PODCAST: The Best of Times, the Worst of Times, Part 12 (Covenant and the Cross #120 with Daniel Whyte III)

Welcome to the Covenant and the Cross Podcast. This is episode #120. 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 7:22-26 which reads: “So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran unto the tent; and, behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it. And they took them out of the midst of the tent, and brought them unto Joshua, and unto all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the Lord. And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor. And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the Lord shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones. And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So the Lord turned from the fierceness of his anger. Wherefore the name of that place was called, The valley of Achor, unto this day.”

Regarding this passage, Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown wrote in their commentary: “Joshua sent messengers, and they ran unto the tent from impatient eagerness not only to test the truth of the story, but to clear Israel from the imputation of guilt. Having discovered the stolen articles, they laid them out before the Lord, “as a token of their belonging to Him” on account of the ban. Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan with his children and all his property, cattle as well as movables, were brought into one of the long broad ravines that open into the Ghor, and after being stoned to death, his corpse, with all belonging to him, was consumed to ashes by fire. “All Israel” was present, not only as spectators, but active agents, as many as possible, in inflicting the punishment–thus testifying their abhorrence of the sacrilege, and their intense solicitude to regain the divine favor. As the divine law expressly forbade the children to be put to death for their father’s sins, the conveyance of Achan’s “sons and daughters” to the place of execution might be only as spectators, that they might take warning by the parental fate; or, if they shared his punishment, they had probably been accomplices in his crime, and, indeed, he could scarcely have dug a hole within his tent without his family being aware of it. They raised over him a great heap of stones, as is customary to raise cairns over the graves of criminals or infamous persons in the East still. The name of that place was called the valley of Achor, meaning “trouble”, unto this day. So painful an episode would give notoriety to the spot, and it is more than once noted by the sacred writers of a later age.”

Today’s quote about the Bible is from John Locke who said: “The Bible is one of the greatest blessings bestowed by God on the children of men. It has God for its author; salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture for its matter. It is all pure.”

Our topic for today is titled “The Best of Times, the Worst of Times, Part 12” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

The last five chapters of Judges give two accounts that illustrate how depraved the nation had become. Both incidents involve Levites, who were supposed to be the spiritual leaders of the nation. And both are characterized by the phrase, “Each man did what was right in his own eyes.”

The first account involves a man named Micah who lived in Ephraim. Micah had stolen a large amount of silver from his mother. When she pronounced a curse on the thief, he admitted his guilt and returned the money. She then gave it back to him to make an idol, which he did. After he had set up this idol in a shrine, an out-of-work Levite named Jonathan ben Gershom from Bethlehem came by. Micah hired him to be a priest to him and to tend his shrine.

Some time later, men from the tribe of Dan came through looking for new territory for their people because they were being pressured by the Philistines from the west. They found Micah’s shrine and asked if they would have success in their mission. Jonathan assured them that they would, and they went on their way. Later they found a Canaanite city named Laish far to the north. It was isolated enough that they felt confident in attacking it, and then they returned for their families and friends. As they migrated north, they stopped at Micah’s place again. This time they took the shrine (and idol). When Jonathan tried to stop them, they gave him a chance to go with them and serve the same idol for a larger audience. They also threatened him with death if he tried to stop them. Jonathan went with them, and they soon reached Laish. After conquering the city, they called it Dan.

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.