Sunday, January 13, 2008

Crossing the Jordan

After the two spies returned from Jericho, God instructed Joshua to cross the Jordan River (Joshua 3). At that time the banks were overflowing with water, making it difficult to get across. How would a whole nation cross the flooded river safely? Once again, God provided the way. As soon as the feet of the priests touched the water, God caused the water supply to pile up some fifteen miles away! It wasn't long before the Israelites were able to cross on dry land. But what did this accomplish besides getting them across?

Firstly, it revealed to a new generation the incredible power of their God. Except for Joshua and Caleb, the rest of the people had only heard about the Exodus from Egypt and the crossing of the Red Sea. The crossing of the Jordan showed them that God was as powerful as the stories said he was. He was no longer the God of the past. Now he was the all powerful God of here and now.

Secondly, it caused the people to respect their new leader, Joshua. The new leader had only been given his position a short time earlier. The people were still getting used to him. Who was he? Would he be used by God as was Moses? Was he really the right man for the job? After this great miracle, they knew that Joshua was God's man for the Conquest.

Thirdly, it caused the inhabitants of the land to fear Israel. The Scriptures indicate that the water piled up near the city of Adam. According to my study Bible, this city was fifteen miles from where Israel made its crossing. No doubt the Canaanites were keeping their distance, but imagine the surprise of the people in that city! Questions led to investigations and soon the news had spread throughout the surrounding area. Israel had crossed the river at flood stage! Not only Israel but all the inhabitants of Canaan knew that nothing could stand in the way of Israel's God.

We serve the same God today — the God who cannot be stopped. Why then do we fear the opposition of mere men or even of the wicked one himself? The same God who did the impossible for Israel can enable each of us to accomplish his will today. Whether that involves the spreading of the gospel, resisting temptation, or any other difficulty, we can do anything through God's amazing power (Phil. 4:13). Keep that in mind as you faithfully fulfill his plan for you today.

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