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The Covenant & the Cross

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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.

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The Best of Times, the Worst of Times, Part 1 (The Covenant and the Cross #108)

Welcome to the Covenant and the Cross Podcast. This is episode #108. 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.

We always like to start out with the Word of God, and today’s passage of Scripture is from Joshua 5:9 which reads: “And the Lord said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day.”

Regarding this passage, Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown wrote in their commentary: “The taunts industriously cast by that people upon Israel as nationally rejected by God by the cessation of circumcision and the renewal of that rite was a practical announcement of the restoration of the covenant. No trace either of the name or site of Gilgal is now to be found; but it was about two miles from Jericho according to Josephus, and well suited for an encampment by the advantages of shade and water. It was the first place pronounced “holy” in the Holy Land.”

Today’s quote about the Bible is from Søren Kierkegaard. He said: “The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly.”

Our topic for today is titled “The Best of Times, the Worst of Times, Part 1” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

Soon after occupying the land, many Israelites began adopting Canaanite practices. When they got into trouble and asked God for help, He sent judges to deliver them. The biblical writer mentions a number of them but covers three in some depth. The last section of the book of Judges relates two episodes that show how bad things had become. The story of Ruth, however, provides a positive contrast.

The book of Joshua ends with the nation finally settled in the land that had been promised. The time was about fifty years after leaving Egypt (including forty years in the desert, five years for the conquest, and then five years or so before Joshua gave his farewell). The book of Judges covers the period between the conquest and the decision on the part of the people to have a king (that is, approximately from 1400 to 1070 BC).

The book of Ruth takes place at the end of that period and serves as a bright counterpoint to the dark picture painted in Judges. In some ways, it shows how the system should have worked, while Judges shows what actually happened.

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

Let’s Pray —

***

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.

Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho — and Hazor Too, Part 12 (Covenant and the Cross #107)

Welcome to the Covenant and the Cross Podcast. This is episode #107. 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.

We always like to start out with the Word of God, and today’s passage of Scripture is from Joshua 5:8 which reads: “And it came to pass, when they had done circumcising all the people, that they abode in their places in the camp, till they were whole.”

Regarding this passage, Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown wrote in their commentary: “As the number of those born in the wilderness and uncircumcised must have been immense, a difficulty is apt to be felt how the rite could have been performed on such a multitude in so short a time. But it has been calculated that the proportion between those already circumcised (under twenty when the doom was pronounced) and those to be circumcised, was one to four, and consequently the whole ceremony could easily have been performed in a day. Circumcision being the sign and seal of the covenant, its performance was virtually an investment in the promised land, and its being delayed till their actual entrance into the country was a wise and gracious act on the part of God, who postponed this trying duty till the hearts of the people, animated by the recent astonishing miracle, were prepared to obey the divine will. It is calculated that, of those who did not need to be circumcised, more than fifty thousand were left to defend the camp if an attack had been then made upon it.”

Today’s quote about the Bible is from A.W. Tozer. He said: “The Word of God well understood and religiously obeyed is the shortest route to spiritual perfection. And we must not select a few favorite passages to the exclusion of others. Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian.”

Our topic for today is titled “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho — and Hazor Too (Part 12)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

Sometime after this, Joshua called together the people to give a final farewell. Chapters 23 and 24 contain two speeches—one to the leaders and one to the people. In them, Joshua reminded the people of several things. First, he pointed out that God was the one who had brought them to the land and had given it to them. As part of the process, Joshua reminded them, they were living in houses they had not built and enjoying the produce from vineyards and olive trees they had not planted. Second, he made clear that they were not finished with the conquest, that there were many peoples yet to be driven out. Moreover, God would assist them in this process. Third, he reminded them that they had the law of God in the book of Moses to serve as a guide. The key guideline was that they were not to serve the gods of the people who had occupied the land before them. He noted that some of the Israelites were already serving those gods or were still clinging to the gods they had brought from Egypt. Joshua challenged the people to put away those foreign gods and to serve YHWH, the true God. However, as we will see, the people failed to do so. This behavior was to become a pattern that would plague the nation for the next thousand years.

After this final challenge, Joshua died at the age of 110. We are not given Joshua’s age throughout his career, so we are unable to determine the date of his death. He was likely at least as old as Caleb, who at the end of the conquest was 85. If so, that means Joshua died no later than 1375 BCE. However, based on the picture we see in the book of the Judges, which suggests that he was older than Caleb, it is likely that he died a few years earlier than that.

