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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 10 (Covenant and the Cross #118)

Welcome to the Covenant and the Cross Podcast. This is episode #118. 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 7:6-15 which reads: “And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the Lord until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads. And Joshua said, Alas, O Lord God, wherefore hast thou at all brought this people over Jordan, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? would to God we had been content, and dwelt on the other side Jordan! O Lord, what shall I say, when Israel turneth their backs before their enemies! For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land shall hear of it, and shall environ us round, and cut off our name from the earth: and what wilt thou do unto thy great name? And the Lord said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you. Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus saith the Lord God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you. In the morning therefore ye shall be brought according to your tribes: and it shall be, that the tribe which the Lord taketh shall come according to the families thereof; and the family which the Lord shall take shall come by households; and the household which the Lord shall take shall come man by man. And it shall be, that he that is taken with the accursed thing shall be burnt with fire, he and all that he hath: because he hath transgressed the covenant of the Lord, and because he hath wrought folly in Israel.”

Regarding this passage, Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown wrote in their commentary: “It is evident, from those tokens of humiliation and sorrow, that a solemn fast was observed on this occasion. The language of Joshua’s prayer is thought by many to savor of human infirmity and to be wanting in that reverence and submission he owed to God. But, although apparently breathing a spirit of bold remonstrance and complaint, it was in reality the effusion of a deeply humbled and afflicted mind, expressing his belief that God could not, after having so miraculously brought His people over Jordan into the promised land, intend to destroy them, to expose them to the insults of their triumphant enemies, and bring reproach upon His own name for inconstancy or unkindness to His people, or inability to resist their enemies. Unable to understand the cause of the present calamity, he owned the hand of God. The answer of the divine oracle was to this effect: the crisis is owing not to unfaithfulness in Me, but sin in the people. The conditions of the covenant have been violated by the reservation of spoil from the doomed city; wickedness, emphatically called folly, has been committed in Israel, and dissimulation, with other aggravations of the crime, continues to be practised. The people are liable to destruction equally with the accursed nations of Canaan. Means must, without delay, be taken to discover and punish the perpetrator of this trespass that Israel may be released from the ban, and things be restored to their former state of prosperity.”

Today’s quote about the Bible is from Ulysses S. Grant. He said: “Hold fast to the Bible. To the influence of this Book we are indebted for all the progress made in true civilization and to this we must look as our guide in the future.”

Our topic for today is titled “The Best of Times, the Worst of Times, Part 10” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

Perhaps the most famous figure in the book of Judges is Samson. His great strength is legendary, and everyone knows that it was connected with his hair. The fact that he was a tragic character whose fate was entwined with a woman adds to the mystique. However, there is a lot more to the story.

Like all the other episodes in this book, it begins with the observation that Israel did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord. This time the oppressors were the Philistines. It is interesting to note that the people suffered for forty years—yet they did not ask God for help. Rather, they feared irritating their oppressors. The story picks up with Manoah, a man from the tribe of Dan, whose wife was barren. We are told that the angel of the Lord appeared to her and told her that she was going to become pregnant. However, specific guidelines were given for her pregnancy and for the soon-to-be-born boy, for he would be a lifelong Nazirite. Manoah asked for verification, and the angel appeared to him and verified the message. In due time, Samson was born.

As a young man, Samson became intrigued by Philistine women. His first act was to insist that his parents arrange a marriage with a woman from Timnah. Reluctantly they did so, and as they made the trip to Timnah, they ran into a lion. When Samson faced this beast, he was specially empowered by the Spirit of the Lord, and he killed the lion with his bare hands. On a later trip, he noticed that the lion’s carcass had dried up and bees had taken up residence in it. He then took the honey from the dead body and ate it, violating part of his Nazirite restrictions.

As the marriage arrangement continued, they arrived at the weeklong celebration, normally a time when alcoholic beverages flowed freely. It seems as if Samson was also imbibing, given that he made a wager with thirty Philistines over a riddle. Obviously the riddle he proposed was not something that could be reasoned out. The Philistines came to that conclusion and threatened Samson’s bride and her family. She used every trick she could to get the answer from Samson, and finally succeeded. She told the Philistines, who promptly gave their answer to Samson. He was furious because he knew where they got the answer. He went down to Ashkelon, killed thirty other Philistines, and took their clothes to pay off his wager. Because Samson then abandoned his wife, she married another man.

