History teaches everything including the future.

The High Benchmark of a Prophet in Israel Set and Initiated by Samuel

The High Benchmark of a Prophet in Israel Set and Initiated by Samuel 

00000Sam2The mighty Samuel was the effectual influential bridge between the chaotic ups and downs of the days of the Judges, and the days of stability and prosperity under David and Solomon. By the term, “bridge,” I do not mean that he was merely a passive filler who joins the two epochs together simply by being alive between their occurrence and during that transition. Far from it!  The spiritual void at the end of the book of Judges and the genesis of First Samuel that revealed a desolated and godless nation state of Israel, actually precipitated his conception and birth. The power and force of his prophetic gift and the management of that gift in facilitating the means of him passing on the baton to future generations, shows him as a definitive towering pillar of seminal prophetic input.  His character, teaching and influence propelled Israel into a period of time and an outlook of faith that even 3,000 years later is referred to as the halcyon days of the nation of Israel. Samuel is the ultimate Old Testament prophet in Israel. He plied his trade as a prophet, toiled, preached, prayed, pursued and was troubled with the burden of the nation his entire life from the moment God first spoke to him. Jewish tradition says he was about 100 years old when he died. For that lifetime, Israel sunk first during his youth as Samuel’s authority was beginning to take root, and finally was in a state of continuous growth and expansion until it was in a position to grow without him.

Hail Samuel! Mighty man of God!

The book of First Samuel is the history of four people; Hannah, Samuel, Saul and David. Hannah produced Samuel, Saul tested Samuel’s grace, and David gained more from Samuel in only two meetings than the rest of the nation gleaned from his whole life’s circuit preaching in Judah and Benjamin.

I have read, meditated and pawed over Samuel’s life for many years. The more I read of him. The more I love him. If a person ever undertook to make a comprehensive character study of the men in the Old Testament who are referred to as “prophets” and of their lifelong activities, one would be conf2ronted, nay, challenged with a bewildering and perplexing variety of human kind of which one cannot select a characteristic that one could refer to as “the norm amongst them. It is my opinion that we have more revealed of Samuel’s life and context than any of them. The fear of God, and the faithfulness to bring to people exactly what Yahweh was saying is the only norm that blankets them all. And Samuel was the first to set the bar high.

00000Sam4

One does not need a diploma in Theology to see that there is a marked difference between the likes of Saul, who stripped off his clothes and prophesied, lying naked all day and all night (1 Sam 19:24), Balaam who was corrupt and selling his gift to the highest bidder, and those like Samuel, whose thunderous, “This is what the Lord says,” exposed the spiritual rot of Israel in his day.

When people refer to the biblical “prophets,” the beginner, or the man on the street normally lets his mind go to names like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel. These are the “Major” prophets, not major because they were more important, but simply because their books are larger than the other twelve. There are twelve so called, “minor” prophets also. All these men have made contributions to the revelation of God to man through the their contribution to the scriptures that we call the Bible.  But all of these prophetic men who have prophetic books named after them were later developments within the river of prophetism in Israel. It could be said that the real river of the flow of the Spirit of God in Israel stretched back to a river source  in the person of the prophet Moses. Moses really does have a primary place in the history of God’s dealings with men. Read those first half a dozen verses of Hebrews 3. In God’s leading of his people, the revelation made to Moses for Israel was something that the nation was called to walk in until the arrival of Christ. Moses was a prototype of things to come.

The prophetic message of all prophets thereafter was a message conjoined to and rooted in the Mosaic revelation, in exactly the same manner in which the apostolic message was rooted in the teachings of Christ.

Because of the first five books of the Old Testament, Moses left a huge legacy. The construct of all prophetic messages and characters thereafter was to declare quite unequivocally the obligations and demands of the covenant made via Moses. The prototype of these was the first prophet in the land to speak to the entire nation once they were installed in Canaan – i.e. Samuel.  It would be true to say that Moses initiated and set in place a written piece of work that put down the parameters and definitions of what a prophet was and what the prophets would actually say.

Moses, like all prophets, spoke by God’s authority. To contradict Moses was like contradicting God. Samuel was the first prophet in Israel who addressed the whole nation and was acknowledged as the spiritual leader of the all the tribes. He attained that position by no other reason than the force of his integrity and character. David ruled the nation by virtue of him being anointed king. Samuel was there by virtue of who he was and what he carried  in his person from Yahweh.

00000Sam3

.

Samuel and all who followed him as prophet stood as heirs to the prophetic commission of Moses and his definition of the prophetic role. It goes without saying, at least to this writer, that all Old Testament prophets point forward to our Lord Jesus Christ who was as a second Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15 – 22). Needless to add, Moses was the pale shadow of which Christ was the substance that created the shadow.

