Is there something beautiful in your life you have been overlooking?
For people of God, the Jordan River carries heavy symbolism. If you are a churchgoer, take a quick peek in your hymnal. You will find songs revealing the Jordan as a symbol of death. Crossing the Jordan and reaching the Promised Land meant entering the gates of heaven.
Some time after Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, baptism took the meaning of dying to your old self (upon immersion) and being raised to new life found in Christ (being drawn back up out of the water).
In Joshua chapter three we read the people of Israel needed to sanctify themselves before they could cross the Jordan River. For this ancient people it involved devoting themselves completely to God and worshiping him. God was about to perform a miracle and he wanted their undivided attention.
“Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”” Joshua 3:5
Unlike the Red Sea crossing found in the book of Exodus, crossing the Jordan to take possession of the Promised Land required an act of faith on their part–especially by the priests. God wasn’t going to stop the flow of the Jordan River at flood stage until their feet were in the water. The priests, however, didn’t go into the water alone. God was with them in the form of the ark of the covenant, which they carried.
“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.” Joshua 3:17
Some thoughts for those who know God through his son Jesus:
Joshua chapter 2 features two spies who are sent to Jericho to gather information about the city prior to the Israelite invasion. Their job, blend in to a culture foreign to them, one in which they didn’t belong. As Christians doesn’t life in the workplace sometimes seem just like this; different ethics, language, and temptations we’re not prepared for.
The spies encounter Rahab, a pagan prostitute and owner of the establishment. Her house, an inn, was the best place to gather information, that is, until they were labeled spies. In a startling turn of events, Rahab not only agrees to hide them from the authorities, she lies to protect them. Her motivation: she fears God and believes He is the one true God of heaven and earth. In the most unlikely of places the Israelites encounter a person of faith.
…for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on earth below. Joshua 2:11 NLT
In exchange for harboring them, Rahab asks for a guarantee she and her family won’t be destroyed when the Israelites invade. She is given a red cord to hang in her window, a symbol she has chosen to side with the God of Israel.
One has to wonder, how will Rahab be remembered after she is gone. After all, she’s a prostitute and a liar. Yet, the Bible chooses to remember her as a person of faith.
It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies. Hebrews 11:31 NLT
D.R. Davis in his commentary on Joshua states, “Genuine faith never rests content with being convinced of the reality of God but presses on to take refuge in God.”
How will you be remembered? Will people remember you by an occasional good deed or will you be remembered for your faith in God, your refuge?
It amazes me how treat oriented dogs are. They will preform any task for the reward. Brody is no exception. Though we haven’t taught him a host of tricks, his go-to stunt is sitting up on his hind legs and dropping his front paws. Perhaps he believes he’s too cute to resist (and he’s right).
At our house treats fall into two categories, “treats” and “chew-chews.” The mere mention of the word “chew-chew” evokes mayhem. Brody and Jake will go nuts for 1/2 a chicken substitute chew (comparable to rawhide but better for their digestive system). For Brody, its barking and a classic pose. Jake spins round and round, joining in the chorus of barks.
As a pet owner I use this love for treats to my advantage whenever possible. If our dog gets loose outside, I mention the word “treats” and abracadabra he comes back. When we are in a hurry to leave the house and Jake goes into hiding, “treats” brings him out. After a long day at work and I simply want to collapse on the couch I have been known to utter the word “chew-chew.” Jake and Brody’s pleas for attention evaporate and order is restored to the universe.