Waiting For A Hot Ride
Sermon shared by Jeff Strite
Summary: How many times did God’s people cross water that had parted for them? And what does this simple trivia question tell us about God’s main message in Scripture?
Tags: Jesus, Chariot, Whirlwind, Transfiguration, Elijah, Elisha, Moses, Joshua, Law, Promised Land, Nebo, Savior, Death, Swing Low, Baptism, Resurrection, Bible Study, Trivia, Red Sea, Jordan, Encouragement, Hope, Crossing (add tag)
Denomination: Christian/Church of Christ
Audience: General adults
Now, most theologians believe to the incident God was referring to here, was where Moses had been commanded to SPEAK to a rock so that water would come out. BUT Moses had grown weary of a people that were always complaining and bickering and backbiting. And he’d especially grown tired of their questioning his God-given leadership of the nation. So, in this particular incident, instead of just speaking to the rock, he STRUCK the rock in anger and implied about HE was bringing forth the water for Israel (not God)
Now, if that was true – by most standards that was a VERY small indiscretion. This seems to be ONLY complaint God ever had against Moses. Moses lived 120 years and this one incident keeps him out of the Promised Land! Others had done worse and they got into the promised Land..
That’s not FAIR.
But this wasn’t really about fairness.
This was about God using Moses as an object lesson
Moses was one of the greatest servants of God in the Old Testament.
A man of unparalleled righteousness and obedience.
But even this great man of God had sinned.
And the Law that he had brought down from Mt. Sinai couldn’t remove that sin.
God’s point was – even the smallest sin can keep us out of heaven.
But God had another lesson.
Not only could the smallest sin keep you OUT of heaven, the Law COULDN’T get you INTO heaven.
You see, Moses represented the Law (the Law was often called “The Law Of Moses”), and God chose not to let Moses into the Promised Land partly because He wanted to teach us that – just as the giver of the Law could not enter the Promised Land that same Law would be unable to lead anyone else into heaven.
God kept Moses out of the Promised Land.
Moses was not allowed to lead God’s people into this new land.
So WHO DID? Who did God have lead Israel into the Promised Land? (Joshua)
You know what Joshua’s name in the Greek is?
JESUS (which means “Savior”)
The Law was not permitted to take people into the Promised Land… but Joshua (the Savior) could lead them in.
And when Joshua led the people into the Promised Land God parted the Jordan River so that the people could cross the riverbed on dry ground. And Joshua leads the people of Israel across the river… in exactly the same place that Elijah and Elisha crossed.
You think that might have been a coincidence???
Now, this morning we read the story of Elijah and Elisha at the Jordan River.Elijah has always ministered in the land of Israel (the Promised Land). But when it comes his time to be taken up in the whirlwind… where does he go?
He crosses to the other side of the Jordan.
He LEAVES the land of God.
He goes OUTSIDE the Promised Land.
Now, why does God have Elijah do that??
Because Elijah represents the Prophets of the Old Testament.
AND the Jews depended upon the Law and the Prophets to bring them to righteousness.
God’s message: neither the Law NOR the Prophets could bring us into God’s rest.
Elijah doesn’t cross back into the Promised Land, but someone else does.
Who parts the waters so he can walk right back into God’s Land?
As I was preparing this message I asked myself: “I wonder what Elisha’s name means?”
“Elisha” means “God is our Salvation”
Do see what God is doing here?
God is using the same imagery as He did with Moses and Joshua.
Neither the Law NOR
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