Summary: Are you ready for the new season God has for you? In Joshua 3 an event was about to happen that would change their lives forever. How would they walk through that transition successfully?
Are you ready for a change? Are you ready to take new ground in your life? Today we take our text from Joshua 3. Israel has been wandering in circles for 40 years. Their fathers had come up to the Promise Land and failed to enter in. The opportunity was theirs; but they backed off of the opportunity because of unbelief in their hearts.1 Now a new generation, led by Joshua, has the same opportunity.
Follow with me as we begin reading in Joshua 3:1
“Then Joshua rose early in the morning; and they set out from Acacia Grove and came to the Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they crossed over. 2 So it was, after three days, that the officers went through the camp; 3 and they commanded the people, saying, "When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests, the Levites, bearing it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it. 4 Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before." 5 And Joshua said to the people, "Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you." 6 Then Joshua spoke to the priests, saying, "Take up the ark of the covenant and cross over before the people." So they took up the ark of the covenant and went before the people. 7 And the LORD said to Joshua, "This day I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. 8 You shall command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, saying, 'When you have come to the edge of the water of the Jordan, you shall stand in the Jordan.'" 9 So Joshua said to the children of Israel, "Come here, and hear the words of the LORD your God." 10 And Joshua said, "By this you shall know that the living God is among you, and that He will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Hivites and the Perizzites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Jebusites: 11 Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is crossing over before you into the Jordan. 12 Now therefore, take for yourselves twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one man from every tribe. 13 And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, the waters that come down from upstream, and they shall stand as a heap." 14 So it was, when the people set out from their camp to cross over the Jordan, with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, 15 and as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest), 16 that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam, the city that is beside Zaretan. So the waters that went down into the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, failed, and were cut off; and the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17 Then the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan; and all Israel crossed over on dry ground, until all the people had crossed completely over the Jordan.2
I have taken a statement found in verse 4 as the title of this message: You Have Not Passed This Way Before. In one day, everything about their lives is about to change. Up until this time they were nomads wandering around in the wilderness. There food supply was manna that fell from heaven. They were led by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. For 40 years it was the same meal and the same routine every day.
Now they come to a place in their lives when God says: “It’s time for a change. It is now time for you to enter into my purposes. It is now time to take the land that I have given you to inhabit. You will no longer eat manna; you will eat the good of the land. But there will be some battles to fight. I will be with. I will give you victory. But you will have to engage the enemy and take the land.”