Crossing the Jordan
August 6, 2012
Two weeks ago we talked about my second favorite river crossing in the Bible, so this week I want to talk about my first favorite.
Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.” The amplified version reads, “far above what we dare ask or think, infinitely beyond our highest prayers!”
God's ability + our willingness = God working more than we could imagine or ask.
Have you ever had to wait for something? Something that you were excited to do or wanted to happen, like Christmas or vacation?
For me, it was when I got my first new car, a Jeep! I could not wait to get to the dealership and buy it. We had shopped around for a long time and the day finally arrived. I loved my blue Jeep Wrangler with a black soft top! I couldn’t wait to drive it off the lot and down the road with the top down! But, as most of you know, the car buying process is not short. I thought I would have enough time to drive my new car from the dealership to a friend’s house to show it off before I had to go to work that afternoon. Unfortunately, we spent so much time at the car dealership, I had to drive straight to work. The new car I wanted to show off so badly sat in a parking lot for what seemed like an eternity but was probably more like 8 hours!
The children of Israel were in a similar situation but had waited a little longer than 8 hours. God had promised Israel a land to call their own over 500 years earlier, the current generation had been wondering in the wilderness for 40 years, and Joshua and Caleb were the only people left from the previous generation.
Joshua 1:1 - Then Joshua rose early in the morning; and he and all the sons of Israel set out from Shittimand, came to the Jordan, and they lodged there before they crossed.
The Israelites could see the Promised Land! Finally, after years and years in the desert and the years of slavery in Egypt the children of Israel were going to be home! Knowing the stories that their loved ones shared from the past, they knew God could part the waters like he did at the Red Sea. So, they knew God had the ability.
But Joshua gave the Israelites a command.
Joshua 1:5- Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.”
In the Old Testament the word consecrate is used in relation to cleansing or confession. What Joshua was saying here was to “get ready, prepare yourself, and confess your sins because God is getting ready to do something big!”
The application here is that our sin can affect our willingness. Even though God has the ability work in our lives, our sin often keeps that from happening.
I will let the Bible tell you the rest of the story
Joshua 1:13-17 - 13 "It shall come about when the soles of the feet of the priests who carry the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan will be cut off, and the waters which are flowing down from above will stand in one heap." 14 So when the people set out from their tents to cross the Jordan with the priests carrying the ark of the covenant before the people,15 and when those who carried the ark came into the Jordan, and the feet of the priests carrying the ark were dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks all the days of harvest ), 16 the waters which were flowing down from above stood and rose up in one heap, a great distance away at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan ; and those which were flowing down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. So the people crossed opposite Jericho. 17 And the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan.
God worked another amazing miracle among His people. Besides Joshua and Caleb, this generation had only heard stories about how God could part waters. Now, they saw His might with their own eyes. First, they had to deal with the sins in their lives and set themselves apart for Him. Are you content with reading stories in the Bible and hearing other people share how God works in their lives or do you want God to work wonders in your life? Wouldn’t you love to glorify God because when others look at your life it can only be explained by God’s power? Deal with the sin in your life. Consecrate yourselves and let’s get ready to see God work among us!
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GREAT post! God is the same yesterday and today and forever. What He did then, He can do now. We (and our sin) is what hinders us from seeing Him move. His work will go on in the world - only without us. Thanks for that great word!