Having said this, however, we assert that the first “proper” prophet, “official” prophet, acknowledged by the nation in his lifetime in Israel as a prophet, was not Moses (who never entered the promised land), but Samuel (1 Samuel 3:1-14). Samuel being captivated and immersed in the Mosaic covenant and its ramifications to the nation, was appointed by nobody but God Himself as a “judge,” “priest,” “prophet,” and forced by circumstance to be a kingmaker under God’s mighty hand.  I have read one Old Testament professor  who in describing Samuel succinctly said that he “defined the role of the prophets as guardians of the theocracy.” What a fantastic description!  He was the gatekeeper for the nation’s access to God’s thoughts and opinions. The people screamed for a king “like the other nations,” however it was Samuel’s burden to make sure that they understood that no one could supplant God’s authority over His people no matter how good or bad any king might have be. Samuel’s huge burden, a burden that turned out to be the crux of his legacy was the unenviable task of rebuking King Saul, and to challenge the entire nation to remain faithful to Yahweh’s covenant, as brought to them via Moses.

On these grounds, I assert that Samuel is the prototype of all that followed him. It is as if Samuel fleshes out the Old Testament Prophetic Constitution. He sets the stage, lays the tram lines, lays out the map for the army of people that came after him, those we refer to as the Classical Prophets, the Writing Prophets, or the Hebrew Prophets of the Old Testament.

No other prophet seems to ever fill Samuel’s shoes. Moses only had his role for forty years. With all the others, none of them seem to have been life long prophets, none of them had the social kudos and the administrative weight of responsibility within the nation, as Hannah’s son. We do not hear of the whole nation mourning for any of those that follow him.

Please hear my heart on this. In no way at all am I in anyway trying to demean any of the prophets because of the brevity of their ministry, their small contribution to the canon of scripture, or their lack of success in turning the nation around. God forbid that anybody should do such a thing. According to the Lord Jesus all of Samuel’s successors died because of the hardness of the heart of the Israeli people. On top of that, the man whom Christ declared to be the greatest was badly dressed, lived in the desert and ministered for no longer than three months at the extreme. I am referring of course to John the Baptist. John was dressed in camel skin and spent the vast majority of his ministry stood in the Jordan river soaking wet. I met a Jewish man once who told me that there is only one thing in the world that smells worse than camel skin, and that was wet camel skin. No great prophetic robe for John as there was for Samuel.

But I finish these notes on Samuel with an encouragement for my readers to read these notes again and consider the greatness of this man.

May God raise up more men of this calibre in the world, men who, by the word of God, and the power of the Holy Spirit, can extend the kingdom of Heaven.

00000Sam1

Advertisements
Categories: An Acorn becomes a Mighty Tree., Being a Prophet is a privilege, God's own Training School., History teaches everything including the future., Matured in the Keg, The Prophetic Benchmark | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

After a Century of Rebuilding a Nation Single Handed the Great Man Passes

State Funeral in the Nations Great Loss.

(1 Samuel 25:1)

Samuel died, and all the Israelites were gathered together and lamented him.”

4 Nebi Samuel

Nebi Samuel. The Prophet Samuel’s Tomb.

Here we are at the dreaded, yet sadly expected line of 1 Samuel 25:1. We can’t discuss this without digging into death, dying and what is left behind after a person has died. We are talking of bodies! Cadavers! We are face to face with the dust we came from, and the dust we return to. We are also confronted with the loss of greatness. A giant! More than a giant! A man continent had left the planet! The hole in the national psyche and confidence was enormous. Samuel died!

Since David left Samuel with Saul lying on the ground prophesying to the sky, as well as anybody else that happened to be in hearing distance, the two survivors of that trio had travelled quite some distance on their Timeline of life.

David and Jonathan had renewed their covenant of friendship having come to an accurate perception of the state of mind as well as the full motivation and rationale of Saul against David. Jonathan was truly trapped between a rock and a hard place. He was compromised by a deep and loyal love towards his father, and his brotherly love towards David. How hard must it have been for Jonathan to maintain both those relationships?  As a “by the way,” the discussions that some have concerning whether or not David and Jonathan had a homosexual relationship with all their talk of love and commitment, the shedding of tears and David’s comment of how Jonathan’s love surpassed the love of women, I personally find ridiculous.  The lifestyle and culture of David’s day, and the biblical context of morality and what was right and wrong, render the thought so utterly insane as to be beyond belief. There were prophets and men of God around David enough to have pointed the finger and told the king, “You are the man!”  If God shared with the prophet Nathan the facts of David’s adultery and murder because of an immoral heterosexual relationship, Gad or Nathan would have visited David very quickly about an immoral homosexual relationship. Both David and Jonathan were married in a heterosexual and relationship at the time.  Closeness of relationship with two people of the same sex is not a problem at all with God. It is the physical acts of a sexual nature between two people of the same sex and/or sodomy that scripture condemns.  But that is another subject for another day.

