Welcome to the Covenant and the Cross Podcast. This is episode #114. 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 6:16-19 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. And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the Lord: they shall come into the treasury of the Lord.”
Regarding this passage, Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown wrote in their commentary: “This delay brought out their faith and obedience in so remarkable a manner, that it is celebrated by the apostle. And the city shall be cherem, or “anathema,” was a devotion to utter destruction. When such a ban was pronounced against a hostile city, the men and animals were killed–no booty was allowed to be taken. The idols and all the precious ornaments on them were to be burned. Everything was either to be destroyed or consecrated to the sanctuary. Joshua pronounced this ban on Jericho, a great and wealthy city, evidently by divine direction. The severity of the doom, accordant with the requirements of a law which was holy, just, and good, was justified, not only by the fact of its inhabitants being part of a race who had filled up their iniquities, but by their resisting the light of the recent astonishing miracle at the Jordan. Besides, as Jericho seems to have been defended by reinforcements from all the country, its destruction would paralyze all the rest of the devoted people, and thus tend to facilitate the conquest of the land; showing, as so astounding a military miracle did, that it was done, not by man, but by the power and through the anger, of God.”
Today’s quote about the Bible is from D.L. Moody. He said: “The Bible was not given for our information but for our transformation.”
Our topic for today is titled “The Best of Times, the Worst of Times, Part 7” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.
The second major judge is to me the most intriguing. The scene has shifted to the middle of the land, in the region of Manasseh. This episode begins with those same words, “The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD.” The oppression came from the east: the Midianites and their allies. When Israel asked God for help, He sent a prophet to tell them that the reason for the oppression was that they were worshiping the gods of the people in the land rather than maintaining spiritual integrity.
Then the angel of the Lord showed up at Gideon’s place, where he was threshing wheat in the winepress as he was hiding from the Midianites. While we are not sure what was going through his mind, we are given a hint in the conversation that is recorded. First, the messenger greeted him saying, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior” (remember, this is a man who was hiding). Gideon’s response was to ask why the Lord no longer performed special deeds as he had done for their ancestors. To this, the Lord told Gideon to go in “this your strength and deliver Israel” (my translation).
Two questions arise out of this exchange: What was Gideon’s strength? And how was Gideon a “mighty warrior”? His strength seemed to be the faith he had just expressed in his response to God, a faith that accepted the historical accounts of God’s works and expected them to be repeated. Thus, he was viewed as a “mighty warrior” because he was willing to obey God despite his natural fear. However, he always made sure that he understood the message correctly.
We see that concern as the account develops. To verify that the one who appeared to him was God, Gideon asked permission to offer a sacrifice. This request was granted, and when the sacrifice was brought, the “angel” touched it with his staff, and the entire sacrifice was consumed. That night, following God’s directions, Gideon took another bull from the herd of Joash, his father, and tore down his own father’s altar to Baal. He then built instead an altar to the Lord and offered his sacrifice on it (using the wood of the Ash-e-rah pole to burn the sacrifice).
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.