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?
Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind. Psalm 107:8
It’s been a while since I shared a Brody update. I can assure you that he is alive, well and full of himself. I refer to Jake and Brody as “brothers” though the only thing they have in common is that they are both long-hair mini dachshunds. Jake is 10 years older than Brody but you wouldn’t know it when they are rough-housing around the house. They do tend to look out for one another, whether they’re penned up, relaxing on the sofa or out for a walk. They also eat and drink from the same bowls without fighting.
Their camaraderie gets cloudy, however, when treats or toys are introduced into the equation. I’m careful to give each dog the same item but within minutes each creature immediately wants the other’s prize without letting go of the one they already possess. It’s a funny thing to watch two dogs vie for the other’s prize but not quite so funny when we look at our own lives and see something similar happening.
I need to be reminded once in a while to be content with what I have already.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6
Joshua is a remarkable, heroic Old Testament Bible character worthy of our admiration. He did what Moses could not do; lead the children of Israel into the Promised Land which God gave to them.
Joshua had a servant’s heart. He was an assistant to Moses since his youth, serving him in Egypt, during the desert wandering and leading men into battle. He never married or had children, dedicating his life to serving God.
“Israel served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua…” Joshua 24:31
The book of Joshua opens with the death of Moses, and concludes with the death of Joshua. In between we find a person worthy of our study. For Christians, there’s a host of parallels between Joshua leading the children of Israel and Jesus leading the body of believers in Him to our promised inheritance. For starters, the name Joshua means Jehovah is salvation, and the equivalent name in Greek is Jesus. Taking the name one step further, we read in Joshua 1:1 that Joshua is the son of Nun. The word “Nun” means eternal or perpetual, no doubt underscoring him as a type of Christ.
Join me as I journey through the book of Joshua.
I can do all things through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
This picture is worth a 1000 words. Perhaps some of your words begin with, “I can do…”
The scripture verse promises spiritual strength, available to those who choose to draw from it. If you are facing a trial or hardship, it’s a promise you can stand upon.