Summary: This is the 6th sermon in the series "3:16- Numbers That Bring Hope".
Series: 3:16- Numbers That Bring Hope [#6]
THE HOPE THAT COMES FROM THE UNKNOWN
This morning, we are going to continue our series from chapter 3 verse 16 of each Book of the Bible. Last week we looked at the hope that comes from spiritual warfare, today we are going to look at the hope that comes from the unknown.
Try to remember an exciting day of your life- A day which you waited a long time. It might be getting your 1st bicycle, your driver’s license, or your first car. Maybe it was your first date or the day you married that special person. For years, you may have waited, and suddenly it arrived. It was just such a day as the Israelites were finally ready to enter the Promised Land.
Joshua 3:1-4 (NIV)
“Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. After three days the officers went throughout the camp, giving orders to the people: "When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests, who are Levites, carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about a thousand yards between you and the ark; do not go near it."
There is hope in…
1. New experiences.
When I was younger, I loved new experiences. Now that I’m a little older, not so much. The Israelites had never been that way before. How would they know where to go? They were to follow the Ark of the Covenant, (which represented the presence of God).
For each of us here today, we are living a day that we have never lived before. When you start each day, do you do so with the idea that today is a new day? Do you look forward to what God is going to do? I know that it is risky to do new things and meet new people; but don’t you want to claim all that God has planned for you?
Joshua 3:5-13 (NIV)
“Joshua told the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you." Joshua said to the priests, "Take up the ark of the covenant and pass on ahead of the people." So they took it up and went ahead of them. 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. Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: `When you reach the edge of the Jordan's waters, go and stand in the river.'" Joshua said to the Israelites, "Come here and listen to the words of the LORD your God. This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites. See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you. Now then, choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the LORD--the Lord of all the earth--set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap."
There is hope in…
2. Spiritual preparation.
As I read through these verses, I especially liked the phrase, “the LORD will do amazing things among you”. There are many times in Scripture that God makes promises like this one and I like these types of promises. What I don’t like is the condition of the promise- Consecrate yourself. See, if they consecrated themselves then God would do amazing things among them. If they didn’t consecrate themselves, then God would not do amazing things among them. This holds true for us as well. There is spiritual preparation needed as we go into the unknown.
? Consecrate yourself.
This means to separate yourself from sin. As a Christian, this means that you need to confess your sins to God. This means that you need to resist the devil and draw near to God.
? Listen to God’s Word.
You will not know what God wants you to do if you do not listen to Him.
? Obey God’s Word.
Listening to God’s Word is not enough- You must also obey His Word.
Joshua 3:14-17 (NIV)
“So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water's edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea ) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.”