Nebi Samuel 5

A sign that speaks for itself

Moving on! David had taken the sword of Goliath from the priest Ahimelech at Nob while Doeg was secretly listening to them. He saw and heard the whole conversation and exchange of goods.  David knew that Doeg was there, as it happened, and suspected that he would report Ahimelech’s “treason” to the severity of the King. Ahimelech had no thoughts of disloyalty at all towards Saul, a fact which, if Doeg had been a man of integrity, he would have made plain to Saul. However he did not. If there was any sin involved in the discussion between Ahimelech and David it was David telling lies about having been on a secret mission for Saul in order to get the bread of the presence to eat and the sword of Goliath to carry. Doeg presented that story in such a pejorative manner that Saul ordered Doeg to kill Ahimelech and a huge number of Levites who were working with him.

David had also gone through the utter humiliation of pretending to be mad, i.e. insane, to save his life before the king of Gath.  Thereafter David stayed for various lengths of time at many different places. Adullam was one of the first camp sites he stayed at where up to 400 men joined him, including his brother’s and his father’s household. This suggests that the big house at Bethlehem, where David had been brought up, was deserted until David became king. The vacated home was of necessity for familial safety. Saul was after the family of Jesse. Then he went, strangely, to Mizpah in Moab, where his father stayed for safety by permission of the Moabite king.  This part of the story is oh so weird to this writer! Why?  Simply because it informs us that David’s parents were safer in the hands of a heathen king than they were in Israel in the hands of the king of Israel.

After that, the prophet Gad had a word from Yahweh that David should return to Judah, in the forest of Hereth.  It is at this point the scripture tells us of the horrific murder of 80 valiant priests simply because Ahimelech had given David Goliath’s sword and some bread. This word from the prophet Gad we later find out was extremely wise and propitious for David’s cause. When redistributing the gold and other items of booty taken from the heathen cities and nations that David had conquered or destroyed, he sent it to those towns, villages and cities that had looked after him while he was in his wilderness years. Many are listed;

Nebi Samuel 6

The tomb itself inside Nebi Samuel.

“David sent it to those who were in Bethel, Ramoth Negev and Jattir;  to those in Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa and Rakal; to those in the towns of the Jerahmeelites and the Kenites; to those in Hormah, Bor Ashan, Athak  and Hebron; and to those in all the other places where he and his men had roamed.” (1 Samuel 30:27-31). What horrible days they must have been. That word, “roamed,” sounds lonely, distraught and desperate.

Back in David’s camp the plot progressed by David slaying many Philistines while stopping the Philistine occupation of the Israeli city of Keilah. We are also told that Abiathar, the rightful High Priest joined David’s ranks and had brought with him the High Priest’s ephod.

In the latter end of 1 Samuel 23 and the whole of chapter 24 we have more details of Saul’s relentless pursuit of David, together with his army. What an incredible waste of manpower and national resources over the years. David left Keilah and was hiding and camping in as secretive manner as one could with what were now 600 men. The scripture says that David was moving, “from place to place.”  He stayed in the desert strongholds and then in the hills of the Desert of Ziph. During all this time he was being pursued by Saul and his forces. He stayed for a while in Horesh of Ziph. There Jonathan came to tell him that the king was on the way having found out where David was. Jonathan and David reconnected with the covenant between them and separated. That was the last time David and Jonathan ever saw each other in this life. David finished up in the Desert of Maon after the people of Ziph had betrayed him to Saul. After acting on this vital piece of information, Saul and his army were on the cusp of taking David when news arrived that the Philistines were attacking somewhere else in Israeli held territory, and so Saul had to leave his obsessive search for David to defend his own people. How ironic that, if it was not for that timely act of the Philistines, David would have possibly been killed. David moved to and lived in the strongholds of Engedi after that fracas.

After what was obviously a prolonged period at Engedi, Saul finally discovered David’s secret hideout and took his crack troops to attempt more time to take and kill the son of Jesse.  It was here that, arguably, Saul’s most humiliating experience occurred. He stopped at a certain cave to relieve himself. Soldiers were expected to go to the toilet on the road side whether urinating or defecating, or be shrouded in bushes if there were any. But that was not appropriate for the king. So we have the remarkably graphic story of Saul actually walking alone into the cave where David and his men were hiding. It was obviously a very long and tunnelled cave. While Saul threw his cloak aside and crouched to toilet, he actually had his back to David and was within striking distance for murder. The word picture that the scripture creates could not in any way put Saul in a more embarrassing, humiliating or vulnerable position. Famously, David cut off the corner of Saul’s cloak. His conscience was sensitive to what he had done, but he told his men that he flatly refused to endanger the life of “The Lord’s anointed.” A lesson he had obviously learned from Samuel. Thank God for the living word shared by a prophetic heart.

All these things must have taken several years to have occurred between the point of time that David left Samuel, and the point of time when Samuel passed on.

Samuel died at a ripe old age. Some Rabbis say he was ninety-eight while others affirm he was more than a hundred. He had been Israel’s thirteenth judge and its first prophet to the whole nation within the parameters of the Promised Land. All of Israel mourned Samuel’s death, and many turned out to see him buried in the grounds of his own family home in Ramah, probably in a tomb already prepared for him. Nebi Samuel (Samuel’s Crypt) still stands today.

