God Magnifies Joshua
It is now time for the Children of Israel to enter the
Promised Land and occupy it. They are on the east side of Jordan north of the
Dead Sea (which lies 1,285 feet below sea level). The stroll into Canaan is not
without obstacles however. For instances there is this river called Jordan that
separates them from the land of milk and honey. The Jordan is a fast moving
river dropping 580 feet in 68 miles (an average of 8.5 feet per mile). It is
also at flood stage at this time.
The terrain is inhospitable, where they started out in
Shittem receives less then 2 inches of annual rain fall. They are still
receiving manna, God has not discontinued that. Their journey across the Jordan
is not on flat ground. Shittem appears to be at sea level but they must descend
into the Jordan Valley (a descent of about 1,000 feet). Then they must ascend to
Jericho which is at -840 feet. A possible 200 foot climb.
These figures were ascertained from the Oxford Bible
Atlas. There are several maps showing the topography, climate, vegetation and
where the tribes settled. It is rich in knowledge regarding the area, a valuable
book to have in one's library. Those who are familiar with that area realize
that the journey is not an easy one. For the rest of us it behooves us to become
familiar with Canaan so that we may appreciate the magnitude of what God has
done for the Old Testament Believers.
So now it is time to put ourselves in Joshua's shoes. He
is following a great and notable leader, Moses. The people believe that they can
now enter and occupy the Promised Land but, they need to trust their leader. Let
us see what God does for Joshua and the Children of Israel.
The tribes have now moved from Shittem down to Jordan and
they camp there for three days watching this river at flood stage. God then
tells Joshua to prepare everyone to follow the ark of the covenant, yet stay
3,000 feet away. They are going to cross this swiftly flowing flooding river.
:5 And Joshua said unto the people,
for to morrow the Lord will do
wonders among you.
:6 And Joshua spake unto the priests, saying,
Take up the ark of the covenant,
and pass over before the people.
And they took up the ark of the covenant,
and went before the people.
:7 And the Lord said unto Joshua,
This day will I begin to magnify
thee in the sight of all Israel,
may know that,
as I was with Moses,
so I will be with thee.
:8 And thou shalt command the priests that bear the ark of the covenant,
When ye are come to the brink of
the water of Jordan,
ye shall stand still in Jordan.
:9 And Joshua said unto the children of Israel,
Come hither, and hear the words of
the Lord your God.
:10 And Joshua said,
Hereby ye shall know that the
living God is among you,
and that he will without
fail drive out from before you the Canaanites,
:11 Behold, the ark of the covenant
of the Lord of all the earth
passeth over before you into Jordan.
:12 Now therefore take you twelve men out of the tribes of Israel,
out of every tribe a man.
:13 And it shall come to pass,
as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear
the ark of the Lord,
the Lord of all the earth,
shall rest in the waters of Jordan,
that the waters of
Jordan shall be cut off
from the waters that come down from
and they shall stand upon an heap.
So what do you think happened. The people balked and said,
"You are out of your mind, you are not Moses, Jordan will sweep us away,
why did you bring us here? It is better that we stayed in the desert and
wandered around there. At least we wouldn't have to deal with this raging
river." NO! That is not what they did.
:14 And it came to pass,
when the people removed from their tents, to pass over
and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the
:15 And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan,
and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped
in the brim of the water,
(for Jordan overfloweth all his
banks all the time of harvest,) [harvest is April]
:16 That the waters
which came down from above
stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the
that is beside Zaretan:
and those that came down toward the sea of the plain,
even the salt sea,
failed, and were cut off:
and the people passed over right against Jericho.
:17 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.
:14 On that day the Lord magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel;
and they feared him,
as they feared Moses,
all the days of his life.
Do you think that took some intestinal fortitude? Do you
think they had to believe God was going to make a way where there didn't seem to
be a way? Do you think God moved the water before the priests stepped into?
No--God turned off the faucet when they acted on the revelation that God had
given Joshua and not before! What an example of His mighty power. I know that
this bolstered the people's trust in God and confidence in Joshua.
God also had the those twelve men select stones out of the
river to set up as a memorial to remind them and their children of God's might.
:20 And those twelve stones,
which they took out of Jordan,
did Joshua pitch in Gilgal.
:21 And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying,
When your children shall ask their
fathers in time to come, saying,
:22 Then ye shall let your children know, saying,
Israel came over this Jordan on dry
:23 For the Lord your God dried up the waters of
Jordan from before you,
until ye were passed over,
as the Lord
your God did to the Red sea,
which he dried up from before us,
were gone over:
:24 That all the people of the earth might know the
hand of the Lord,
that it is
might fear the Lord your God for ever.
God had not changed. He is still mighty in our lives.
II Corinthians 10
:3 For though we walk in the flesh,
we do not war after the flesh:
:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal,
but mighty through God to the
pulling down of strong holds;)
:5 Casting down imaginations,
and every high thing
that exalteth itself against the
knowledge of God,
and bringing into captivity
every thought to the obedience of
Our battle is spiritual. There may be personal battles
left to fight but Jesus Christ won the war for us. We can be victorious through
him by believing God, by not listening to the five-senses circumstances. We must
cast down the worldly thoughts that bombard us that are against the truth of His
Word and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. Confess
His Word, confess His promises and He shall perform His Word in our lives.
Here for printable version.