Week Fifteen: Day 4

    April 18, 2024 | Be God's Light

    Israel Crosses the Jordan River

    Scripture: Joshua 3 (NIV)

    1 Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. 2 After three days the officers went throughout the camp, 3 giving orders to the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. 4 Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about two thousand cubits between you and the ark; do not go near it.”

    5 Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”

    6 Joshua said to the priests, “Take up the ark of the covenant and pass on ahead of the people.” So they took it up and went ahead of them.

    7 And the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses. 8 Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river.’”

    9 Joshua said to the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of the Lord your God. 10 This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites. 11 See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you. 12 Now then, choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. 13 And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the Lord—the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.”

    14 So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. 15 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, 16 the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17 The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.


    Forty years earlier the Lord parted the waters of the Red Sea so that the enslaved Israelites could walk to their freedom on dry ground (Exodus 14:22). That entire generation died in the wilderness for their disobedience (Numbers 32:13). Now a new generation would cross the Jordan River into the Promised Land on dry ground. God told Joshua that this would demonstrate that He was with him just as He had been with Moses.

    The Jordan River connects the Sea of Galilee in the north to the Dead Sea in the South. Even farther north is Mount Hermon, covered with snow throughout the winter. In the springtime during the grain harvest, the melting snow runs into the tributaries, flowing into the Sea of Galilee and flooding the Jordan River. This miracle of God halted the flow of a river which moments earlier had been bursting and roaring downstream.

    In Matthew 17:20, Jesus said to His followers, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Later, when the disciples couldn’t figure out how any person could be saved, Jesus said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). God is still in the miracle business.

    Have you ever experienced God doing the impossible? How did it make you feel? In what ways did your faith grow because of it?

    Is there an aspect of your life where you need a miraculous touch from God right now? What about something in your family, community, or world? Take some time right now to pray to God, who is still in the miracle business!


    The Ark Goes Forth Before Me

    When life’s journeys are ended
    When I reach Jordan’s shore
    When facing final battle
    God’s Promised Land, the Door
    The Ark goes forth before me
    Borne on my High Priest’s back
    His covenantal tablets
    God’s precepts all intact
    The priestly rod of Aaron
    The almond branch, full bloom
    The manna, Bread of Heaven
    Great banquet to consume
    I’ll step into the river
    Now, dry land, straight The Way
    With tambourine and dancing
    I’ll lift my voice in praise
    The Truth, the Light, before me
    A lamp unto my feet
    My Champion, with two-edged sword
    My Enemy defeats
    The Life, once marred and sinful,
    Is now redeemed and saved
    With resurrection power
    By conqu’ring of the grave
    The Ark goes forth before me
    No fear have I to dread
    Death’s shadowed valley, I’ll not fear
    My Savior’s path I tread

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