by Marc Dupont, January 2008
2008 is going to be a great year of blessings for many who have been faithful in loving and serving the Lord Jesus Christ. Biblically speaking, the number eight is usually symbolic of new beginnings & open doors. It was with eight people that God made a new start after the flood. It was on the 8th day that Hebrew sons were circumcised symbolizing the covenant with God. The number eight, as it appears in Hebrew, actually looks like a door, or gateway, a way in.
2008 will be a year that God brings many into the “broad place” of 2 Samuel 22.20 (NASV) & Psalm 18.19 (NASV). It will be a place of blessings and freedom, as opposed to a place of restraint, Job 36.16 (NASV). It will be a season when many will experience more than their eyes have seen, ears heard, and their minds have understood (1 Cor. 2.9). It will also be a time of those who have, being given much more to the point of abundance (Matthew 25.29).
It will also, however, be a time when many who have made attempts before in serving God, or stepping out in faith in a particular area, only to have met with futility will be set up by God for a fresh opportunity to step into the desire of their hearts. One of the many fascinating characteristics of God is that He, in His great heart, is the god of multiple opportunities. Like with the apostle Peter denying the Lord Jesus three times in one night receiving complete forgiveness AND being re-commissioned for the apostolic call on his life. In fact, it was this same disciple that had denied Jesus publicly that then stood up on the day of Pentecost and preached the good news resulting in thousands being saved and the early church being birthed.
I believe that for many, this is going to be a “Gilgal” year. Some forty years before, the Hebrews, fresh out of captivity in Egypt, walked on dry land across the Red Sea in the miraculous power of God. Yet, when confronted with the giants in their land of promise they disbelieved that God would be with them and give them the victory. Now, forty years later, the younger generation experienced the same sort of miracle. They walked on dry ground while crossing the Jordan River. God then had them camp at Gilgal. Gilgal in the Hebrew language means “circle” or “wheel”. For the Hebrews it meant they had come full cycle and were being given a second chance.
As the waters parted the Lord had them collect 12 stones from the Jordan. Those stones were laid at their camp at Gilgal. This was to be a memorial to them and their descendents of God’s great power so that they might fear the Lord and all people might know God is mighty!
Then the Lord directed Joshua for all the men to be circumcised. That generation of males who had been born in the wilderness had not been circumcised. Joshua 5.9 reads: “Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” So the name of that place is called Gilgal to this day.” This place of the circle was also a place where their shame or reproach for the past failures was “rolled away”.
There will be many who God is going to bring to a Gilgal of fresh opportunity for things that they have failed at before. Whether the failure is on your part or due to anothers is almost beside the point. God is all about revealing the power of redemptive love and purposes in our lives for the sake of making Himself known.
When Ezra and Nehemiah came to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls of the city and the temple they were mocked by Sanballat, the Horonite. He said to them “What are these feeble Jews doing? Are they going to restore it for themselves? Can they offer sacrifices? Can they finish in a day? Can they revive the stones from the dusty rubble even the burned ones?” The stones that Ezra and Nehemiah were using to rebuild were the burnt stones from the original walls that had been torn apart and scorched in the fires and devastation that the enemy had brought Jerusalem. This is a powerful picture of how God can take humans who have met with failure and devastation and in His timing use us as the living stones to build His spiritual house to make sacrifices of praise and worship to God.
The devil, the hater of our souls, is saying to many “do you really think God can accomplish those old desires of your heart when you have experienced so much failure and destruction”? Nehemiah’s and Ezra’s answer would be “absolutely, YES”!
God wants to freshly reveal and release the miraculous power of His compassion in our lives for His redemptive purposes. And as we walk in the love AND the fear of the Lord, we will be living testimonies of God Himself for all of mankind. We will become like those memorial stones of old in Gilgal.
His heart for many this year is to roll away our shame and failure and bring us into the land of promise He has for us. Will there be giants, fierce enemies, and battles in the land? Absolutely, yes. But, as we have learned to walk in a greater intimacy with God and greater dependency on Him, we have come into a greater heart knowledge that Jesus really did come so that we might have life super abundantly in Him. Just as the scars on the hands of Jesus are a beautiful eternal reminder of His great love for us so too the scorching we have experienced will be testimonies of God’s amazing redemptive love in our lives.