Scripture: Joshua 3:1-17
Observation: Joshua prepares the Israelites to cross the Jordan River, which is what stood between the people and the Promised Land. He gives the people specific instructions to follow. As soon as the priests stepped foot in the river, carrying the Ark of the Covenant, the river stopped and all of the Israelites passed through to the other side.
Application: Remember the crossing guards outside your elementary school? They were the ones in the florescent yellow vests who demonstrated proficiency in a variety of hand motions, all to ensure that you could safely cross the street from one side to the other.
The Israelites had crossing guards too; they were the priests, and they had no easy task. They weren’t simply parting traffic during rush hour; they were parting a raging, turbulent river – and leading the way for an ancient promise to come to pass.
There must have been so much anticipation – finally, the Israelites were going to enter Canaan, the land that God had promised them. But the entrance fee is steep: to get to the Promised Land, they have to first cross the Jordan River.
“The Lord told Joshua… ‘Give this command to the priests who carry the Ark of the Covenant: ‘When you reach the banks of the Jordan River, take a few steps into the river and stop there.’” (v. 7,8)
God promises to help the people cross the river – but they have to go first. He doesn’t dry up the riverbed and then tell the people to enter. He says, “Get your feet wet and then I will stop the flow of water so you can cross safely.”
In other words, I’ll move when you do.
So often, we ask God to move in our lives – to work in a powerful way in our marriages, relationships, jobs, finances, health – and then we wait, unwilling or unable to muster up the faith to take the first step.
And God says: I’ll move when you do.
The Israelites made a move…
“But as soon as the feet of the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant touched the water at the river’s edge, the water above that point began backing up a great distance away…until the riverbed was dry.” (v. 15,16)
…and he performed a miracle.
Are you moving? As you’re praying and pleading with God to change your circumstances, to show you the way, to fill your brokenness with his peace, are you willing to step out, to move, to get your feet wet?
He’ll move when you do.
Prayer: God, you are the God of miracles! Today, I pray I’ll have the same faith as the priests – willing to step out into the unknown, fully trusting in you. Amen.