Summary: Israel was commanded to pile 12 stones after they crossed over Jordan as a memorial to God’s deliverance. What kind of rocks are we piling up as a memorial for future generations should Jesus tarry?
BUILDING YOUR ROCK PILE
Joshua 3:14-17; 4:1-7
Life is a journey. With each passing day we are drawing nearer to the time when we must cross over Jordan, the river of death. As I grow older I cannot help but think about what that day will be like. What will that passage from this life into eternity hold in store for me?
Today I want us to look at the passage of Israel through the River Jordan and see what happened to them because I believe that their passage is a clear picture of what awaits those who obey God and are faithful to the end. I also believe that it contains some instructions for this present life.
Psalms 23:4, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."
Every day that passes we find ourselves walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Death is on our heels and Satan is doing everything in his power to kill this body, steal our salvation and destroy the eternal life within us.
So, not only are we going to face the crossing of the River Jordan in death when we come to the end of this life, but we are continually crossing Jordan right now.
With this in mind let us look again at what God told Israel to do as they crossed over into their Promised Land.
Joshua 3:14, "And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents, to pass over Jordan, and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people;"
“It came to pass”! What a wonderful phrase that is! We must never forget that change is inevitable. Time marches on and there is no stopping the clock. This time, this day will soon be gone and the sun will rise upon another morning. Life waits for no one and we have no promise that tomorrow will come. This day, this hour, this minute, and even this very second in time could be the last that we shall ever see. We are only a heartbeat, or a breath away from crossing that river of death.
Let’s not ever get complacent and be lulled into thinking that we have a long time to accomplish that which God has given us to do. Let us not be fooled by the lies of the devil that whisper in our ears that we can put off serving God, put off witnessing, or wait a little longer before giving ourselves wholly and completely unto the Lord.
I wonder how many people are in hell today simply because they forgot that little phrase, “it came to pass”? Satan blinded them to the passing of time and held them in prisons of their own making until it was too late and their lives had “come to pass”?
Let’s take note that Israel, in God’s time, had no choice but to take down their tents and begin their final journey into the Promised Land.
Maybe that journey wasn’t at a convenient time for many of them. They had camped at the banks of the river for a while now because the time had not come for them to cross over. The waters of the Jordan were overflowing its banks and there was a flood ahead of them that blocked their path. I’m sure that they had all settled down for a long stay and were convinced that they would be here for a while, at least until the floods had receded.
Maybe there was the merchant who set up shop because he was ever after making profits and selling his wares. Life must go on and time is wasting. I have to make a living so it’s time to get to work again.
I know that we all must make our living and we must obey Luke 19:13, where the master of the vineyard give the command to his servants to “Occupy till I come." But let us never forget that one day, our occupation will come to an end and it will be time to move on. Don’t get too caught up in making a living and forget the eternal life that waits.
Maybe there was a mother who had small children, that did all she could under their nomadic lifestyle, to get them to the teachers to be educated, who had to still prepare the meals and keep the tents in order, hunt in the ever moving market places to find food and the necessities of life for her family. Her thoughts were always toward her husband and her family and she had little time to stop and think that her life was also “coming to pass”.