Then Samuel said to the people, “Come and let us go to Gilgal and renew the kingdom there.” I Samuel 11.14I wanted to return to the journey through the books of First and Second Samuel today but really had it on my heart to share with you the story of Joshua chapter 5.
And there it was! The same idea right there in I Sammy 11.
If there was any place that befit the renewal of the kingdom it was Gilgal.
Gilgal was a place that was given its name after a very important event in the history of Israel took place there. You see the name "Gilgal" means "a rolling", "today I have rolled the reproach of Egypt from you"
What was it that happened at Gilgal?
The Israelites were finally over the Jordan river. 600 years or so after the Lord had "promised (the) land" to Abraham and 40 years after they had failed to enter the first time; Israel was finally in.
They had been promised that the land would be given to them step-by-step as they moved in. The enemy would have to be defeated, it wouldn't be easy, but the Lord had promised victory as long as they continued to follow His Word.
The assignment had been given, the moment had come for them to march in and take the "promise land.
And yet... and yet; before they were allowed to take another step forward the Lord said to them that they must first circumcise the men. Circumcision had been neglected while they had been wandering in the wilderness.
Circumcision, of course was the mark, the outward sign of the covenant between God and his people. It marked them as belonging to God, it was a tangible reminder of their relationship with God... and it had been neglected. So God told them that they need to take care of it now.
They were not to go one step further until they relationship was restored, the covenant back in place.
Now, logically this makes little sense, at least in timing. I mean, they were in the enemies front yard and the work of conquering was before them. In human terms it would seem like the worst possible thing to do ; to put your entire army out of commission.
You may have noticed however, that God does not work according to "human terms" and the fact of the matter is; God is always much more concerned with who we are than what we do. God said, in effect, you are not going to take one more step forward without getting your heart right with Me, and, by inference, we can see that without a right relationship with God nothing we do will be pleasing to Him.
Now we look at the simple statement of Samuel and we see its value, we see the reason he said it need to take place at Gilgal. If I want to see the kingdom renewed in my heart... It must begin at Gilgal.