Sometime later Samson cooled down and decided to go to his wife. When he found out that she was now someone else’s wife, he became angry again. This time he trapped three hundred foxes and tied their tails together in pairs. He attached flaming torches to them and released them into the grain fields. The result was tremendous destruction of the ripened grain as well as olive orchards and vineyards. The Philistines soon figured out who did it, and they burned Samson’s wife and father-in-law to death. Thus began open conflict between the Philistines and the Israelites.

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.

The Best of Times, the Worst of Times, Part 10 (Covenant and the Cross #117)

Welcome to the Covenant and the Cross Podcast. This is episode #117. 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 7:1-5 which reads: “But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for A-chan, the son of Car-mi, the son of Zab-di, the son of Ze-rah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the Lord was kindled against the children of Israel. And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Bethaven, on the east of Bethel, and spake unto them, saying, Go up and view the country. And the men went up and viewed Ai. And they returned to Joshua, and said unto him, Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; and make not all the people to labour thither; for they are but few. So there went up thither of the people about three thousand men: and they fled before the men of Ai. And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six men: for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down: wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water.”

Regarding this passage, Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown wrote in their commentary: “There was one transgressor against the ban on Jericho, and his transgression brought the guilt and disgrace of sin upon the whole nation. His genealogy is given probably to show that from a parentage so infamous the descendants would not be carefully trained in the fear of God. After the sacking of Jericho, the next step was to penetrate into the hills above. Accordingly, spies went up the mountain pass to view the country. The precise site of Ai, or Hai, is indicated with sufficient clearness and has been recently discovered in an isolated tell, called by the natives Tell-el-Ha-jar, “the mount of stones,” at two miles’, or thirty-five minutes’ distance, east southeast from Beth-el. Beth-aven, or house of vanity, a name afterwards given derisively, on account of its idolatries, to Beth-el, “house of God,” but here referred to another place, about six miles east of Beth-el and three north of Ai. As the population of Ai amounted to twelve thousand, it was a considerable town; though in the hasty and distant spying, it probably appeared small in comparison to Jericho; and this may have been the reason for their proposing so small a detachment to capture it. An unexpected resistance and the loss of thirty-six of their number diffused a panic, which ended in an rout. They were chased unto the “breakings” or “fissures” at the opening of the passes. It is evident that the troops engaged were a tumultuary, undisciplined band, no better skilled in military affairs than the Be-dou-in Arabs, who become disheartened and flee on the loss of ten or fifteen men. But the consternation of the Israelites arose from another cause–the evident displeasure of God, who withheld that aid on which they had confidently reckoned.”

Today’s quote about the Bible is from Robert E. Lee. He said: “In all my perplexities and distresses, the Bible has never failed to give me light and strength.”

Our topic for today is titled “The Best of Times, the Worst of Times, Part 10” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

After the civil war of A-bi-me-lech’s day, the text tells of six minor judges, leaders who generally receive just a note in passing. As was the case with Sham-gar, we have little information about To-la and Jair. We are told more regarding Jeph-thah.

The situation is familiar. The people did evil in the eyes of God, and God sent the Am-mo-nites to oppress them. The people cried out to the Lord, but He responded by stressing their continual rebellion and told them to cry out to the gods they had chosen. The point hit home, and the Israelites put away the foreign gods. They also met at Miz-pah to discuss the situation. They decided to ask for help from Jeph-thah. Because he was the son of a prostitute, Jeph-thah had been ostracized and had left home. He had also accumulated a large following of adventurers. It was this demonstrated leadership that attracted the Israelite leaders, and they agreed to make Jeph-thah their head so that he might deliver them.

