Summary: A host of people stood at the Jordan will they proceed in faith or go back into the wilderness?
Standing at the Jordan Joshua 3:1-13 Preached at Midway Community Church Jan 9,2000
Intro: Joshua: Where the promise becomes a reality; Have the promises of God through Jesus become a reality to you? As we see God’s covenant people posses the land, we can learn how the promise became a reality to them and apply much of the same ways to our lives. These things were an example to us.
1. This is just as a significant time as when they stood on the banks of the Red Sea.
2. Standing at the Red Sea was going to end 430 years of slavery, standing on the banks of the Jordan river, 40 years of wilderness existence was ending.
a. The end of 40 years of walking in a circle going nowhere fast;
b. The end of striving and never arriving;
c. The end of walking by sight
d. The end of Independent living
e. The end of never being assured of victory over the enemy
f. The end of being constantly reminded of past failures
g. The end of fear
h. The end of self centered existence where life was all about them;
3. It was the END for MOST of them, but not for Gad and the one-half tribe of Mannassa. They would never occupy the land. The Promise of God would be only words never substance. These people opted out of God’s plan and Him carrying out His purpose through them. They would opt for something much less than fullness of joy, peace, a meaningful relationship, and enjoying the milk and honey of being in fellowship with Him. HOW MANY PEOPLE TODAY WHO ARE THE COVENANT PEOPLE OF GOD HAVE SETTLED FOR LESS THAN HIS BEST FOR THEM?
4. But for those who were going to CROSS OVER, the end of the wilderness was just three days away. Just think in three days they would be going on the greatest adventure of their lives. They did not know what lay ahead, but you and I can now read about it. I don’t know if they would have believed the things that were going to happen even if God had been specific. He had told them he would be with them but I don’t think they even had a clue of the great work He was going to do on their behalf for them to posses this land. They would see walls of fortified cities fall before their eyes, they would see mercy and Grace in a defeat, they would see the enemy terrified of them, and they would begin to enter God’s rest.
a. Transition time is for the most part bittersweet experience. It can be freedom and fear all at the same time.
b. It is scary to go from trusting our own resources and ourselves for life, to trusting God for life.
c. From our own do-it-yourselves projects to trusting God to do it for us and through us.
Maybe today will be your transition time, going from religion to relationship, from trying to trusting, from self-reliance to God reliance. THE ISSUE BEFORE US IN THIS PASSAGE IS WHAT WAS GOING ON WITH THEM IN THIS TRANSITION TIME, BEFORE THEY CROSSED OVER FROM WILDERNESS LIVING TO CANNAN LIVING? I WANT US TO SEE FOUR THINGS THAT TOOK PLACE IN THIS TRANSITION TIME. I BELIEVE WE CAN RELATE TO THESE THINGS AS WELL BEFORE WE CAN CROSS OVER.
1. 3:1 THEY HAD TO FACE THE JORDAN;
a. It was uncrossable; just like the Red sea; Flood stage; no resources; they had to wait there for three days and look at this uncrossable river; ever had one of them in your life? A thing, an incident, a person that you just cannot forgive, you just cannot get around or over? It may have been when you were small, or it might have been recently, but you have not been able to go on in your Christian life because of this uncrossable river.
b. It stood between them and freedom from the wilderness; it was the last physical barrier to cross before the promise becomes a reality. What do they do now? What are their options when they sit there? Not one thing THEY can do to get across in and of themselves. THEY EITHER TRUST GOD OR GO BACK AND STAY IN THE WILDERNESS. WHAT DO YOU DO WITH YOURS? A past that has embittered you, a past that is enveloping you, a marriage or divorce that has so affected you, a root of bitterness has sprung up inside of you and that root defiling every relationship.
c. A child that is breaking your heart and there is nothing you can do to fix them. The uncrossables, the all things that come that we cannot handle, the unresolved anger, the hurt that happened 20 years ago, the mistake that you wish you had not made. We cannot change our fixes, but God can fix and make changes. Face the Jordan, not with despair, but with hope for deliverance.