A significant point is that Joshua did not appoint a successor as mediator for the covenant. This set the stage for a period where the nation kept floundering—the subject of the next chapter.

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

Let’s Pray —

***

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.

Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho — and Hazor Too, Part 11 (The Covenant and the Cross #106)

Welcome to the Covenant and the Cross Podcast. This is episode #106. 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.

We always like to start out with the Word of God, and today’s passage of Scripture is from Joshua 5:3-7 which reads: “And Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins. And this is the cause why Joshua did circumcise: All the people that came out of Egypt, that were males, even all the men of war, died in the wilderness by the way, after they came out of Egypt. Now all the people that came out were circumcised: but all the people that were born in the wilderness by the way as they came forth out of Egypt, them they had not circumcised. For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people that were men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the Lord: unto whom the Lord sware that he would not shew them the land, which the Lord sware unto their fathers that he would give us, a land that floweth with milk and honey. And their children, whom he raised up in their stead, them Joshua circumcised: for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them by the way.”

Regarding this passage, Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown wrote in their commentary: “The hill was probably one of the hills that form the highest terrace of the Jordan, on a rising ground at the palm forest. The omission to circumcise the children born in the wilderness might have been owing to the incessant movements of the people; but it is most generally thought that the true cause was a temporary suspension of the covenant with the unbelieving race who, being rejected of the Lord, were doomed to perish in the wilderness, and whose children had to bear the iniquity of their fathers, though, as the latter were to be brought into the promised land, the covenant would be renewed with them.”

Today’s quote about the Bible is from Kirk Cameron. He said: “Put your nose into the Bible everyday. It is your spiritual food.”

Our topic for today is titled “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho — and Hazor Too (Part 11)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

The next ten chapters give a detailed description of the division of the land, which was done by lot with God directing the outcome. While it might be a good exercise to find the boundary indicators on a map, many of the sites are uncertain. However, any good Bible atlas shows the basic outline of the various territories.

The Levites were not given a territory but were given specific cities throughout the entire region. Likewise, when the tribe of Simeon received its share, it was within a broader territory given to Judah. By the time of the united kingdom, the tribe of Simeon had been essentially absorbed by Judah. This fulfilled the prophecy given by Jacob in Genesis 49.

Two special allocations were made. The first was that of Caleb, one of the two spies who had expressed trust that God would give them the land. We find him now, forty-five years later, still exhibiting the same trust. As Judah was given its share, he asked for the city of Hebron as his portion of the inheritance because it was strong and fortified.

The other special allocation was given to the family of Zelophehad (ze-lo-fe-had) of the tribe of Manasseh, who had five daughters and no sons. When his daughters came and asked for an equal portion of the inheritance on behalf of their father, it was granted to them.

At this point, Joshua also designated the cities of refuge. These were Levitical towns set aside so that someone who had inadvertently committed a capital crime (e.g., manslaughter) could escape there and be protected until a trial had been conducted. If the crime was demonstrated to be inadvertent, the person could remain in the city of refuge until the high priest died.

With the division of the land, Joshua dismissed the Transjordanian tribes (Reuben, Gad, and half of Manasseh) about 1400 BCE.18 Their departure almost caused a civil war. When they got to the Jordan River, they decided to erect a monument in the form of a large altar. The rest of the tribes heard of it and understood it to be an altar that would take away from the tabernacle.

The Transjordanian tribes protested that they had not intended it for worship but as a memorial to remind their descendants of their loyalties to the people across the river. This response satisfied the rest of the tribes, and they departed in peace.

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

Let’s Pray —

***

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.

Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho — and Hazor Too, Part 10 (Covenant and the Cross #105)

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 5:2 which reads: “At that time the Lord said unto Joshua, Make thee sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time.”

Regarding this passage, Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown wrote in their commentary: “On the encampment being made after the passage, the Lord said unto Joshua collect stone knives and make them ready. Flints have been used in the early times of all people; and although the use of iron was known to the Hebrews in the days of Joshua, probably the want of a sufficient number of metallic implements dictated the employment of flints on this occasion. The text reads iterally, “return and circumcise.” The command did not require him to repeat the operation on those who had undergone it, but to resume the observance of the rite, which had been long discontinued. The language, however, evidently points to a general circumcising on some previous occasion, which, though unrecorded, must have been made before the celebration of the passover at Sinai, as a mixed multitude accompanied the camp. “The second time” of general circumcising was at the entrance into Canaan.”