Jeph-thah is most noted for the promise he made to God before he went to war: “If you give the Am-mo-nites into my hands, whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Am-mo-nites will be the LORD’S, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering”. He won the battle, but when he returned, the first thing that came out to meet him was his daughter, his only child. The usual translation of the vow implies that he then performed a human sacrifice. The word translated “and,” however, could also be rendered “or,” and in this case, it seems to indicate that Jephthah anticipates two possible outcomes.

This interpretation is supported, first, by the response of the daughter, who asks for time to lament that she will not be able to marry—not that she is going to die. Second, the text never uses the words “sacrifice” or “burnt offering” in this section, but rather that “he did to her as he had vowed”. Third, human sacrifice was an abomination among pious Israelites. While it was sometimes practiced in the land, it took place always in the context of service to false gods. In this light, I would suggest that Hannah’s dedication of Samuel to God is the model for what we see here.

The extended narrative on Jeph-thah is followed by a short section that lists three more judges. Ib-zan, E-lon, and Ab-don are cited as people who judged Israel for short periods of time. The significant point of these final three leaders is that each served in different regions. Moreover, we are not told that the whole nation of Israel enjoyed the periods of peace pointed out under the earlier judges. This overall pattern will come to a climax with the last major judge, Samson.

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.

The Best of Times, the Worst of Times, Part 9 (Covenant and the Cross #116)

Welcome to the Covenant and the Cross Podcast. This is episode #116. 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 6:22-27 which reads: “But Joshua had said unto the two men that had spied out the country, Go into the harlot’s house, and bring out thence the woman, and all that she hath, as ye sware unto her. And the young men that were spies went in, and brought out Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred, and left them without the camp of Israel. And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord. And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father’s household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho. And Joshua adjured them at that time, saying, Cursed be the man before the Lord, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it. So the Lord was with Joshua; and his fame was noised throughout all the country.”

Regarding this passage, Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown wrote in their commentary: “It is evident that the town walls were not demolished universally, at least all at once, for Rahab’s house was allowed to stand until her relatives were rescued according to promise. Rahab and her kindred underwent a temporary exclusion, in order that they might be cleansed from the defilement of their native idolatries and gradually trained for admission into the society of God’s people. They burned all that was within the city except the silver, gold, and other metals, which, as they would not burn, were added to the treasury of the sanctuary. Rahab dwelleth in Israel unto this day is a proof that this book was written not long after the events related. Joshua imposed upon his countrymen a solemn oath, binding on themselves as well as their posterity, that they would never rebuild that city. Its destruction was designed by God to be a permanent memorial of His abhorrence of idolatry and its attendant vices. Whoever makes the daring attempt to build Jericho shall become childless–the first beginning being marked by the death of his oldest son, and his only surviving child dying at the time of its completion. This curse was accomplished five hundred fifty years after its denunciation.”

Today’s quote about the Bible is from Helen Keller. She said: “Unless we form the habit of going to the Bible in bright moments as well as in trouble, we cannot fully respond to its consolations.”

Our topic for today is titled “The Best of Times, the Worst of Times, Part 9” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

That night Gideon arranged his “army” around the Mi-di-a-nite camp just after they had changed the mid-watch. Each of his soldiers had a trumpet, a torch under a pitcher, and a sword. At Gideon’s command, they all broke their pitchers, whipped their torches into flame, sounded the trumpets, and shouted. This racket awoke the camp of the Mi-di-a-nites and their allies. In the darkness, these disparate armies began fighting each other—while Gideon and his army observed. Soon Gideon and his handful of troops were pursuing the remnant. They also sent messengers to nearby tribes and asked for help. Several tribes, including Ephraim, sent help. After they had finished mopping up, the Ephraimites complained that they had not been in on the original battle. But Gideon was able to mollify them by pointing out that they had captured two of the key Mi-di-a-nite leaders.

However, not everyone was willing to help. As Gideon and his troops crossed over into the region of Transjordan, he asked for provisions from the Israelite towns of Suc-coth and Pe-ni-el. He was refused this aid, and he promised retribution on his return. After routing the last of the Midianite army and capturing its leaders, he returned and exacted retribution as promised. At this point, the Israelites asked Gideon to be king, but he refused. He desired to focus the worship of Israel on God and decided to set up an ephod with contributions from each of the Israelite leaders. Even these good intentions went wrong, however, and the ephod became a religious snare for the Israelites.

