He's way ahead of us...At first glance, this story may sound a little like the Red Sea parting. That Moses raising his staff and the priests stepping into the water here are kind of the same thing. There is one key difference however -- this river (in flood) did not part, it simply stopped flowing. (I love the description that it piled up in a heap. What does a heap of water look like I wonder?)
And this is significant because it didn't heap up there -- it heaped up at a town called Adam - 20km away. In order for dry ground to have appeared as the Priests touched the banks -- means that the heaping up would have happened at least two hours before.
Before the Israelites have even acted in faith and stepped in the Jordan , God had gone ahead of them and stopped the water flowing. Isn't that beautiful? God goes ahead of them, knowing Joshua's heart, knowing the faith of the people, knowing that they had prepared themselves for this day to see what God would do. And he does.
And this is not the only time in Scripture that God goes ahead of his people. We find Aaron already on his way to meet Moses when God meets him at the burning bush -- God knew his fears would make him struggle and already provided a solution. He knew in advance that Abraham would be prepared to sacrifice Isaac, and had a ram waiting in the thicket.
And when it comes to sharing the Gospel, God does that too. Time and time again when Paul goes on his missionary journeys he finds people who are 'god-fearers'. They don't know Jesus, they don't know the gospel -- but God is already working in their hearts preparing the soil, making them receptive and willing to receive the glorious news of Christ's salvation.
We know God is a God on mission. We know God reached out to us first. We know that Jesus was the first cross-cultural missionary (in a manner of speaking!)
And so as we go out into the world spreading God's love and light and truth and peace -- we're not going anywhere where God hasn't already been. We are simply joining his work. Just as with the Jordan river crossing, God has gone before us.
Today may this truth encourage your hearts. God knows each place that your feet will go this day, as with every day, and he has gone ahead of you and started the work -- Will you join him?
|So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. 15 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water's edge, 16 the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17 The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground. (Joshua3:14-17)|
Jackie is a minister at Emmanuel and Grace Presbyterian, married to Tim and raising her greatest blessings - an ebony and ivory pair of children -- Christine 4 and Jesse 2.