Joshua 3 Commentary: Crossing of the Jordan River.
And the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses”. Joshua 3 verse 7. When the LORD lifts a man the result is humility. Any other form of exaltation leads to pride of heart, arrogance of character and general disrespect for fellow man. In His own timing and by providence, the LORD does exalt man from time to time but the objective is that “they may know that I am with you”.
But there is more to the miracle of crossing the Jordan River on dry ground. The crossing of the Red sea was just a story to many of them. This new generation needed to have their own story to tell. The LORD commands them to preserve stones from the middle of the Jordan as a memorial. Throughout the Torah we saw how the LORD commanded Moses to preserve memories of great events. The human mind must be helped to remember the goodness of the LORD.
Joshua begins with an instruction to the community to consecrate themselves in readiness for God’s intervention. The community is further instructed to follow the Ark of the Covenant. They needed to know which way to go “since they had never been that way before”. It is indeed a strange situation that some people seek the LORD’s intervention without consecration. And the saint who wakes up in the morning not knowing the way to take does well to open the word and seek direction.
This most important box (the Ark) is nothing but ‘two tablets of stone’ on which the law was written. Can following or obeying the law help me find employment or even put food on the table? Yes. Absolutely. That is all the LORD demanded of Israel and I think the command remains for the saint today.
The story of a presidential candidate who was detained for political reasons can help us. The Inspector General of police went out of his way and granted permission to the wife of the prisoner to see her husband. It cost him his job. Several years later this prisoner became president and remembered the professionalism of the police chief and restored him to his position. A good was done. The law of the LORD was obeyed. The LORD took note and the man was rewarded for it.
The key line here is that the LORD elevates man in order to make a name for Himself. But who wouldn’t hold a glass of juice properly and respectfully even if the glass itself isn’t juice? Obedience is underlined. Consecration is good preparation for God’s intervention. The result is victory for the saint, exemplified here by the miracle of the crossing of the Jordan River on dry ground. Let man remember the goodness of the LORD!
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