Welcome to the Covenant and the Cross Podcast. This is episode #121. 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 8:1-2 which reads: “And the Lord said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither be thou dismayed: take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up to Ai: see, I have given into thy hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land: And thou shalt do to Ai and her king as thou didst unto Jericho and her king: only the spoil thereof, and the cattle thereof, shall ye take for a prey unto yourselves: lay thee an ambush for the city behind it.”
Regarding this passage, Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown wrote in their commentary: “By the execution of justice on Achan, the divine wrath was averted, the Israelites were reassured, defeat was succeeded by victory; and thus the case of Ai affords a striking example of God’s disciplinary government, in which chastisements for sin are often made to pave the way for the bestowment of those temporal benefits, which, on account of sin, have been withdrawn, or withheld for a time. Joshua, who had been greatly dispirited, was encouraged by a special communication promising him success in the next attempt, which, however, was to be conducted on different principles. The number of fighting men amounted to six hundred thousand, and the whole force was ordered on this occasion, partly because the spies, in their self-confidence, had said that a few were sufficient to attack the place, partly to dispel any misgivings which the memory of the late disaster might have created, and partly that the circumstance of the first spoil obtained in Canaan being shared among all, might operate both as a reward for obedience in refraining from the booty of Jericho, and as an incentive to future exertions. The rest of the people, including the women and children, remained in the camp at Gilgal. Being in the plains of Jericho, it was an ascent to Ai, which was on a hill. God assured Joshua of Ai’s capture, but allowed him to follow his own tactics in obtaining the possession.”
Today’s quote about the Bible is from Patrick Henry who said: “The Bible is worth all the other books which have ever been printed.”
Our topic for today is titled “The Best of Times, the Worst of Times, Part 13” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.
The second episode involved a Levite who lived in Ephraim and who had a concubine from Bethlehem. She ran away, and he went after her. His father-in-law detained him, and after several false starts, the Levite and his concubine headed back late in the day. He refused to stop at the Canaanite city of Jerusalem and instead made it as far as the city of Gibeah in Benjamin. They were going to camp in the city square, but an old man invited them to his home instead. That night some wicked men assaulted the house demanding that the man be sent out to them. The text says literally, “Bring out the man who came to your house so we can know him” or “so we can have sex with him”). Some have tried to argue that the men were violating rules of hospitality. The Hebrew verb for “know,” however, is often used to indicate sexual relations (e.g. “Adam knew his wife and she conceived”). In other words, what the men of Gibeah were after was homosexual rape. The Levite kicked his concubine outside, and she was then assaulted by the men all night. Finally, she crawled to the door, where she died. When the Levite came out the next morning, she did not respond, so he put her body on the donkey and returned home.
The Levite then cut the woman’s body into twelve pieces and sent them to all the areas of Israel, no doubt with an explanation of what had happened. In response, the people of Israel gathered together and demanded that the leaders of Benjamin give up the men of Gibeah for punishment. They refused, and the result was a civil war. The people inquired of God regarding how the war should be fought and were somewhat frustrated when they followed God’s directions and lost on the first two days. On the third day, they were able to win, however, and in the process, they almost wiped out the tribe of Benjamin. Only six hundred men survived. They realized that the tribe was in danger of extinction, but they were also in an awkward situation, for they had made a vow that they would not allow the men of Benjamin to take wives from any other tribe.
They found two loopholes. First, the men of Jabesh Gilead had not come up to the battle. So they went there, killed off all the men and married women, and brought four hundred virgin women to Benjamin. This was not enough, so they set up a ruse whereby the remaining men would be able to kidnap wives during an annual festival at Shiloh. The book culminates with the most tragic observation. “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”
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.