Summary: You might have been wandering in the wilderness for many years, lost and going about in circles. It is time to cross the Jordan Rive and live a life of victory claiming your inheritance in Christ. We will study the three things you must do to cross.
Joshua 3:1-8 (NIV)
3 Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. 2 After three days the officers went throughout the camp, 3 giving orders to the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. 4 Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about two thousand cubits[a] between you and the ark; do not go near it.”
5 Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” 6 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.
7 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. 8 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.’”
Our story in Joshua chapter 3 is about Israel crossing the Jordan River.
Last week, we talked about Rahab who helped the two spies escaped from the hands of the king of Jericho.
Now, Joshua after receiving fresh information about the land they will conquer, he decided that it is time for them to move out, cross the Jordan and claim the land.
But first, he had to make some clear instructions to Israel on how they are to prepare themselves for battle because they have never done this before.
The first thing was for the priests to carry the ark of the covenant, take a step forward while the people follow behind and keeping their distance.
He reminded them that once they move forward, the Lord will do amazing things in their sight from then on.
And so, when they reached the edge of the Jordan's water, they are to stand in the river and wait.
Afterwards, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant should again be the first to step foot in the water Jordan.
They did that and the water that was flowing downstream were miraculously cut off completely and piled up in a heap a great distance away from them.
The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground.
The people were able to cross over the Jordan River.
The priests stood there until all Israel passed by and the whole nation had completed the crossing.
They were never the same people from then on.
They were now ready to conquer Jericho.
Remember that during the time of Moses, in order to flee from Egypt, they had to cross the Red Sea on dry ground.
All the Egyptians who were pursing them were drowned when it closed upon them.
Afterwards, Israel went to the foot of Mount Sinai where God gave them the Law and the Ten Commandments.
Then, because of their disobedience and murmuring, they had to wander for forty long years in the wilderness.
Now, under Joshua's leadership, they had to cross the River Jordan before they could conquer the land.
Why were they have to cross another body of water?
Because when they crossed the Red Sea, they thought they could leave Egypt behind after many years of bondage.
However, the problem was even if they have left Egypt, yet, Egypt was very much a part of their hearts.
In fact, they constantly longed to go back to Egypt.
As I said, they lingered, they grumbled, they murmured, they even angered God several times because they were still in bondage to Egypt.
That is why God allowed them to wander for many years in the wilderness.
Now that the first generation had all died, and a new generation had been raised up with their new leader Joshua, they were now ready for the second crossing.
It was time to cross the Jordan River where they will be changed completely and be ready for battle.
That is the same thing with us.
We have two rivers to cross.
We must first cross the Red Sea which is the symbol of the identification or the baptism of the believer in the death and the resurrection of Christ.
This is our first encounter with Christ when we are born again and pledged our loyalty to His purposes.
God had delivered us from death and brought us into His own Kingdom.