Welcome to the Covenant and the Cross Podcast. This is episode #128. 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 8:33-35 which reads: “And all Israel, and their elders, and officers, and their judges, stood on this side the ark and on that side before the priests the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord, as well the stranger, as he that was born among them; half of them over against mount Gerizim, and half of them over against mount Ebal; as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded before, that they should bless the people of Israel. And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessings and cursings, according to all that is written in the book of the law. There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the strangers that were conversant among them.”
Regarding this passage, Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown wrote in their commentary: “One half of Israel was arranged on Gerizim, and the other half on Ebal–along the sides and base of each with the priests and the Levites in full view of them. There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not. It appears that a much larger portion of the law was read on this occasion than the brief summary inscribed on the stones; and this must have been the essence of the law as contained in Deuteronomy. The immediate design of this rehearsal was attained by the performance of the act itself. It only related to posterity, in so far as the record of the event would be handed down in the Book of Joshua, or the documents which form the groundwork of it. Thus faithfully did Joshua execute the instructions given by Moses. How awfully solemn must have been the assemblage and the occasion! The eye and the ear of the people being both addressed, it was calculated to leave an indelible impression; and with spirits elevated by their brilliant victories in the land of promise, memory would often revert to the striking scene on mounts Ebal and Gerizim, and in the vale of Sychar.”
Today’s quote about the Bible is from Billy Graham who said: “If you are ignorant of God’s Word, you will always be ignorant of God’s will.”
Our topic for today is titled “Give Us a King Like the Rest of the Nations, Part 4” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.
Following the raising of Ebenezer, Israel was in a state of peace, such as we find mentioned a number of times in the book of Judges. Samuel was the judge now, and he made a yearly circuit from Bethel to Gilgal to Mizpah, although he moved back to the family home in Ramah. Things were fine for a number of years until Samuel grew older. He appointed his sons as judges, but as was often the case, the sons did not have the same faith and integrity as their father. Interestingly, they are recorded as serving in the south at Beersheba. Perhaps because they were that far away from home, they thought they could get away with corrupt activities.
Now, however, the people were no longer willing to put up with such corruption, and they asked Samuel to give them a king like the
rest of the nations. Two issues were involved: the failure of Samuel’s sons to serve God and national security. The Israelites seem to have grown tired of the foreign oppression. Unfortunately, they identified the lack of a strong human leader as the cause and did not realize that the reason for the oppression was a spiritual one—their failure to serve God.
Samuel took the request personally, as if he were being rejected. When he took the request to God, he was told that God was the one they were rejecting, not Samuel. The Lord also told Samuel to warn the people of what a king would do, but they were adamant. So God gave them what they wanted. As is often the case, what they wanted really wasn’t the best thing for them. More than that, the first king He gave them fit their idea of what a king should be. (As we shall see later, the second king would be the kind God desired.)
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.