Summary: Step into the water, observe a miracle, and enter the land of milk and honey. This was a huge victory, but they had many more victories to win. Link inc. to formatted text, audio & video, PowerPoint.
Step into the Water
The children of Israel are ready to leave the wilderness for good and claim their Canaan, the Promised Land of abundance and victory...the land of milk and honey.
For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people that were men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: unto whom the LORD sware that he would not shew them the land, which the LORD sware unto their fathers that he would give us, a land that floweth with milk and honey.
In their way is the swollen Jordan River.
God tells them they are going to cross the river, which looks impossible. But mark it down and take it to the bank when God gives you such a challenge...for He will make a way! [Israelite Crossing!]
Got any rivers that seem uncrossable?
Got any mountains you can’t tunnel through?
God specializes in things thought impossible
And He knows a thousand ways to make a way for you!
God parted the waters again like He did 40 years earlier. And the people crossed. This was a huge victory, but they had many more victories to win.
The hymn book has several songs which picture Canaan as heaven...songs which talk about crossing over Jordan to our final reward. “I Am Bound for the Promised Land” says the same sort of thing, and if true would mean “I’m not walking in victory, but I’m one day gonna get there!”
Well, Israel has many more battles to fight. In heaven there will be no more war.
Canaan pictures the victorious Christian life. It means you are no longer a slave to habits and sinful thinking and ways of life. Not perfect, but in the midst of a major make over! It’s a place of joy, not necessarily happiness at all times. But walking with God and trusting Him in all things, not like some Christians who walk around looking like they were baptized in pickle juice!
Sure, we all have rivers of difficulty in our way. But don’t let those rivers keep you from your land of opportunity. You know in your heart God has more for you in life, and you are right!
What’s your river? Doubt? Fear? Discouragement? Distraction? God commands you to cross that river and good news: He’ll make a way!
1. The Reality of Miracles.
v. 5 ‘wonders’ = miracles
Some people don’t believe in miracles. They think they can explain it in some other way. They are afraid it will make them a fanatic. But if you believe in God, you should believe in miracles.
“God is dead” was the cry of the hippies. News flash, He’s not dead...He’s not even sick! And He’s still performing miracles today. I’ll say something else. I don’t want to pick a fight here, but I want to say to those who worship idols or historical figures like Mohammed, “My God is alive! Too bad about yours!!”
God is not bound as a prisoner to His own laws. We talk about the laws of nature. But God formed nature. They aren’t laws of nature but laws of God. Nature obeys God. The laws of physics are God’s laws and physics obeys Him. The laws of science are God’s laws and science obeys Him.
God has the right to step in and interrupt those laws anytime He wants to – that’s what a miracle is!
Ill.—a model train enthusiast spends great time and effort laying out tracks and building the set, and finally, putting the train together on the tracks. But what if he gets a whim in the control box to turn the engine around backwards and make it pull the train in a way never intended? Is he allowed to leave the control box and step in and interfere with his creation? Sure! It’s his train. He designed it, assembled it, and can do anything he wants to with it.
How do you explain the miracles of the Bible? Not the way the Learning Channel will try to explain them. They try to give possible natural explanations for supernatural events. That’s just man trying to understand how something impossible could really be possible. But you can’t explain a miracle any more than you can explain God. By the way, I’m glad I can’t explain God. I wouldn’t put much confidence in a God I can explain. Why’s He my God anyway, if I have Him all figured out?
Ill.—I can’t explain electricity. I don’t know how it works. But I don’t intend to sit in the dark until I have it figured out! And I won’t deny God’s miracles or deny myself of something that is good just because I can’t understand it all.