Gideon then retired. He had many wives who produced seventy sons, as well as at least one concubine who had a son named A-bi-me-lech. After Gideon died, the people again went after false gods (this time the text says they “prostituted themselves”). Law and order also broke down, and A-bi-me-lech persuaded the people of She-chem to make him king. They gave him silver from their temple, which was dedicated to Ba-al-Be-rith, and with this money he hired a gang of ruffians. A-bi-me-lech then took this gang to his father’s house at O-phrah and executed all but one of his brothers. The youngest brother, Jot-ham, escaped, but before he fled, he gave a parable to the people of She-chem and pronounced a curse on them for their dishonorable deeds.

Three years later there was a falling out between the men of She-chem and A-bi-me-lech (their “king”). A-bi-me-lech led his forces against the town and destroyed it. He then advanced on the nearby town of The-bez, which had apparently joined She-chem in the revolt. As they assaulted the town, a woman dropped a millstone from the tower on his head, mortally wounding him. At this he requested that his armor-bearer finish him off so that it could not be said that a woman had killed him.

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.

The Best of Times, the Worst of Times, Part 9 (Covenant and the Cross #116)

Welcome to the Covenant and the Cross Podcast. This is episode #116. 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 6:22-27 which reads: “But Joshua had said unto the two men that had spied out the country, Go into the harlot’s house, and bring out thence the woman, and all that she hath, as ye sware unto her. And the young men that were spies went in, and brought out Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred, and left them without the camp of Israel. And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord. And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father’s household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho. And Joshua adjured them at that time, saying, Cursed be the man before the Lord, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it. So the Lord was with Joshua; and his fame was noised throughout all the country.”

Regarding this passage, Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown wrote in their commentary: “It is evident that the town walls were not demolished universally, at least all at once, for Rahab’s house was allowed to stand until her relatives were rescued according to promise. Rahab and her kindred underwent a temporary exclusion, in order that they might be cleansed from the defilement of their native idolatries and gradually trained for admission into the society of God’s people. They burned all that was within the city except the silver, gold, and other metals, which, as they would not burn, were added to the treasury of the sanctuary. Rahab dwelleth in Israel unto this day is a proof that this book was written not long after the events related. Joshua imposed upon his countrymen a solemn oath, binding on themselves as well as their posterity, that they would never rebuild that city. Its destruction was designed by God to be a permanent memorial of His abhorrence of idolatry and its attendant vices. Whoever makes the daring attempt to build Jericho shall become childless–the first beginning being marked by the death of his oldest son, and his only surviving child dying at the time of its completion. This curse was accomplished five hundred fifty years after its denunciation.”

Today’s quote about the Bible is from Helen Keller. She said: “Unless we form the habit of going to the Bible in bright moments as well as in trouble, we cannot fully respond to its consolations.”

Our topic for today is titled “The Best of Times, the Worst of Times, Part 9” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

That night Gideon arranged his “army” around the Mi-di-a-nite camp just after they had changed the mid-watch. Each of his soldiers had a trumpet, a torch under a pitcher, and a sword. At Gideon’s command, they all broke their pitchers, whipped their torches into flame, sounded the trumpets, and shouted. This racket awoke the camp of the Mi-di-a-nites and their allies. In the darkness, these disparate armies began fighting each other—while Gideon and his army observed. Soon Gideon and his handful of troops were pursuing the remnant. They also sent messengers to nearby tribes and asked for help. Several tribes, including Ephraim, sent help. After they had finished mopping up, the Ephraimites complained that they had not been in on the original battle. But Gideon was able to mollify them by pointing out that they had captured two of the key Mi-di-a-nite leaders.

However, not everyone was willing to help. As Gideon and his troops crossed over into the region of Transjordan, he asked for provisions from the Israelite towns of Suc-coth and Pe-ni-el. He was refused this aid, and he promised retribution on his return. After routing the last of the Midianite army and capturing its leaders, he returned and exacted retribution as promised. At this point, the Israelites asked Gideon to be king, but he refused. He desired to focus the worship of Israel on God and decided to set up an ephod with contributions from each of the Israelite leaders. Even these good intentions went wrong, however, and the ephod became a religious snare for the Israelites.

