Summary: Just as God brought the Israelites into the Promised Land, He has called us out of the darkness of the world to live lives full of victory, crossing over the flooded streams of this life.
“Action Pattern for a Crossover People,” Joshua 3:5-17
An old writer said that Faith and Reason may be compared to two travelers. Faith is like a man in full health, who can walk his twenty or thirty miles at a time without suffering. Reason is like a little child, who can only, with difficulty, accomplish three or four miles. “Well,” says the old writer, “on a given day Reason says to Faith, ‘O good Faith, let me walk with you.’ Faith replies, ‘O Reason, you could never walk with me!’ However, to try their paces, they set out together, but they soon find it hard to stay together.
When they come to a deep river, Reason says, ‘I can never ford this,’ but Faith wades through it singing. When they reach a lofty mountain, there is the same exclamation of despair; and in such cases, Faith, in order not to leave Reason behind, is obliged to carry him on his back. Oh, what luggage is Reason to Faith!”
We are living in challenging times and just as Joshua and the Israelites came to the Jordan River and trusted God to make a way for them to cross, so too, we have flooded rivers in our lives which need crossing. When circumstances in our lives reach flood stage, what are we to do? When it seems that there is no way across the treacherous waters of our situation, where are we to turn?
This morning we will take a look at what the Bible has to say about Joshua and the Israelites crossing over the Jordan River and how that applies to us. As we examine chapter three of the book of Joshua, we see a pattern emerging in the text that can be well applied in our lives individually as well as to us as a church.
We all have times in our lives that we must crossover a flooded river in our faith, in our families, in our finances, or any many other ways too numerous to list. When the rivers rage and the flood waters rise it is not simply enough to take action or make a plan based on our own insights and perceptions of what is right.
Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way that leads to death.” (NET) If we are to be a crossover people, a people who cross over the rivers of this life, rather than being swept away by every tide of every rushing stream, we must learn to apply God’s action plan for the victory in our lives; leaning on His provision, rather than upon our strength.
Today, we will take a look at God’s action pattern for a crossover people.
Background. In today’s Scripture reading we see the Israelites standing at the gate to the Promised Land. They had followed Moses out of Egypt and, after wondering in the dessert for forty years, now stood at the edge of inheriting the promise that God had made to them. Moses had died without seeing the Promised Land and God had given that privilege to their new leader, Joshua.
The Nation of Israel had wondered in the desert for forty years. They had seen the miracles of God in the seven plagues which led to their being released by Pharaoh as well as the miracle of God parting the Red Sea in their flight from an angry Pharaohs army. Interestingly, modern archeology has confirmed much of the biblical historical accounts in regard to this period in Israel’s history.
In 1978, divers exploring a site in the Gulf of Aqaba, where Moses and the Israelites crossed, found the remains of what are very likely the armies of Pharaoh. Since that time, multiple dives have uncovered the gold that was used to house Egyptian chariot wheels, as well as human and horse bones at incredible depths.
God’s word is trustworthy. Modern archeology has done much to confirm ancient biblical accounts. The Bible is unlike so much shifting sand in the world. It is the trustworthy revelation of God to His people. It is confirmed in our hearts as we see the fruit of its activity in our lives and by archeology and science.
Follow the Lord. The first and perhaps most important step in God’s action plan for being a crossover people, is to follow the Lord. We are surrounded by land mines in this culture which drive a wedge between us and our ability to follow the Lord. We are attacked on this side by the lies of the modern world view.
Universalism is propounded by all quadrants of society be they popular media or otherwise. The lie of universalism is that all religious truth claims are of equal value. The collective modern worldview says that each person should follow their own heart, follow any wise teacher that comes along, or, and perhaps most disconcerting of all, it simply rejects the very notion of being led altogether.