Joshua 3:15–16: “and as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest), that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam, the city that is beside Zaretan. So the waters that went down into the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, failed, and were cut off; and the people crossed over opposite Jericho.”June 18th, 2013 by Pastor Ed in devotional
In order to enter the Promise Land the children of Israel would have to cross the Jordan. God directed that the Ark be carried first into the river by the priest, 1000 yards ahead of the people, which would cause the river to dry up so the people could pass over on a dry riverbed. The author of Joshua points out that this was not the time of year when the Jordan trickled down to a small stream, but the time of the spring rains, when the river was swollen and overflowing its banks. This is probably why God wanted such a large area of separation between the Ark and the people. He wanted them to clearly see that the river had stopped flowing for them. From the priests’ point of view, they were stepping into a flooding river. We can’t help but wonder if there was any hesitation as they stepped in, doubting for a moment whether the river would actually dry up. We usually want the river to be completely dry before we even begin to take a step, but here God was calling Israel to step out in faith.
If we desire to successfully pass through the deep waters of this life, we also need to follow God’s directing. We only get one shot at this thing called life, trying to live it the best way we can. Only a fool would attempt it without God, without following His guidance and receiving His blessing of eternal life. We are tempted to think we know better than what God’s Word says, and so we fail to follow it and inevitably get into trouble. If we trust Him, we realize He is the only One who really knows the way for us.
Some struggle to understand just how the Jordan River suddenly stopped flowing. The Lord may have used a natural occurrence like an earthquake, but whatever it was, we can safely say that the timing of it was in the hand of God and that in some miraculous manner He stopped the flow of the river. This story is evidence of the trust Joshua, the priests, and the people had in the God they knew was present with them. We should have the same confidence in God’s directing hand in our own lives today as we face flooding rivers.
“LORD, we trust You today.”