Gideon then retired. He had many wives who produced seventy sons, as well as at least one concubine who had a son named A-bi-me-lech. After Gideon died, the people again went after false gods (this time the text says they “prostituted themselves”). Law and order also broke down, and A-bi-me-lech persuaded the people of She-chem to make him king. They gave him silver from their temple, which was dedicated to Ba-al-Be-rith, and with this money he hired a gang of ruffians. A-bi-me-lech then took this gang to his father’s house at O-phrah and executed all but one of his brothers. The youngest brother, Jot-ham, escaped, but before he fled, he gave a parable to the people of She-chem and pronounced a curse on them for their dishonorable deeds.

Three years later there was a falling out between the men of She-chem and A-bi-me-lech (their “king”). A-bi-me-lech led his forces against the town and destroyed it. He then advanced on the nearby town of The-bez, which had apparently joined She-chem in the revolt. As they assaulted the town, a woman dropped a millstone from the tower on his head, mortally wounding him. At this he requested that his armor-bearer finish him off so that it could not be said that a woman had killed him.

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.

The Best of Times, the Worst of Times, Part 8 (The Covenant and the Cross #115)

Welcome to the Covenant and the Cross Podcast. This is episode #115. 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 6:18-21 which reads: “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. So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.”

Regarding this passage, Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown wrote in their commentary: “Generally they were at liberty to take the spoil of other cities that were captured. But this, as the first fruits of Canaan, was made an exception; nothing was to be spared but Rahab and those in her house. A violation of these stringent orders would not only render the guilty persons obnoxious to the curse, but entail distress and adversity upon all Israel, by provoking the divine displeasure. These were the instructions given, or repeated, previous to the last act of the siege. So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets–Towards the close of the seventh circuit, the signal was given by Joshua, and on the Israelites’ raising their loud war cry, the walls fell down, doubtless burying multitudes of the inhabitants in the ruins, while the besiegers, rushing in, consigned everything animate and inanimate to indiscriminate destruction. Jewish writers mention it as an immemorial tradition that the city fell on the Sabbath. It should be remembered that the Canaanites were incorrigible idolaters, addicted to the most horrible vices, and that the righteous judgment of God might sweep them away by the sword, as well as by famine or pestilence. There was mercy mingled with judgment in employing the sword as the instrument of punishing the guilty Canaanites, for while it was directed against one place, time was afforded for others to repent.”

Today’s quote about the Bible is from Ronald Reagan. He said: “Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.”

Our topic for today is titled “The Best of Times, the Worst of Times, Part 8” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

The next day the people of the town found the altar broken. They concluded that Gideon had done it and demanded that Joash hand over his son. Joash argued that if Baal was truly a god, he could defend himself. Not only did he refuse to hand over his son—he also asserted that anyone who fought for Baal would be put to death.

With this, Gideon was almost ready to lead the troops into battle against the Mi-di-a-nites. After calling them together, he verified that he had understood God correctly. Two nights running he put a sheep fleece out on the ground (ironically, on the threshing floor he had avoided earlier while threshing wheat) and asked for God’s verification. The first night he asked God that the fleece be wet with dew while the ground was dry, and the second night he asked that those be reversed.8 Both requests were granted, and Gideon led his troops toward the Mi-di-a-nites.

Because Gideon was a man of great faith, God was going to ask more of him. After sounding the alarm by blowing the trumpet and sending messengers throughout the region, Gideon had gathered 32,000 troops—more than three times the number Deborah and Barak had used. Now God told him the number was too large. God wanted to be sure that the people would not think the upcoming victory was a result of their own strength. After all, the primary purpose was to remind the Israelites who their su-ze-rain was and to show them that they had erred. So God had Gideon announce that anyone who had any fears was free to return home with no questions asked. As a result, 22,000 troops left, so that Gideon had an army the same size as Barak’s.

