Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Revisiting Gilgal

“Come, and let us go to Gilgal, and renew the kingdom there” (1 Samuel 11:14).

“Then, when they had finished circumcising all [the males of] the nation, they stayed in their places in the camp until they were healed.  Then the Lord said to Joshua, ‘This day I have rolled away the reproach (derision, ridicule) of Egypt from you.’  So the name of that place is called Gilgal (“liberty” or “rolling away”) to this day” (Joshua 5:8-9).
 
More than anything, the reproach of Egypt was about slavery and the downward disfiguring (the biblical definition of “shame”) effect it had on human dignity and glory.  Man was designed to reflect God’s glory, not to project his own imploded glory or shame.  To better understand what Gilgal represents we must first better understand what Egypt represents.  The word “Egypt” has a complex etymology and seems to break down to roughly this definition: “a place where the projection of an attribute of divinity [an aspect of God] manifested via the physical projection of the soul.”  As might be ascertained via this definition, a projection of soul is equated with an attribute of divinity.  And herein lies a fallacious assumption and an intractable problem—and consequently—the need for extraordinary deliverance; but the entrenched idea of human divinity is not easily exorcised.  The Fall of Man implosion drove the essence of man deeply inward and entombed him there within the confining walls of his person—and it is a condition that still plagues mankind today.  Symbolically, slavery in Egypt continues as the human soul—rather than the human spirit filled with God’s Spirit—reigns supreme in man.  Tyranny of soul rather than humility of soul is the core problem.  Television shows glorifying “heroes” and “supermen” and those with “evolved powers” dominates the airwaves.  Adhering to the idea of the evolution of man (an unfounded theory), rather than to the devolution of man (an established fact), is the delusion of our time.

Gilgal is an empty tomb prophesy that predicts the liberty of the sons of God.  The fallen bent soul—a soul that can only make distorted projections of its characterized version of itself—is straightened out at Gilgal.  “Behold, this only have I found: that God has made man upright (straight—unbent!), but they have sought out many perversions (ways to bend and make crooked anything they conceive of or touch)” (Ecclesiastes 7:29).  When Joshua cut away the foreskin at Gilgal, God symbolically foreshadowed circumcision of heart.  But only the cross of Christ—and by the surgical sword of the word of God in the Almighty hand of the Holy Spirit—can circumcise the human heart.  In other words, only the cross can cut away flesh from spirit—and by that action—release the human soul from its imprisonment.  This is what is meant by rolling away the reproach of Egypt.  This is what Gilgal represents.

Though Israel left Egypt—unfortunately (for most of them)—Egypt never left Israel.  And therein lies the problem.  Gilgal was home base and the starting point from which to launch out from and into the rest of the Promised Land to secure ALL the Promised Land.  The journey to reach the Promised Land was complete; now the journey to apprehend the Promised Land began.  Gilgal therefore represents the starting point of spirituality—the born-again experience beginning—and the consequential awakening to supernatural reality and duty.  The idea, therefore, of REVISITING GILGAL, is to “stir...up by way of reminder,” specifically to remind us that God has already cleansed us from our sins.  But “he who lacks these qualities (faith, moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love)—the fruit evidence of having had the born-again experience—is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins” (2 Peter 1:9).

“All their evil is at Gilgal” (Hosea 9:15).  Forgetting the purification from our former sins is forgetting the circumcision performed at Gilgal, forgetting the reproach of slavery that God already removed from us there.  Consequently, if redemption and purification did not occur, than all of our evil is still at Gilgal!  It is also noteworthy that God set us free solely for freedom’s sake.  God has no ulterior motive, no plans to enslave us to Himself or to anything/anyone else either.  Nonetheless, freedom is costly, both to secure and maintain.  Therefore we are wise to revisit Gilgal often.  Indeed, “let us go to Gilgal, and renew the kingdom there” (1 Samuel 11:14).