And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan. ~Joshua 3:17
None of us have ever witnessed water parting and standing upon two heaps. If we saw something as incredible as this, what would that do for your life and faith? Joshua 3 is about a life-changing moment. It was a moment that affected the courage, the conquests, and the character of Joshua and the nation of Israel. Joshua and Caleb remembered 40 years before, standing on dry ground in the Red Sea. Now, at the banks of the Jordan River, both of these men of faith were privileged to stand on dry ground in the midst of a thriving body of water again. Let us see the importance of the ark of God and dry ground this morning.
We see the PRECEDENT.
Forty years before, Moses stood on a rock next to the shoreline of the Red Sea and, with his arm stretched out with the rod of God in his hand, he commanded the people to go forward. What amazement and humility gripped his soul as he and the people made their way across a sea bed that God instantaneously dried for their passage. The entire length of the crossing was done on dry ground. Dry ground taught him the importance of faith in God, obedience to His commands, and the courage to walk through waters that stood as two heaps on both sides. Now, 40 years later, Joshua would experience a similar miracle at the Jordan River.
We see the PRESENCE.
As God commanded Joshua to lead the people across the Jordan River, the priests who carried the ark of God were to lead the way. The ark of God has a predominant role in Joshua 3. It is referred to no less than eleven times. The ark of God contained the two tables of stone with the Ten Commandments, a golden pot of manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the mercy seat. These contents symbolized the work of God in salvation and the presence of God. God was showing Joshua and the people that His presence was with them, and His presence was leading the way. You can’t walk on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan without the presence of God.
We see the PRESENTATION.
As soon as the feet of the priests touched the overflowing bank of the river, the water on both sides receded into two heaps. One heap went one direction to the city of Adam, and the other heap to the location of the city of Zaretan. The distance was no less than twelve miles between both cities. At a time when the waters overflowed from the snow melt of the mountains and the water surged in its flow, God made the impossible possible! In addition, the flow of water from the salt sea stopped as if a faucet had been turned off! Joshua saw for a second time in his life waters stand upon a heap, the ground become dry, and the people walk over dry shod.
We see the PRACTICAL.
In Josh. 3:17 we see three essential practices in faith. First, the priests stood firm on dry ground. In the practice of faith, you must not waver or be double-minded. Leaders must stand firm in faith and in the presence of God. Second, all the Israelites passed over on dry ground. Walking by faith demands that we walk the entire distance in faith. The ground will not change on us while we are in the journey. Third, all the people passed clean over. Nobody walked in mud or water. God does not fail those who walk by faith. As faith was being exercised in God’s power, there was no opportunity for sin or any enemy to make them stumble. When we say, “I believe,” we can also pass over cleanly to the other side.
Dry ground was a testimonial of faith in God’s power. Do you have a besetting sin or weight that is keeping you from passing over your Jordan River? Let God’s presence lead the way, trust in God’s Word, have faith in God’s provision, and begin walking on dry ground!
Have a faith-empowered God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Exodus 16-18