But even this was too many. God told Gideon to survey the troops as they drank water from the local watering hole. Most of the troops knelt down and put their faces in the water. A small minority knelt down and used their hands to bring the water to their mouths. These were kept, and the rest were sent home. Now Gideon had but three hundred troops to face a large multitude of Midianites and their allies (apparently in the range of 135,000). Here he really had to trust God. To increase his confidence, God sent him into the enemy camp the next night to listen to the conversation. There he heard one of the Midianites relating a dream. His friends were interpreting it as showing that God was going to defeat them by the hand of Gideon.

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.

The Best of Times, the Worst of Times, Part 7 (Covenant and the Cross #114)

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.

PODCAST: The Best of Times, the Worst of Times, Part 6 (Covenant and the Cross #113 with Daniel Whyte III)

Welcome to the Covenant and the Cross Podcast. This is episode #113. 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 6:12-15 which reads: “And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the Lord. And seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord went on continually, and blew with the trumpets: and the armed men went before them; but the rereward came after the ark of the Lord, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets. And the second day they compassed the city once, and returned into the camp: so they did six days. And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times: only on that day they compassed the city seven times.”

Regarding this passage, Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown wrote in their commentary: “The second day’s procession seems to have taken place in the morning. In all other respects, down even to the smallest details, the arrangements of the first day continued to be the rule followed on the other six. On account of the seven circuits they had to make that day. It is evident, however, that the militia only of the Israelites had been called to the march–for it is inconceivable that two millions of people could have gone so frequently round the city in a day.”

Today’s quote about the Bible is from Johann A. Bengel. He said: “Apply yourself wholly to the Scriptures, and apply the Scriptures wholly to yourself.”

Our topic for today is titled “The Best of Times, the Worst of Times, Part 6” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

In the narrative account of the battle, we are told only that Sisera and his army (including nine hundred chariots) were routed. In Deborah’s victory song, however, we learn that God intervened in the form of sending sudden rain on the battlefield. With the battle clearly lost, Sisera fled on foot, ending up in front of the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber, a Kenite. She invited Sisera in, because at the time, the Canaanites and the Kenites were on friendly terms. When Sisera asked for some water to assuage his thirst, she gave him milk (which would have been warm, for there was no refrigeration) and covered him with a rug. After he had fallen into a deep sleep from exhaustion, she took a tent peg and drove it through his skull, killing him. When Barak, who was pursuing Sisera, showed up, Jael showed him the dead general. Thus, when Deborah wrote her victory song, it was Jael who received the credit for killing the Canaanite general.

Following this battle, the Israelites were able to overthrow the rest of the Canaanite forces. Apparently Hazor was burned again and this time remained unsettled for several hundred years, probably until the time of Solomon.

DEBORAH’S SONG
In the battle against Sisera’s army, according to the Song of Deborah, “the clouds poured down water” and the “river Kishon swept them away”. This sudden rain seems to have turned the soil into mire, bogging down the chariots and making them easy targets for the Israelites who were on the slopes above. Judges 5 is ancient poetry and somewhat difficult to understand, but there are interesting expressions within it. For example, verse 20 talks of how the stars fought from heaven. This language seems to suggest involvement of angelic beings, but that allusion is not clear. Another interesting point is how Deborah condemned the other tribes for not participating in the conflict. These words may indicate that all the tribes (or at least the northern ones) were asked to participate but that God had known in advance that only two would do so.

WHO WERE THE KENITES?
Jael’s husband, Heber, is identified as a Kenite. The Kenites were the relatives of Moses’ father-in-law. A number of them joined the Israelites as they came into the land. Judges 1:16 tells of how they settled in the land, although the area they chose was in the south, near Arad. Jael’s heroic deed occurred about 160 years later

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.

PODCAST: The Best of Times, the Worst of Times, Part 5 (The Covenant and the Cross #112 with Daniel Whyte III)

Welcome to the Covenant and the Cross Podcast. This is episode #112. 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 6:6-11 which reads: “And Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said unto them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord. And he said unto the people, Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the Lord. And it came to pass, when Joshua had spoken unto the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns passed on before the Lord, and blew with the trumpets: and the ark of the covenant of the Lord followed them. And the armed men went before the priests that blew with the trumpets, and the rereward came after the ark, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets. And Joshua had commanded the people, saying, Ye shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout; then shall ye shout. So the ark of the Lord compassed the city, going about it once: and they came into the camp, and lodged in the camp.”