Nebi Samuel 8

Inside Nebi Samuel.

David lost an important and influential friend, mentor, prophet and father figure too. How he must have wished to have Samuel’s mind on many issues!

Did David attend the funeral and join in with the national mourning, as he absolutely would have wanted to do?  Authorities differ in opinion. Those that believe David attended the funeral press the point of culture and decency, saying that Saul’s animosity would have been dropped for the duration of the mourning for the great prophet. “Jewish culture,” they say, “would have demanded that this is what would have happened.” Those that think David could not possibly have been allowed at the funeral, stress the opinion that Saul’s demented hatred of David was far too intense to be dropped for a funeral, no matter how deeply times of mourning were part of the psyche and cultural norms of Israel.

I have not the slightest idea as to which side of this debate is correct. My own opinion, however, is to say that if David had gone to Samuel’s funeral, I believe it would have been clearly stated in the scripture. I do not feel confident to assert my position any more than to make that statement.

Samuel is like a shadow of John the Baptist. Samuel and the Baptist are twin brothers in this regard. Both of them were great prophets. (Jesus said John was the greatest of them all). Both of them were forerunners of a great king. Both of them were Nazarites, and involved with preparation of a new age and culture that was to sweep over and beyond their mortal lives. All of Israel mourned for Samuel, while Christ Himself expressed grief at John’s death. John was killed because of rash words by mad king Herod who actually liked him. Samuel would possibly have been killed by a mad king if he had not experienced Yahweh fighting for him. Just like David, Samuel knew that King Saul would have loved to see him dead. Remember it was Samuel that asked Yahweh, “How can I go? (to Jesse’s home) if Saul hears it, he will kill me” (1 Samuel 16:2). In exactly the same way, the Lord kept David from the hands of the wicked. It is clear that Saul feared Samuel in much the same way as Herod feared John the Baptist. When both these kings had their respective prophets out of the way, they would have both been free to be as barbaric as they pleased.

2 Nebi Samuel

Click on this Map to read its content.

No matter how far back in history Samuel’s demise may have been, no matter how slowly news was circulated in Israel during those days, the entire nation was informed and was in distress with grief. The whole of Israel felt the tragic impact of the bereavement of one of God’s greatest. All of Israel was very profoundly moved by the departure of prophet Samuel ben Elkanah. We have no hard figures or statistics of how he was or was not listened to, of how people were or were not turned to faith, but there could not have been many who had not come to revere the man who turned the political, spiritual and social state of the nation around. He had become such a conspicuous figure in his lifetime to the degree that he impacted the destiny of the nation long after his death. He would have been greatly missed, and much spoken about and thought of, especially during the days of the nation mourning for their loss of him. Even now from the lofty future, some 3,000 years ahead of Samuel’s life and death, we can still see and understand the power and influence of the child who was given to God as the firstborn of an erstwhile barren Hannah.

Samuel’s awesome influence and impact on Israel had been of the same ilk as Moses. Hannah’s son exerted an influence on the nation of a similar status to that which stands connected with the prophet of the Exodus. He may have not been associated with such a stirring existential crisis in history as Moses was, but Samuel moved in the supernatural for a longer period than Moses, and the nation was clearly in slavery to a different kind of taskmaster than was  present in Moses’ hour.  As for the nation of Israel, as it was when they left Egypt and stayed in the desert to enter Canaan as an orderly theocracy – the experience can be compared as to the similar parallel situation of the chaos that Samuel was born into, and the kingdom it had become by the time of his death. It is arguable which of the two prophets had the more stubborn generation to contend with. Moses laid the foundation of a sacrificial system and theology that would stand until Messiah came.  Samuel laid foundations of which the superstructure of David’s and Solomon’s reign was solidly based. Moses left Israel with the book of Deuteronomy to guide the nation, while Samuel left them with a kind of written constitution in place, for kings right throughout the centuries to consult. The fact that Jerusalem was razed to the ground and the royal family was bundled off to Babylon did not in anyway mean that God had rescinded the monarchy. Christ was and still is the rightful heir of David’s throne when He was born, and will sit on David’s throne when He returns. Samuel punched his seal on a long generation by the same deep spirituality and relationship with God that Moses swam in. He hoisted the same high flying banner of intense reverence for Yahweh as Moses did. He was conjoined to the same profound belief in the reality of the covenant between Israel and Yahweh, just as Moses was. On top of all that, by pawing over every word that Samuel ever spoke we cannot miss the truth that he was gripped by the same conviction of the inseparable connection between a pure worship towards God, that brought a wonderful holistic flow of prosperity on the one hand of obedience, and an idolatrous defection and national calamity on the other if the covenant was broken. Walking with God precipitated Israel’s national prosperity. Idolatry was nothing but incipient poverty for the entire Israeli population. On all these issues, Moses and Samuel were identical twins conceived by the same seed and wearing the same clothes.

1 Nebi Shmuel

.

