PODCAST: The Best of Times, the Worst of Times, Part 8 (The Covenant and the Cross #115 with Daniel Whyte III)

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.