Regarding this passage, Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown wrote in their commentary: “The pious leader Joshua, whatever military preparations he had made, surrendered all his own views, at once and unreservedly, to the declared will of God. The seven priests passed before the ark, called “the ark of the covenant,” for it contained the tables on which the covenant was inscribed. The procession was made in deep and solemn silence, conforming to the instructions given to the people by their leader at the outset, that they were to refrain from all acclamation and noise of any kind until he should give them a signal. It must have been a strange sight; no mound was raised, no sword drawn, no engine planted, no pioneers undermining–here were armed men, but no stroke given; they must walk and not fight. Doubtless the people of Jericho made themselves merry with the spectacle”

Today’s quote about the Bible is from Abraham Lincoln. He said: “I am profitably engaged in reading the Bible. Take all of this Book that you can by reason and the balance by faith, and you will live and die a better man. It is the best Book which God has given to man.”

Our topic for today is titled “The Best of Times, the Worst of Times, Part 5” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

The heart of the book of Judges focuses on three people. They are sometimes called major judges because of the amount of material devoted to them. They illustrate the pattern we have already noted. The first major judge was a woman, which I find very interesting—indeed, she held a position of leadership even before she assumed the role of deliverer.

As the account begins, we see the same pattern: the Israelites did evil and as punishment were subjugated. This time the oppression came from the north, specifically from Hazor, which had been rebuilt from the time of Joshua’s conquest. If our dating of the judges is correct and Deborah began her work around 1239 BCE, then it had been about 160 years since Joshua had destroyed the city at the end of the conquest. The leaders of Hazor were Jabin, the king, and Sisera, the commanding general. Deborah lived farther south in the region of Ephraim, where she had acquired a degree of fame as a prophetess and a judge (in a legal sense). As prophetess, she sent for a leader of the tribe of Naphtali named Barak. The word she had for him from God was that he was to take ten thousand militia from Naphtali and Zebulun and go to Mount Tabor. There, he was told, God would bring the Canaanites, and he was to defeat them.

Barak accepted her word, but he put up one qualification: “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go”. Deborah agreed but told him that there would be a cost. If she went along, he would not get honor for the victory; rather, it would go to a woman. It is to Barak’s credit that he was unconcerned about who got the honor, and he agreed to the condition.

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.

The Best of Times, the Worst of Times, Part 4 (Covenant and the Cross #111)

Welcome to the Covenant and the Cross Podcast. This is episode #111. 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 6:1-5 which reads: “Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in. And the Lord said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour. And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.”

Regarding this passage, Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown wrote in their commentary: “This first verse is a parenthesis introduced to prepare the way for the directions given by the Captain of the Lord’s host. The language intimates that a purpose already formed was about to be carried into immediate execution; and that, although the king and inhabitants of Jericho were fierce and experienced warriors, who would make a stout and determined resistance, the Lord promised a certain and easy victory over them. Directions are here given as to the mode of procedure. Hebrew, “horns of jubilee”; that is, the bent or crooked trumpets with which the jubilee was proclaimed. It is probable that the horns of this animal were used at first; and that afterwards, when metallic trumpets were introduced, the primitive name, as well as form of them, was traditionally continued. The design of this whole proceeding was obviously to impress the Canaanites with a sense of the divine omnipotence, to teach the Israelites a memorable lesson of faith and confidence in God’s promises, and to inspire sentiments of respect and reverence for the ark as the symbol of His presence. The length of time during which those circuits were made tended the more intensely to arrest the attention, and to deepen the impressions, both of the Israelites and the enemy. The number seven was among the Israelites the symbolic seal of the covenant between God and their nation.”

Today’s quote about the Bible is from John Quincy Adams. He said: “So great is my veneration for the Bible, that the earlier my children begin to read it the more confident will be my hopes that they will prove useful citizens to their country and respectable members of society.”