When reading the entire Old Testament, it can be said that nobody, had ever done more to rivet this truth on the minds and hearts of the people than Samuel, excepting the man that came down from Sinai with the Decalogue under his arms. It was the life mission of Samuel to show Israel that it made a huge cosmic difference to them in every conceivable way how they responded toward Yahweh, in worship, trust, and obedience, or without those godly traits. Samuel declared out and out battle to the death on the cold worldly idolatrous spirit, that permeated Israel in his early days – a spirit that is so natural to us all when we slacken our hold on Christ.

No doubt with many people of Israel, Samuel would be associated with a severity that would be said to push spirituality too far. But now Samuel had died many would be thinking they had not pursued God and the covenant far enough. Human beings have a trait of only counting their blessings, as those blessings die. “All the Israelites were gathered together and lamented him.” It would have been a huge State funeral in a nation utterly bereaved. It was the man that could not be replaced. His weight, insight and character was such a thing that nobody else could be promoted or “put in office” to replace him. Samuel was so unique that all Israel could do was grieve for his going.

Nebi Samuel 9

.

What an incredible testimony Samuel had been for all that was good and holy. If it was not for this man’s character Israel could have been under the jackboot of another heathen invasion and praying for God to raise up yet another Judge to lead them into freedom.  As one writer puts it when considering 1 Samuel 25:1, “What a living temple, what a divine epistle, written not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart!”

Where was Israel going now? What had they got now that Samuel was missing from the picture? All they had was a demonised king that seemed to spend most of his time chasing the hero of the people around the caves and strongholds of the hills and mountains of Israel. Whisperings and rumours that Saul was to be replaced by somebody else were rampant. It is no wonder the nation mourned and lamented the departure of one of Israel’s greatest sons. Perhaps the greatest! It was probably voiced, discussed and gossiped about that David should be the next king, however at the moment of Samuel’s death, it must have seemed like Saul was going to live interminably.

We feel almost sure that Samuel’s death could not have been properly responded to by David because of Saul’s issues about both he and the demised prophet. Saul may have even been relieved at Samuel’s passing. We shall see, soon afterwards however, that whatever Saul’s feelings and thoughts were at the point of Samuel’s death, he was later extremely desperate to know what the dead Samuel’s advice was on matters of State

It may have also been rumoured that David was simply in hiding or even dead. Nobody in Israel rightly knew the truth. It could not possibly have been known that he was moving towards actually living with some Philistine king in a Philistine city. That would have been a closely held secret at the time.

In Samuel we have the ultimate of a servant spirit, trained and disciplined from infancy to smother his own will and pay unbounded regard to the will of his Father in heaven. Samuel is the picture of the serene and holy believer, enjoying unseen fellowship with God, and finding in that fellowship a blessed balm for the griefs and trials of a wounded spirit. His conversation was in heaven. Samuel sowed to the Spirit, and of the Spirit he reaped life everlasting.

“Samuel died, and all the Israelites were gathered together and lamented him.”

Categories: 1 Samuel 25:1, An Acorn becomes a Mighty Tree., History teaches everything including the future., The Great Man Passes | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

New Testament Application of Old Testament History.

NEW TESTAMENT APPLICATION OF OLD TESTAMENT HISTORY

History comprises interim reports issued periodically.

Or:

History teaches everything, including the future

85937-00094

.

We need to make some twenty first century sense of the scene setting I have laid out for Samuel. I want to digress for a chapter here to explain something about History. I have always loved History. Any kind of history gets me hooked. I have stood in the very bedroom where John Wesley died. I have stood on the spot (or underneath the spot) where Charles I was beheaded in Whitehall. I have walked around Oliver Cromwell’s place and got carried away into other world’s by doing so. I have never been to Israel, yet, but I promise you, if you go – take my wife and I as companions and guides and I will give you the tour of the Holy Land that millions would envy.

For me, History lives. For me, the world is full of history that speaks, teaches, and challenges. However, History is NOT history unless it is the truth. History does not ever repeat itself, per se, but the historians generally repeat each other. Somebody said, “Any fool can make history. It takes a genius to write it.” Not so sure of that one. But I do believe history needs to be told, and history must be written by, of and for the survivors. The past is always a rebuke to the present and this is what we are about to discover.

The previous chapter was all about the history of the nation of Israel from the books of Joshua and Judges. Therefore, what dare we learn from that brief cursory recounting of what went on for the first few centuries of Israel occupying Canaan?

A great key to grasping the book of Joshua is the revelation by some deeply spiritual character similar to an F.B. Meyer, Dean Frederick W Farrar, or J Sidlow Baxter. I am not actually confident who it was that first opened up the scriptures by suggesting that Joshua is an Old Testament parallel to Paul’s letter to the Ephesians in the New Testament. I don’t know what that says to you, but to me I am suddenly flooded with insights, perceptions and ideas of thought that open up scripture in the Old Testament widely. If you are not au fait with either book let me say briefly that they are incredibly similar in the message content.

ff5ac-00091

.

