Summary: This morning we are looking at the miraculous story of how the Israelites crossed the Jordan River. God did a miracle in their life and God will do great things in your life if you¡¦re willing to pay the price of obedience and commitment.
Crossing The Rivers in Life.
Introduction: Many of us want God to do great things in our life, but we never take the step of obedience
Patricia Agnes of Jacksonville, Florida hired a taxi at 1 dollar per mile to travel 10,000 miles to Alaska.
(Ripley’s Believe it or not.)
Some people will do anything to travel from one place to another.
You: How much would it cost you to get where you want to go?
Look: This morning we are looking at the miraculous story of how the Israelites crossed the Jordan River.
Do: God did a miracle in their life and God will do great things in your life if you¡¦re willing to pay the price of obedience and commitment.
Look with me at:
Passage: Joshua 3:1-6
1Early the next morning Joshua and all the Israelites left Acacia„T and arrived at the banks of the Jordan River, where they camped before crossing. 2Three days later, the Israelite leaders went through the camp 3giving these instructions to the people: ¡§When you see the Levitical priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD your God, follow them. 4Since you have never traveled this way before, they will guide you. Stay about a half mile„T behind them, keeping a clear distance between you and the Ark. Make sure you don¡¦t come any closer.¡¨
5Then Joshua told the people, ¡§Purify yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do great wonders among you.¡¨
6In the morning Joshua said to the priests, ¡§Lift up the Ark of the Covenant and lead the people across the river.¡¨ And so they started out.
a. The spies return: Joshua 2:22-24
After leaving Rahab, the spies state three days in the hill country. The king¡¦s men who¡¦d been hiding them gave up their search and came home.
They came to Joshua and gave their report. And they said, (verse 24)
24¡§The LORD will certainly give us the whole land, for all the people in the land are terrified of us.¡¨
So the next day Joshua assembled all of the Israelites and they arrived at the bakes of the mighty Jordan River.
For over 200 miles the Jordan River flows from more than 2000 feet above sea level at the Sea of Galilee to 1300 feet below sea level at the Dead Sea. The difference is twice the height of the Empire State building.
The water runs fast and strong.
The Jordan River was also at flood stage and overflowing its banks. This made the Jordan River impossible to cross with an entire army.
But , that night the Israelites camped next to the river.
2. Commands and Application
As the Israelites prepared to cross the Jordan River, Joshua began to give them instructions. He was giving specific instructions for how they should cross this great barrier. God had not told him anything about what would happen next. Joshua was planning by principle. Joshua had seen enough about God to know to trust him.
In your life we encounter rivers and obstacles that block our progress for doing what God wants us to do. Many can times we come to that block that obstacle and we stop. We don¡¦t know what else to do when the obstacle is too great. The river is too wide and the river is too fast. We begin to trust in ourselves and we fear the obstacle itself.
You want to be great for God. And you want God to do great things through you. But hear you sit at an obstacle. The obstacle of past rejection, or past failure, or fear of failure, or fear of commitment, or just plain laziness has been put in front of you and you are paralyzed.
As we look at how Joshua instructed the Israelites, according to principle, we can learn how to overcome those obstacles in our lives.
Joshua¡¦s first instruction is that they are to follow the priests.
Verse 3 and 4:
3giving these instructions to the people: ¡§When you see the Levitical priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD your God, follow them. 4Since you have never traveled this way before, they will guide you. Stay about a half mile„T behind them, keeping a clear distance between you and the Ark. Make sure you don¡¦t come any closer.¡¨
Joshua says to follow the priests. ¡§When they pick up the Ark of the Covenant, which represents God¡¦s leadership and presence¡Xfollow them.¡¨
I particular like to look at verse four, which says follow the priests because you have not traveled this way before. What is amusing about this to me is that the priests have not traveled that way either. And this is where you grab hold of the principle.
Joshua trusts so much in the Lord¡¦s protection and promise that he knows that the Lord will lead. Joshua simply tells the people, ¡§When God tells the priest and move--you move¡Xand let God handle the rest. ¡§