Archive for December 29th, 2014

Joshua 4

Joshua 4 has the second big water crossing for God’s people – this time the Jordan River.  Did you ever notice how these two events are spoken about differently – parting of the Red Sea versus crossing of the Jordan River.  In the first case, the people were being chased and it seems like it was more of an immediate need.  In the second, they had been camped there waiting for God’s direction for years, and had plenty of time to prepare and plan for the crossing.  Interesting how different words are used to describe a process that was somewhat similar of getting to the other side of a body of water that would be impossible without God’s help.

God does make it clear that this was to be something that be remembered for generations.  “When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua….Take twelve stones….from the very place where the priests’ feet stood firmly….and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight”.  God wants this to be a lesson of His faithfulness.  He does not want it to be forgotten. But it wasn’t just for the present group of people.  This lesson was to last well into the future.

When your children ask in time to come, What do those stones mean to you?….you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord….So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever”.  God wants us to instruct our children well.  We are to tell His story and remind our kids of God’s action in our lives.  What stones have you placed along your journey as reminders of what God has done, so you can tell your children of His faithfulness?  We all have them.  But unless we make them memorable in some way we will forget to tell the story and point to the God who worked in our life.

This was the first big test for Joshua.  “On that day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel, and they stood in awe of him just as they had stood in awe of Moses, all the days of his life”.  God showed up and set up his leadership for the future.  The waters stopped when the priests stepped in and got their feet wet.  And the waters flowed as soon as they stepped out.  “And when the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the Lord came up from the midst of the Jordan, and the soles of the priests’ feet were lifted up on dry ground, the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and overflowed all its banks, as before”.  That is quite a show of power to start Joshua on the right leadership journey.  God made sure that there was no question of how things happened and who led the charge across the waters.

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