Our topic for today is titled “The Best of Times, the Worst of Times, Part 4” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

The process began early. Because of the apostasy of the people, God allowed Cushan-Rishathaim (kuh-shan rish-a-thaim) from Mesopotamia (me-so-po-ta-mi-a) to move in and oppress the people. After eight years, the people began to cry out to God. In response God raised up for them the first judge, Othniel, (oth-ni-el) the nephew of Caleb who had won Caleb’s daughter by conquering the city of Debir, formerly called Kiriath Sepher (ki-ri-ath sef-ir). Through God’s Spirit, Othniel (oth-ni-el) led the uprising, and the Israelites were able to win deliverance. As a result, there was peace for forty years.

Then the cycle began again. The Israelites again “did evil.” This time God’s instrument was King Eglon of Moab, who was allied with the Ammonites and the Amalekites. Interestingly, we find that he occupied Jericho (“the City of Palms”).2 After eighteen years, the people cried out to God, and He raised up Ehud to be judge. Using his left-handedness, Ehud was able to smuggle a sword into a meeting with Eglon and kill him. Ehud then escaped and sounded the alarm to gather the Israelite troops. Taking advantage of the loss of the Moabite king, the Israelites drove out their oppressors. Here we find the longest period of peace during the time of the judges.

At the end of this section, we read of one more judge who served at the end of this period, Shamgar. All we are told about him is that he attacked the Philistines (which would put him on the southwest side of the country). We are not even told how long he served as judge.

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.

The Best of Times, the Worst of Times, Part 3 (Covenant and the Cross #110)

Welcome to the Covenant and the Cross Podcast. This is episode #110. 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 5:14-15 which reads: “And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servant? And the captain of the Lord’s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.”

Regarding this passage, Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown wrote in their commentary: “The host of the Lord is either the Israelitish people, or the angels, or both included, and the Captain of it was the angel of the covenant, whose visible manifestations were varied according to the occasion. His attitude of equipment betokened his approval of, and interest in, the war of invasion. The adoption by Joshua of this absolute form of prostration demonstrates the sentiments of profound reverence with which the language and majestic bearing of the stranger inspired him. The real character of this personage was disclosed by His accepting the homage of worship, and still further in the command, “Loose thy shoe from off thy foot””

Today’s quote about the Bible is from Francis Chan. He said: “Don’t fall into the trap of studying the Bible without doing what it says.”

Our topic for today is titled “The Best of Times, the Worst of Times, Part 3” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

This entire section seems hard to follow because we don’t arrive at the cause of these problems until Joshua 2:6. The crucial verse is 2:10, which notes that the people served God only as long as Joshua’s generation was alive. As the new generation matured and took leadership, the people went after the false gods of the people of the land. However, we must recall that this was an overall condemnation not only of that generation, but of the generations to follow. The passage makes clear that each time God sent a judge, the people would return to God only for that judge’s lifetime. After the judge died, the people returned to their evil ways until God again sent hard times. The entire process was a downward spiral, with each generation worse than the previous one.

We also need to understand what the book means by “judges.” We tend to interpret the word in terms of judicial procedure: a judge is one who arbitrates legal issues. Some of the “judges” in this period (e.g., Deborah) did handle legal matters, but that was not their function within the context of this book. Rather, the focus was on their national service to bring the people back to God by intervening in times of foreign oppression. The judges themselves were people chosen by God for specific circumstances. They tended to work regionally (as opposed to nationally). Because of this, there seems to have been overlap, as shown in the chart on page 198. Each judge also seems to have been given specific gifts from God to accomplish his or her task. These differed with every judge, and only some of them were spectacular gifts, such as the ones we associate with Samson.

IDOLATRY IN ISRAEL
After Joshua died, the Israelites are said to have done “evil in the eyes of the LORD.” This phrase is used at least seven times throughout the book of Judges. The defining use is the first one in Judges 2:11–13, where the text reads, “The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD. and served the Baals. They forsook the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They provoked the LORD. to anger because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths.”

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

Let’s Pray —

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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.