But entering the Promised Land across the Jordan River came first. It was spring, when this river barrier was at its highest, overflowing its banks.
Now a generation whose parents had crossed the Red Sea needed to exercise faith and experience God’s power for themselves.
Interact with God’s Word: Joshua 3:5-16
- Why (v. 5) must you make sure your motives are pure and your sins dealt with before expecting God to demonstrate his power?
- What (v. 9) did Joshua gather the people for on the day of the crossing?
- Before rushing into your day to serve God, do you make time to hear what he is saying to you?
- What would have happened (v. 13) if the priests had been afraid to take that first step into the water?
- Should you expect God to provide a solution to your problem before you trust him and move ahead with what you know you should do?
- How would the parting of the waters (v. 16) have impacted all those who crossed the riverbed?
- What would have been the psychological impact on the Canaanites when the entire Israelite nation crossed the Jordan at flood stage?
Spend Time in Prayer: Ask God to make clear to you what step of obedience he is asking you to take so that he can demonstrate his power in and through your life.
5 Then Joshua told the people, “Purify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do great wonders among you.”
6 In the morning Joshua said to the priests, “Lift up the Ark of the Covenant and lead the people across the river.” And so they started out and went ahead of the people.
7 The Lord told Joshua, “Today I will begin to make you a great leader in the eyes of all the Israelites. They will know that I am with you, just as I was with Moses. 8 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.'”
9 So Joshua told the Israelites, “Come and listen to what the Lord your God says. 10 Today you will know that the living God is among you. He will surely drive out the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites ahead of you. 11 Look, the Ark of the Covenant, which belongs to the Lord of the whole earth, will lead you across the Jordan River! 12 Now choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. 13 The priests will carry the Ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth. As soon as their feet touch the water, the flow of water will be cut off upstream, and the river will stand up like a wall.”
14 So the people left their camp to cross the Jordan, and the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant went ahead of them. 15 It was the harvest season, and the Jordan was overflowing its banks. But as soon as the feet of the priests who were carrying the Ark touched the water at the river’s edge, 16 the water above that point began backing up a great distance away at a town called Adam, which is near Zarethan. And the water below that point flowed on to the Dead Sea until the riverbed was dry. Then all the people crossed over near the town of Jericho.