THE MESSAGE NOW
Vol. 2, No. 12 – Monday, 20th March, 2017
(Josh.9:1-27, 2 Sam.21:1-14)
THE POWER AND EFFECT OF SIGNATURE AND OATH IN CONTRACTS AND COVENANTS (Part 2)
Part 2 of last week’s message begins today with two inquisitions. First, it is understood from our text that the Gibeonites came with subtilty, guile and deception to the elders of Israel led by Joshua (Josh.9:4, 14-15). Remember that this great Man of God was the only one in Israel appointed by God to step into the shoes of prophet Moses – a much bigger Man of God (Num.27:18, Deut.31:7).
Such responsibility bestowed upon this great Man of God meant that the fulfillment of the covenant and promise made to Abraham (Gen.15:12-14) was resting on his shoulders. It meant also that the destiny of about 3 million jews which left Egypt was squarely at his doorstep that such destinies did not crash.
That being the case therefore, the first inquisition is: why did Joshua and the elders of Israel fail to inquire from the Lord about the intelligently configured fiction of the Gibeonites, knowing fullwell the implications of spiritual assents and covenants? Second, on realizing the deception, why did the Almighty yet ratify the spiritual signature and oath appended and sworn to by Joshua and the elders of Israel?
To start with, I will answer with all sense of respect. Why? Joshua is another Patriarch of Faith to whom great honour is due. The question in answering that first question is: was Joshua in the same habitual character of inquiring from the Lord like Moses his predecessor?
Apart from the inquisition in Josh.5:13-15, was there any other from the Lord by Joshua? The unequivocal answer is NO. St. Paul’s letter to the Romans in Rom.15:4 admonishes us that ‘all things written aforetime are for our learning……’. Therefore, inquiring from our dear heavenly father for direction is a compulsory personal and daily responsibility.
As to the second inquisition, I contend very sharply that the Lord God Almighty had nothing to do with the contract and covenant between Israel and the Gibeonites. Don’t forget that this was a contract and covenant that the Lord God Almighty was not invited into.
But it rather got ratification because God is a sure respecter of oaths and covenants. Equally, it is good to realise that every man is and will continue to be responsible and accountable for the consequences of his actions. The human (not spiritual) law of agency propounds that: Qui facit per alium facit per se (he who acts by another acts by himself).
It may be argued that as representatives of the Almighty, Joshua and the elders implicated God by getting Him bound. But that is only one side of the coin. The consequence(s) of their action lingered and lingers on forever.
Certainly the case of Joshua and the elders of Israel in dealing with the Gibeonites calls for very serious concerning scrutiny and further re-examination, especially with respect to our attitude towards mistake-making.
It is one thing to flippantly think that no one is above mistakes. Agreed, only God is above making mistakes. But are you using that as an excuse?
I contend that such an excuse is abstruse and absolutely unacceptable. Why? In a number of instances, it is great wealth of wisdom to avoid making any mistakes because the resultant implication may be irreparably costly.
What consumes the heart of most men of God is passion at the mention of satanic oppression. Very good.
But alas! My brother! Man of God! Take on board this all-time guiding instruction. It is in your interest, in the interest of God and the work of God in your hands that you blend passion with caution. O Man of God, aren’t you aware that there are many who attend your counseling room for the mere purpose of pulling you down?
That prayer you have been asked to offer dear servant of God, did you check up on it? Do you know that your prayer or spiritual/prophetic step can ratify the desire of the devil unknown to you if you are not careful?
Are you aware that there are human agents of darkness who request for your spiritual attention simply for the purpose of waisting your God-given anointing? As children and servants of the Almighty, we have been saddled with certain responsibilities on the behalf of our heavenly father.
In carrying out these responsibilities, let us be guided by the fact that there is a difference between sympathy and empathy. Let us be guided by the Spirit of God not by emotion. I sat down patiently attending to God’s people about three to four weeks ago.
There she was, a few metres from me, a lady rolling and weeping on the floor. Anybody seeing her in that state can easily be carried away by her tears and rolling. I plead to her to repent and be converted. In the meantime, I have bound her from my counseling stand.
She is not just a deceiver; she is the actual deceit working to destroy me and God’s ministry in my hands by the spirit of witchcraft evidently possessed by and in her. If the Lord had not helped me, I would have been ensnared by her.
Finally, what do you think? Is there a spiritual but equally grammatical mystery and consequent lesson derivable from the word signature? Although slightly varied in spelling, nevertheless I countenance the word signature to be a combination of two words: sign and nature.
Whether we like it or not, we are a sign to God and man for our generation. Whatever sign you are, is depicted by your nature. Ask yourself the all-important self-examining question: who truly are you? That which you manifest in the secret is what you truly are.
Your outburst or reaction at unguarded moments is what you are. Do not deceive yourself, your nature will sell you out and tell the world, God and man who you are some day if you don’t challenge it and seek character change through earnest prayers.
An inflated balloon cannot be imprisoned under water forever. As soon as you remove the hand holding it down under water, the balloon will shoot out. No man is ever faster than his shadow. No matter how much you hide from a prophet, pastor, close friends and associates, parents and allies, you cannot hide from yourself, from satan and from God.
In simple arithmetic and by the facts of man, tomorrow is the day after today. But indeed, as far as the needfulness of change is concerned, tomorrow is not just today, tomorrow is now. Now is the right moment to effect any positive change in our nature, not any tomorrow.
It is often late when it is left till that configured tomorrow which may never come before shame announces its undesired presence. Only one instruction is most necessary in this end-time my dear heaven-going brethren.
BE VERY WATCHFUL AND BE VERY PRAYERFUL.
Hymn: Trust And Obey
- I shall be a positive sign for God in my generation.
- O God, give me enormous grace and strength not to disappoint or bring shame to your name.
- Read Ps.68:1-3 (and say): Every agenda of the wicked to destroy my glorious dream and fellowship with Christ, be shattered.
- Pray against motor accident and death of a loved one.
- O God, help me to retrace my step from any way I have acted or acting against the good course of the gospel.
- That which is polluting me and my prayers, be washed away by the blood of Jesus.
- Read Ps.57 (and say): O God, soak me in your oil of mercy, grace and favour today.