This past week we heard the story of Joshua and the people of Israel coming to a raging Jordan river and need to cross. This story is located in Joshua 3: 1-17. After camping beside the river three days the officers in the camp went throughout and told all of Israel that as soon as they see the Ark of the Covenant pass they too shall arise and follow, but there needs to be a distance of 2,000 cubits between the Ark and them.
Joshua told the people of Israel to consecrate themselves because the next day God would do amazing things in their midst. Likewise, Joshua told the priests to pick up the ark and pass before the people. The Lord said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you.” God informs Joshua to tell the priests to stand still in the Jordan when they get to it. Joshua repeated these words to the body of Israel so they would be affirmed that God is among them and will drive the people out before them.
Joshua tells twelve men, one from each of the tribes to come and when the soles of the feet of the priests reach the Jordan the waters stop. The waters run away down the river and the waters coming down cease and pile up in one heap. The waters were stopped and the priests stood in the midst of the Jordan on dry ground. All of Israel passed through the Jordan on dry ground!
This is a wonderful story.
- We see the passing of the baton from one man to another in an orderly exchange of leadership. There was not an election and voting or a scramble for leadership and the top position. God ordained Joshua as the successor and clearly showed to all of Israel this was His choice as leader and when Joshua followed it was evident.
- We also are blessed to see just how important the covenant is between God and man. God places the ark containing the covenant into position so it passes before all of Israel and crosses the Jordan first. God placed great value in the covenant between himself and Israel and wanted to demonstrate this value to Israel.
- God was in charge. There was an orderly move across the Jordan and when people followed God’s wishes it went off without a hitch.
- We see an amazing water crossing again. Almost everyone knows about the Red Sea, but many forget about the crossing of the Jordan. Just imagine a raging river stopping in its tracks. The down stream element finishes rushing off while the upstream waters cease. This is a great example of God’s power over nature as Creator. We often forget this miraculous power of God’s.
- The river bed was dry. If we created an artificial dam their would be mud and muck, but here they cross on dry ground. What a fabulous image and to all of us that have crossed a creek or the edge of a river, that ground is not dry!
This story is a true blessing. I pray you enjoyed reading about it and are encouraged to come story with us on Tuesdays at six.