In the books of Exodus and Joshua, God’s people have a geographical promised land to occupy. To get there the people have been slaves in Egypt for hundreds of years, and they have to pull up their roots and slog it for 40 years across the Sinai desert and beyond to take Canaan. This Promised Land is fully inhabited, walled and protected by some horrible cultures and seven nations. Having been supernaturally delivered from the external hold of Egypt, Israel spends 40 hard years, yes- a whole life time for some, trying to escape from Egypt internally (with all its culture and ways). There are nations to fight on the way. That is the entire story of Exodus, prior to Moses’ death, after which Joshua takes over. (I believe I have already noted somewhere, that “Joshua” is Hebrew for the name “Jesus”).

Again the supernatural power of God (it is only supernatural to us – it is His normal day at the office) facilitates Joshua leading the people of Israel into the Promised Land. There follows a generation of fighting, battling, warring and struggling. God told Israel that He would supernaturally lead them, guide them, and bring victory to the people of Israel. Every single man, woman, child, dog, cow and horse (if there were any) that belonged to the Canaanite nations  had to be killed, and then Israel were to take over the land with God’s blessing. As they lived according to God’s word and way they would become richer and richer, blessed and more blessed and incredibly numerous. However, the story tells us that Israel lost heart. They conquered “parts” of Canaan, and killed “some” of the Canaanites. Joshua died, the people ran out of “fight”, and they all tried to settle down as best as they could with Canaanites and Philistines being an absolute thorn in the flesh for Israel, preventing them from the destiny originally intended for them by God.

b410c-0004

Jerusalem.

So follow me when I say; “For Egypt, read the worldly culture outside of any Christian principle or faith. For the entire deliverance from Egypt and the seven nations that filled Canaan, read the world the flesh and the devil.  For walking through the Red Sea, read being baptised into Christ at conversion. For crossing the Jordan, read the baptism in the Holy Spirit. For the battles, that Israel entered into on entry to Canaan, read the Christian life and the search for Christ likeness and holiness. If you have understood what I am talking about here, I guarantee that the book of Joshua and explaining the concepts of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians will never be the same again, and will clearly not be as difficult to grasp.

The main issue is this: ISRAEL SPENT THOSE FIRST FEW HUNDRED YEARS IN COMPLETE MISERY LIVING WITHOUT THE FULL RAFT OF GOD’S  PROMISES BEING FULFILLED. THEY WERE LIVING BENEATH THE DESTINY AND PLAN THAT GOD HAD SET FOR THEM.  In addition, we need to know why this happened. It is my assertion that the church of Jesus Christ has lived far beneath the promises given to her, the authority inherited by her, and that the “promised land” of Spirit filled living is only partly enjoyed with lots of omissions.

Therefore, in this curriculum of lesson learning, we want all readers to grasp what it means, and how it happens that we possess our possessions. Our rightful possession is the baptism of the Holy Spirit, healing, health, prosperity, living in the power of the Spirit, the discernment of the Spirit, and a Christ-like life style that makes the world stop and shout, “Wow! How do they do that?” Those things have been given to those in Christ. How many of us see, hear or know about all those blessings. And trust me when I tell you that my list above is nothing more than the tip of a very large mountain of promises.

4d302-0003

Looking North on the Street of Prophets.

So, what do we say about this? Does history repeat itself?  I would prefer to answer that there are certain principles at work that are universal. When people succumb to these principles in a negative way, the same syndrome that plagued Israel, and has plagued the church of Christ over two thousand years, works its mischief to assist people miss their highest destiny. What are these principles? I cannot and will not ever be able to claim that I know each of these principles, but I observe and know of some very powerful ones in my life, the lives of others, and in the Bible, I see this working powerfully in Old Testament Israel and in a few New Testament believers.

I am going to randomly head these principles in a trio of thoughts. They are in random order of importance, priority and power. I do not know if one of these principles is any more powerful or important than the other two. But they all work extensively positively or negatively. It is you and I that make these principles positive or a negative in our lives. They are:

  1. Finishing with the past.
  2. Fighting in the present,  and
  3. Faith for the future.

Whatever cause and purpose you follow, these principles bite. I will briefly highlight how this philosophy worked, or did not work, for Israel and has or has not been working for the church of Jesus Christ universal in recent generations.

33. To be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way - that is not within everybody's power.

.

God Himself had to announce that Moses was dead because no other human was with him when he died. No one could move until Moses was dead. Moses was the leader. Yes, he had passed his “office” to Joshua, but Joshua could not “inherit” until Moses died. They were stuck on the banks of potential greatness, as well as the banks of the river, and on the cusp of possessing their possessions – but no more progress could be made until Moses had departed.

God Himself buried Moses and He announced the fact to Joshua. “Moses is dead, therefore arise and go over the Jordan,” says Yahweh in Joshua 1:1. Moses had to die.   There are three things to note in the lives of individuals, churches and movements before new territory can be taken.

