. However, by the time of the conquest, the number of gods within their pantheon had increased tremendously. El was a “shadowy figure”‘ who held an apparent place of honor but didn’t really figure into the worship. In early Canaanite texts, he was characterized as the “father of years.”

Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho — and Hazor Too, Part 1 (Covenant and the Cross #95)


We always like to start out with the Word of God, and today’s Passage of Scripture is Joshua 6:16-17 which reads: “And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the Lord hath given you the city. And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the Lord: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.”

Regarding this passage, Dr. R.C. Sproul notes in the Reformation Study Bible:

In the holy war the city was reserved for God. The consequence is seen in the awful reality of God’s judgment on Jericho, as also on the whole of Canaan. However, judgment does not exclude grace. The mercy Rahab sought will be extended to her.

Today’s Covenant & the Cross quote about the Bible is from Immanuel Kant. He said: “The Bible is the greatest benefit which the human race has ever experienced. A single line in the Bible has consoled me more than all the books I ever read besides.”

Our topic for today is titled “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho — and Hazor Too (Part 1)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin. And, I want to remind you to take advantage of our special offer. If you enjoy this podcast, please feel free to purchase a copy of this book — “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin. It is available on our website for just $20.

The book of Joshua tells of the conquest of the land of Canaan. As we read through this account, we find an interesting mixture of expressions. In some cases, we read that God fought the battles. In other cases, we read that the people fought the battles. What we see is that whatever the military strategies the Israelites pursued in waging their victorious battles, God was behind them all. This conquest took several years, probably about five. Unfortunately, we are not given a chronology. The fighting included three major campaigns and ended with the people of Israel in control of the land but not having completely conquered it. As we will see later, God designed the process this way to allow several generations to experience His work. The overall goal seems to have been to strengthen the nation’s confidence in God. Instead, the people stumbled because they failed to trust God and obey Him.

As we look at the account of the conquest, we are left with some questions. The key issue concerns God’s instructions to the Israelites to destroy the people who currently occupied the land. We see this as harsh—in fact, as a form of genocide. So before we look at the conquest narrative, we need to examine this problem.

— WHAT IS A “BAN”?

God’s order to destroy the Canaanites is usually expressed by the use of the Hebrew word herein.’ This term can be translated in a variety of ways. For example, in Joshua 6:17 the KJV says that Jericho will be “accursed.” The NASB uses the expression “under the ban.”The NRSV renders, “devoted for destruction.” The NIV says only that it will be “devoted.” So what does the word mean, and why is this important?

The primary reason it is important involves the historicity of the conquest. Beginning with the assumption that this “ban” meant total destruction (indicating a burning to the ground) of all the cities on which this edict was given, archaeologists have looked for burn layers in these cities to establish a correlation. Since they have not been able to find them, some have argued that the conquest did not occur. However, a closer look suggests that this argument is based on false assumptions.

To understand what the word meant for the audience involved in the con-quest, we need to look at how the term was used. When cities were placed under herein, specific guidelines were usually given, stating what was to be done. Normally the instructions did not include burning the city. In fact, in the entire conquest, only three cities are said to have been burned.’ Rather, the directions specified what to do with the people and the spoils. In the case of Jericho, Joshua was told that all human life was to be destroyed along with all animal life, including oxen, sheep, and donkeys—with the exception of Rahab and her family. Furthermore, the people were specifically warned against taking any of the loot. Earlier, in the case The conquest of Car of Heshbon, the city of Sihon, human life was exterminated, but all the animals and spoil were retained and given to the people. This latter example but to prepare for a appears to be more the norm?

Even this kind of punishment, however, gives us problems because of the high value we place on human life. Here we have a second reason why understanding the term herein is important. God has a different perspective, which is sometimes puzzling. In God’s view, the right to physical life is not an absolute, and individual humans may forfeit that right by the decisions they make. Certainly, human life is not limited to the temporal (or physical) realm, and God is more interested in the spiritual than the physical. In this light, we need to remember that the conquest of Canaan was not undertaken for the sake of conquest, but to prepare for a Messiah whose mission was to redeem the world. Within this context, the picture is one of judgment. Therefore, the bottom line seems to be whether God has the right to judge individuals and people groups. If so, then we need to look at the lifestyles of those Canaanites who were declared to be hereon. Was their destruction arbitrary, or were there reasons for a holy God to judge them?

Let’s Pray —

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast is designed to help you better understand the Word of God — both the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament is the story of the Covenant which God made with His chosen people Israel. And the New Testament is the story of the Cross which signifies the fulfillment of the Old Covenant with Israel and the formation of a New Covenant with redeemed people from many nations.

***

Before we close, dear friend, I want to remind you that the most important thing you should know about the Bible is that it is the story of God working to save humanity from sin and the consequences of sin. He did this by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins and take the punishment that we deserve on Himself. Romans 5:8 says, “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you want to get to know Him today, here’s how.

All you have to do is believe “that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” and you will be saved. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will.

Until next time, remember the word of God is the foundation to a successful life. God bless.


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.