Today’s quote about the Bible is from Billy Graham. He said: “I’ve read the last page of the Bible, it’s all going to turn out alright.”

Our topic for today is titled “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho — and Hazor Too (Part 10)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

Following these victories, Jabin, the king of Hazor, decided it was time to act and developed an alliance among the remaining forces in the region. These forces gathered at a location called the waters of Merom. The exact location of this site is not known, but given the use of chariots, the Jezreel Valley is very likely. This area would also make sense in terms of
tactics, since the goal was to destroy the Israelite camp at Gilgal in the Jordan River valley. However, the Israelites were able to attack the Canaanites first, and they scored a decisive victory. Joshua’s troops then pursued fleeing Canaanites as far as the Sidon area (about 70 to 100 kilometers, depending on the location of Merom). Hazor, the major city, was burned, and the rest of the cities captured.

With the conclusion of this campaign, the Israelites now had control of the land God had promised, as described in Joshua 12. The entire campaign appears to have taken about five years, for according to Joshua 14:10, Caleb observed that it had been forty-five years since he had performed his reconnaissance at Kadesh Barnea. Even after these successes, however, many Canaanites were still living in the land. When we get into the period of the judges, we will see that God had several reasons for allowing this situation. First, the population of the Israelites was not large enough to completely resettle the land from the tribes they were displacing. Second, the delay would be a test of the faith and faithfulness of subsequent generations. A third reason was to allow the people who had participated in the conquest to this point the opportunity to enjoy the land they had conquered. Another possibility, although it is never overtly expressed, may have been to allow the Canaanites an opportunity to turn to Israel’s God and to become part of that people (like the Gibeonites).

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

Let’s Pray —

***

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.

Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho — and Hazor Too, Part 9 (Covenant and the Cross #103)

Welcome to the Covenant and the Cross Podcast. This is episode #102. 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.

We always like to start out with the Word of God, and today’s passage of Scripture is from Joshua 4:20-24 which reads: “And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal. And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. For the Lord your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over: That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the Lord your God for ever.”

Regarding this passage, Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown wrote in their commentary: “Probably to render them more conspicuous, the stones might be raised on a foundation of earth or turf. The pile was designed to serve a double purpose–that of impressing the heathen with a sense of the omnipotence of God, while at the same time it would teach an important lesson in religion to the young and rising Israelites in after ages.”

Today’s quote about the Bible is from Martin Luther. He said: “The Bible is the cradle wherein Christ is laid.”

Our topic for today is titled “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho — and Hazor Too (Part 9)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

WHERE WAS AI?

The identification of this city is one of the more controversial archaeological questions. For the past several decades, the site of Khirbet et-Tell has been identified as Ai. Recent excavations, however, have not supported this identification. The group that has excavated Khirbet el-Maqatir reports that they reached a major burn layer showing that the city had been burned at about 1400 BCE. Another difficulty is that the ruins at et-Tell seem too small for the population listed. Joshua 8:25 says that 12,000 were killed; however, this number likely includes people who lived outside the city walls.

Following the victory over Ai, Joshua moved the people north to Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim. There they built an altar to God and wrote the law on stones as Moses had directed. They also had a covenant renewal ceremony at which the people heard the leaders read the Law, and they pronounced the blessings and curses antiphonally from the two mounts. We are not told when this ceremony took place, but from the guidelines in Deuteronomy 31, it was likely during the autumn at the Feast of Booths. This would put it about six months after they had crossed the Jordan River.

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

Let’s Pray —

***

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.

Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho — and Hazor Too, Part 8 (Covenant and the Cross #102)

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Welcome to the Covenant and the Cross Podcast. This is episode #102. 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.

We always like to start out with the Word of God, and today’s passage of Scripture is from Joshua 4:19 which reads: “And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho.”

Regarding this passage, Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown wrote in their commentary: “The tenth day of the first month is the month Nisan, four days before the passover, and the very day when the paschal lamb required to be set apart, the providence of God having arranged that the entrance into the promised land should be at the feast. The name Gilgal is here given by anticipation. It was a tract of land, according to Josephus, fifty stadia (six and one-half miles) from Jordan, and ten stadia (one and one-fourth miles) from Jericho, at the eastern outskirts of the palm forest, now supposed to be the spot occupied by the village Riha.”