A. Acknowledge the fact that some “Moses” person, place or thing, or even a “Moses” experience has to die. “After the death of Moses …” Joshua 1:1). The past has to be dead and buried. The good as well as the bad. I am not talking of burying all consciousness of your “Moses”. I am talking of acknowledging that you are about to enter a new era, a new experience, a new lifestyle under a new voice of leadership and drive.

B. Wait for God to announce that Moses is dead before the new life can assert itself.  The more the past is left alive to dictate with its old talk, the less the new can be entered into.

C. Remember, always, that who and what we are in Christ starts from us standing on the shoulders of those that have gone before. God told Joshua “You will enable this people to inherit the land I vowed to their fathers to give them” (Joshua 1:6).

36. A Heart! A Heart! My Kingdom for a Heart! That Heart! That Heart! My Kingdom to that Heart!

.

This principle was a success point with Israel. They all submitted easily to Joshua. Joshua led them on. The weakness  was that the death and burial of the past was limited. Idols so easily were admitted into Israeli life. It was a part of Egyptian life that raised its ugly head after Joshua had gone on to his eternal reward.  This is something Samuel would have to deal with later on, and he did.

In the book of Acts, and throughout the letters of Paul we discover that the church found it extremely difficult to, “bury Moses,” as it were. Judaistic slaves of the Mosaic Law held the church back from entering into its full freedom in Christ.

It is the same with individuals as they move on in life to follow Christ with deeper levels of commitment. Unresolved conflicts, especially unresolved youth conflicts, can plague Christians into their senior years of serving Him. It even curtails some from serving God after only a few years. I know several men who were strong in God, who turned away from him when they fully realised that they couldn’t let their old life die so easily.

We are highlighting this principle as it plagued the life of the twelve tribes of Israel, and was something that Samuel dealt with strongly. Burying the past and turning ourselves around to live a new kind of lifestyle should be a high priority with all Christians.

Fighting in the present.

This is something that needs to be activated every moment in life until we pass over. Effort was needed to take the land of Canaan, and death defying effort was to be the norm until Canaan was populated by nothing and nobody but Israeli’s. That is the sort of effort needed for Samuel to get Israel into conquering mode. That is the sort of effort and attitude that was needed for the church of the New Testament, and that is the kind of effort you and I need to exert to “squeeze all the juice” out of knowing God. Life is a battle. And whether we like it or not, 24/7 and 365 days a year, morning, noon, or night, the intensity of that battle never lets up.

32. Being a Prophet is a privilege, but it is also an affliction and oh how painful is the Affliction.

.

The certainty of God’s promises is pivoted on the means to gain the fulfilment. That was true for Israel entering Canaan. It was true for Samuel, teaching the nation of Israel, in the story we are about to delve into. It was also true for the preaching of the crucified Christ in the New Testament. It is definitely true concerning ourselves and the progress of you and I achieve “in Christ”. God has given us something that has the broadest spectrum of His power and salvation in Christ, but the God given means to appropriate what has been given, still need to be utilised.

God told Joshua that he and the whole nation needed to be employed in fighting for the land. Samuel, too, needed helpers as we shall see. The church needed to move forward as a body of believers. Even Christ required disciples to accomplish His long term goals. You are obligated either to take somebody with you, or to follow somebody in your personal pursuit of the promised land of God’s salvation. “Lone Rangers” are an illegality in the Kingdom of God, in the church.

God also told Joshua in chapter 1:2 of the book that bears his name, that they were to go and take “the land which I give them.” That means specified, tangible, measurable goals were needed for Israel, and are an essential for you and I.

Without these precepts and concepts biting into our lives and targets, we will lose momentum in our battle of life and be defeated.

31. Kingdom business carries on bursting with life even though the kingdom has been promised to another. Damned and Doomed. But serving still.

.

A privilege is a special right to something, and/or an advantage upon and over many other people. Yahweh actually said to Joshua, in verse 3, “Every place on which the sole of your foot shall tread, I have given you.” God tells them “now” – that is, “in the present” and what Joshua would do in the now was to build and determine what will happen in the future, but He uses past tense as to the fulfilment. “Go now, Joshua!”, “Wherever you will put your feet…”, “I have already given it to you!” God lives outside of time. He comes into time and talks in our linear existential terms so that we can understand Him, but know this; Wherever your future is …He is already there. If we tread “there”, understand that He has given us “there”. Know this also, that what God said to Joshua, when applied to my life, suggests that if I do not tread there, I shall never own there. Fears, anxieties, ignorance and other issues may befall me and stop me appropriating there. We might just get too tired to fight on, as did Israel. There can be no loopholes in the area where we tread. If there is, understand that the area of the loophole will be the area that causes us to fail.

There is no loophole in His promised land. God told Joshua that it was from the River Euphrates down to the river of Egypt (Joshua 1:4). Not one square inch was excepted. As Samuel was going to do in his lifetime, as the church needs to do, as Paul did, and as you and I need to do; grasp the fullness of the parameters of God’s promise. Know what His Word teaches. Know what God’s prophetic Rhema word to you is. Know what, in the battle and conflict of life, is lawful under God, righteous and in His will. Then take it by faith.

