TO CHEW ON: And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, the waters that come down from upstream, and they shall stand as a heap.” Joshua 3:13
Moses is gone and Joshua is now the leader of the Israelites. His is a daunting job and he knows the challenges all too well for he was with Moses for the duration of the exodus.
His first task is overcoming a literal barrier—the Jordan River. He must somehow get an entire nation from one side to the other. How will he do it?
God's instructions are explicit. The priests carrying the ark are to lead the way. They are to walk into the flood-stage Jordan.
I wonder if there were any skeptics in the crowd that day. Probably. Because remember, almost the entire generation of Israelites had died off during the forty years of wandering. This relatively young crowd had only heard of the crossing of the Red Sea. The ark-carriers themselves had to have faith as they walked into the water when there was as yet no sign that anything unusual would happen.
I like Matthew Henry's reflection on this scene:
"God could have divided the river without the priests, but they could not without him. The priests must herein set a good example to the people, and teach them to do their utmost in the service of God, and trust him for help in time of need." - Matthew Henry's Commentary
The priests walking into the water is an illustration of how faith works for us too. Though God could work without us, He often asks us to step into the fast-flowing waters of our Jordan Rivers in a literal step of faith.
I ask myself, what Jordan River am I facing today? Perhaps it's starting a new project, teaching a class, volunteering in my community, or talking to my friend about Jesus. What about you?
Is God telling us to take a step of faith in regard to it and this way show our confidence in Him to help us do what seems impossible?
PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to have the faith to obey Your directions when I face impossible circumstances. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.