Today’s quote about the Bible is from Elisabeth Elliot. She said: “The Word of God I think of as a straight edge, which shows up our own crookedness. We can’t really tell how crooked our thinking is until we line it up with the straight edge of Scripture.”

Our topic for today is titled “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho — and Hazor Too (Part 8)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

The Battles of Ai

After Jericho, the next objective was Ai, a town located on the central plateau. After reconnaissance, Joshua decided that the town did not need the entire army, so he sent three thousand men. To his dismay, his troops were routed, and thirty-six men were killed. Joshua immediately went to God to ask what was wrong.

God told Joshua that the problem was that someone in the camp had stolen from Jericho. Joshua gathered the nation and explained the situation. At this point, they began a process of selection by using lots. It would seem that the purpose of this process was to give the guilty party a chance to confess and ask for mercy. Since that never happened, the process worked down to Achan ben Carmi. When Joshua confronted him, he finally confessed, and he and his family were stoned. Their bodies were covered with a mound of rocks as a warning to future generations.

Following this, Joshua turned his attention again to the town of Ai. He picked a larger group (30,000) and followed God’s strategy of setting an ambush. While the people were permitted to take spoil from Ai after it was conquered, the town itself was burned. It is likely that any spoils taken included harvesting the crops of the fields left behind. With this victory, Joshua and his army had a major foothold on the central plateau and had in essence divided Canaan.

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

Let’s Pray —

***

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.

Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho — and Hazor Too, Part 7 (Covenant and the Cross #101)


Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

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 4:14-18 which reads: “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. And the Lord spake unto Joshua, saying, Command the priests that bear the ark of the testimony, that they come up out of Jordan. Joshua therefore commanded the priests, saying, Come ye up out of Jordan. And it came to pass, when the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord were come up out of the midst of Jordan, and the soles of the priests’ feet were lifted up unto the dry land, that the waters of Jordan returned unto their place, and flowed over all his banks, as they did before.”

Regarding this passage, Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown wrote in their commentary: “It appeared clear from the chief part he acted, that he was the divinely appointed leader; for even the priests did not enter the river or quit their position, except at his command; and thenceforward his authority was as firmly established as that of his predecessor. Their crossing, which was the final act, completed the evidence of the miracle; for then, and not till then, the suspended laws of nature were restored, the waters returned to their place, and the river flowed with as full a current as before.”

Today’s quote about the Bible is from Charles Spurgeon. He said: “Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years.”

Our topic for today is titled “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho — and Hazor Too (Part 7)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

The Battle of Jericho

The first objective was Jericho, one of the strongest cities in the region. It guarded the entire lower region of the Jordan Valley and access to the central plateau. Once this city was taken, the entire land was opened up. But Jericho was a tough one. So despite what the song says, Joshua did not fight this battle. Rather, God Himself fought Jericho.

As we follow the text, we read that Joshua apparently was out surveying the city. In the process, he encountered a man holding a drawn sword. Joshua challenged this person, asking which side he was on: “Are you for us or for our enemies?” The stranger’s response is surprising. He was on neither side but had come as “commander of the army of the LORD.” This reply served to remind Joshua that the question was not whether God was on his side, but whether he was on
God’s side. Joshua understood the point and prostrated himself.

Now God told Joshua how the battle would be fought. He and the people were to march around the city once a day for six days. On the seventh day, they were to march around it seven times, and then the priests were to blow trumpets and the people were to shout. They did so, and the walls collapsed. The army rushed in to mop up, wiping out every living creature except Rahab and her family.

There were several lessons here for the Israelites. First, God was fighting for the nation because they were part of His program. As such, He did not really need the military might of the people, although He let them participate in the cleanup. Second, Jericho was the firstfruits of the land and therefore belonged to God. Third, and often overlooked, God was willing to accept anyone who had the faith to seek Him. In this case, it was Rahab and her family. She was a Canaanite, and her occupation was undesirable. Nevertheless, she was accepted into the nation of God’s people and in fact married into the tribe of Judah and became an ancestress of David (and thus ultimately of Jesus).

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

Let’s Pray —

***

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.