Summary: Israel “lodged” camped at the swollen Jordan River because of the spring rains, they had no idea how they would pass to the other side.
SS~ #19~ Joshua 3:~ camped at the Jordan – tomorrow they cross~ 10-19-14
1 And Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim, and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over.
~ Israel “lodged” camped at the swollen Jordan River because of the spring rains, they had no idea how they would pass to the other side.
2 And it came to pass after three days, that the officers went through the host;
~Joshua directs the tribal leaders, and the Lord is directing Joshua.
3 And they (the officers) commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.
4 Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: (about half a mile) come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.
~ I think I told you before, if the people came near the Ark then only those would be able to see what was going on, but from about the ½ mile they would all have a better chance to observe what was happening.
The usual position of the ark, when at rest, was in the center of the camp; and during a march, in the middle of the procession. --- On this occasion it was to occupy the front , and be carried, not by the Kohathite Levites, but the priests.
5 And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the LORD will do wonders among you.
~ In all probability God directed Joshua to do this, Joshua followed Gods orders.
“Sanctify yourselves” means they were to separate themselves from common things to focus in on the LORD, God was about to work a miracle for His people.
6 And Joshua spake unto the priests, saying, Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over before the people. And they took up the Ark of the Covenant, and went before the people.
~We see Joshua’s success was depending on and growing out of the promise of 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
~ Joshua obviously had the word of God on his lips, on his mind, and in his actions.
7And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee.
~This miraculous work that God was about to do will cause Israel to know that Joshua is truly their leader. -- His authority would be established, and obedience to him as their leader. --- God will make Joshua a leader like Moses in the eyes of the people, and He will do it by using Joshua to miraculously lead the people across a seemingly impossible body of water.
~ Even with God’s specific guidance, and with specific guidance from His word, this is still an impressive step of faith for Joshua.