WHEN GOD GETS IN THE ACTION
INTRO: ILLUS: The small high school had a relatively good basketball team. The starting five were good, and though the sixth man was not as good an athlete as the others, he was an inspirer of team spirit. Whenever he got in the game, the tempo changed to a greater strength.
People wonder if God ever gets involved in human affairs.
God’s involvement in the history of Israel made the difference. Many events mark God’s action such as the call of Abraham, the parting of the Red Sea, the crossing of the Jordan River, the defeat of Jericho, and many other events. Israel’s crossing of the Jordan River furnishes a marvelous example of God getting involved in history. Some timely lessons can be learned from this story.
I. PREPARATIONS HAVE TO BE MADE IN ORDER FOR GOD TO ACT (3:1—5).
The time had come for Israel to leave the wilderness and to enter into Canaan. Joshua gave instructions to the people about the crossing. The instructions were non-negotiable. They had to do exactly what Joshua said.
God wants to be more involved in our lives. In order for God to act, we have to prepare ourselves by a willingness to listen to Him and a determination to follow His directions.
II. RISKS HAVE TO BE TAKEN IN ORDER FOR GOD TO ACT.
Notice the similarity between the Red Sea and the Jordan River crossing by the Israelites.
When preparation had been made by the people, they went toward the river. The priests went before them. When the priests stepped into the water,
the flow of the river stopped, and the people pass ed over. The Jordan river was at flood stage. The priests had to risk the matter of putting their feet in the water. This was symbolic of the death and resurrection of Jesus.
God’s people have to take risks. They can plan and prepare constantly, but ultimately they have to “get their feet wet.”
III. RECOGNITION MUST BE GIVEN ACKNOWLEDGING GOD̓S ACTION (4:1-7).
God’s actions are too significant to be forgotten. Joshua selected one man from each of the twelve tribes to get a stone from the riverbed. They carried the stones to Gilgal as a memorial to God’s action.
There are many historical markers where God has been active in history. In our personal lives we can remember seasons or particular days when God acted in our lives.
CONC: When God gets in the action, great and mighty things take place. Israel’s history is blessed with many of God’s actions. Churches and individuals will be blessed when God is permitted to act.