In His Grip Devotions
By Dr. Chuck F. Betters
Week of May 10, 2015
Week 2 – Where is Your Gilgal?
The crossing of the Jordan River was a type of judgment. “Jor” means “I spread”; Dan means “God is judge.” In New Testament times that river would become the very place where the Lord's forerunner, John the Baptizer exercised his ministry. And what was his message? “Repent.” That is, “judge yourselves.” By so doing the baptized masses acknowledged that death was what they deserved.
The priests carried the Ark of the Covenant into the River and did not emerge until the last of the elect were saved.
For the priests which bare the ark stood in the midst of Jordan until every thing was finished that the Lord commanded Joshua to speak unto the people, according to all that Moses commanded Joshua (Joshua 4:10).
Only then does he order that 12 large stones be carried out of this river of judgment and brought onto dry ground. They were to build a memorial altar with these stones and leave them at Gilgal, a special place for Israel, a celebrated place between the Jordan and Jericho, where the Israelites first encamped, after the passage of that river. It was where they first celebrated the Old Testament sacraments of circumcision and Passover. Gilgal continued to be the headquarters of the Israelites for several years while Joshua was busy subduing the land.
A large city was built there and became famous for many events. It was in Gilgal that the tabernacle rested until its removal to Shiloh. It was in Gilgal that the priest Samuel offered sacrifices and held his court as a judge of Israel. It was in Gilgal that Saul was crowned as Israel’s first King. A seminary was built in Gilgal and yet it afterwards appears to have become a seat of idolatry. This was Israel’s special place. It was the seat of great memories and miraculous victories. For what purpose? The next generation.
And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.” (Joshua 4:5-7 ESV)
Those large stones (they had to be carried on their shoulders) were arranged in such a manner (a la Stonehenge), possibly placed one on top of another so as to attract the attention and invoke the questions of any who would come after them. Our homes are to be our Gilgals where God works his wonders. My entire family, four children and 15 grandchildren was started in one of those homes and each of them has memoires of what God did in and through one family, one young man and his bride from which all of us have been touched. What are the memorial stones you have built for your families?
In His grip,
Dr. Chuck F. Betters
50% OFF through May 31 (Use Code TOE2015 to save $75.00)! Treasures of Encouragement Retreat: It’s in the Bag!
Planning a women’s retreat can be one of the best experiences of a woman’s ministry life or one of the worst! This resource is designed to make it one of the best, especially for groups with limited people and financial resources. It is based on the book, Treasures of Encouragement, Women Helping Women by Sharon W. Betters. At this printing, over 60,000 copies of this book have been sold. It’s message is simple yet profound, God gives us the privilege of being His promise keepers when we practice biblical encouragement. In the Treasures of Encouragement Retreat seminars Sharon shares how biblical encouragement was God’s pathway into her broken heart after the death of her son. Her transparency and responsible handling of scripture not only equips women to be biblical encouragers but also helps broken-hearted women believe that God is sovereign and they can trust Him. The Retreat Planning Guide is intentionally designed to implement the core values of connecting, community and compassion in the retreat with the goal of these values spilling over into the lives of the participants and ultimately in their local churches.
Seminar Titles are:
Will You Sing at Midnight?
Deborah, God’s Promise Keeper
Treasures in the Waiting Room
Treasures of the Soul in the Wilderness of Suffering
Visit www.treasuresofencouragement for more details. This “bag” is packed with everything you need to plan and enjoy a special women’s retreat.