The Parameters were not only Northward and Southward, but east and westward also. “The land of the Hivites up to the great Western sea (that is the Mediterranean Sea).  “None will hold out before you all the days of your life” (Joshua 1:5). So there are no loopholes in the personalities that will confront you. Samuel was to learn this, the church of Christ generally today needs to know this, and you and I need to take hold of this. We are talking about man, woman, demon, political force, death, hell, the grave and anything else in all of creation. Nothing can withstand the power, the force and the idea of God’s promise to a person, persons, the church, or the nation of Israel. However, the recipients of the promise will always need to fight with the means given by the Almighty, in order to appropriate what has been given, that is, to possess one’s possessions.

33. To be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way - that is not within everybody's power.

.

“As I was with Moses, so I will be with you.” So, there are absolutely no loopholes on issues of comparison with previous generations of spiritual fighters or leaders. There are also no loopholes concerning God’s provision to facilitate the taking of the Promised Land, for He also says to Joshua, “I will never fail you, and I will never forsake you.” Ultimately, after all this, there can be no loophole in the concept of success or prospering in the task.

There is a huge responsibility in holding these truths and being armed with God’s promises. A responsibility is a moral or legal obligation to take care of something and to be accountable for it. Three times in Joshua 1:6, 7 and 9 God tells Joshua, “Be resolute and strong,” “Only be very resolute and strong,” and, “Have not I commanded you, be resolute and strong.” Therefore, there needs to be a setting of not only external measurable and tangible goals, but also goals and targets set in the heart that are consistent with God’s own heart. Resolution and strength as commanded to Joshua are essential and pivotal to the whole progress of gaining what has been promised. Therefore, there can be no loopholes in character. One huge loophole in Samuel’s character nearly undid all he worked for – but we shall see that when we get to it.

“You will enable this people to inherit the land that I vowed to their fathers to give them” (Joshua 1:6). If Joshua, Samuel, the Apostles, and you and I, carry the responsibilities as well as the privileges of receiving the promise, we will take others with us. That is the heart of God talking. Passing on the baton that God put in your hands, to the next generation, is part of the kingdom of God’s principles. In short, there is to be no loopholes in understanding the premise for which you are here in this life.

32. Being a Prophet is a privilege, but it is also an affliction and oh how painful is the Affliction.

.

“…keep practicing the whole law which Moses my servant commanded you…” (Joshua 1:7). There are no favourite doctrines, or comfortable emphases, or hobbyhorses to peddle to your followers or yourself. There can be no loopholes in integrity.

In summary, there are imperatives in the realm of the Spirit to facilitate holding truth in the heart for you and me, and anybody else in the world. Joshua 1:8 gives us the aerial view of all these principles. The word of promise needs to be totally at home in the mouth, in the heart, in the all round lifestyle, and in the success and prosperity that meditating on the Word brings.

Therefore, there is a need for resolution, strength, fearlessness and courage to enable people to take what God has promised them.

All these principles would have worked for Israel, Joshua, Joshua’s successors, Samuel, the Apostle’s, and they will work for you and I in this generation. It is the spoken and written promises of God, and the divine accompaniment to apprehend their fulfilment that is the ground of assurance to this call for a life of “daring do.”

The historical setting of Samuel’s arrival, to fulfil his role in life is a veritable word from God to our hearts. May we receive it fully and act on it.

Categories: History teaches everything including the future., New Testament Application of Old Testament History. | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

theministersmrs

New Adventures as a master of my own ship.

TB Joshua Watch

A comprehensive resource on TB Joshua and SCOAN

I WAS THE FUTURE ONCE blasts from my past

Notes, notes and more notes. Words I still believe could change the world

The Bible Through the Seasons

A Three-Year Journey with the Bible

Conforming To The Truth

Letting the text of God's Word teach us

AAAJ watchman

And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.

Apologetically, Yours....

Life as a Jesus loving, husband adoring, homeschooling, full time apologetics student

Prema Sunder Raj's Blog

Tamil Christian Family Bible Study Devotions

Break Away

Lifestyle | Food | Art | Faith | Music

God Running

There's only one place in the bible where we see God running.

Kingdom EMC

Info about Kingdom Evangelical Methodist Church in WV.

Knowing God through His Word ... Day by Day

Read the Bible through in a year....

Blake Williams

Broadcast Meteorology Student at Mississippi State University | East Limestone High School Alumni | Athens, AL & Starkville, MS |

Raining Truth Bible Trivia

BIBLE TRIVIA FROM THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT

Daba

cos family is where it all begins!

Narrow is The Way Ministries

"Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Matthew 7:14 (KJV)

Craig T. Owens

"Oh! that the power of God would set my heart and pen at liberty while writing, and fill your hearts while reading, that we may rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory." (John Newton)

Center for Evangelists

SOS Events - a life saving ministry

hocuspocus13

Magickal Arts