God was about to honor Joshua and prove that he was every bit as much of a mighty leader as Moses was when he parted the Red Sea. Under Joshua’s leadership, the Israelites were journeying toward the land promised to them by the Lord. They would have to cross the Jordan River, which was flooding and overflowing its banks, as it often did during harvest season. They were given three days to pack and prepare before beginning their trek across a rushing river, swollen with floodwaters. Can you imagine the terror in their hearts??
Joshua rose early to seek the Lord, as the weight of the responsibility of commanding such a mission rested on him. At the Lord’s direction, he told the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant, which housed the Presence of the Lord, to go to the brink—the outermost extremity—of the water, and stand still. When ye are come to the brink of the water of Jordan, ye shall stand still in the Jordan. (Joshua 3:8 KJV) Now what? A violently raging, flooding river roared in front of the priests, and they probably only had their sandals on! God’s people watched from behind—men, women, and children clinging to faith in a God they could not see and a leader who was moving them directly into unthinkable peril and danger.
A raging river is noisy. How could a father comfort his son as they faced this horror? A mother’s reassuring words (if she even had any) could hardly be heard over the screams of her child and the deafening crashing of violent water. What about the elderly people? More instructions came from Joshua: the people were to keep their eyes on the Ark and stay about a half-mile from it, as they moved into the river.
Rivers don’t bother God. Raging, tumultuous, violent rivers don’t bother God. He made them. The sea is His, for it was He who made it (Psalm 95:5). As soon as the priests’ feet hit the water, when they carried the Ark of the Covenant, the waters of the Jordan River ceased to flow. Joshua said, “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," (Joshua 3:13 NKJV). In fact, the waters stopped at a city called Adam, which was far, far away from them.
The Lord of all the earth shall rest in the waters of the Jordan that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off. Right now as you read this, the Lord of all the earth can come and rest in the troubling waters of your life. As long as His Presence was in the Jordan River, the floodwaters stopped, and the Israelites walked across the river on dry land. It was the sequel to the parting of the Red Sea. Nothing is more powerful than the Presence of the Lord! And here’s the kicker: We are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,” according to 1 Peter 2:9 (ESV). We have the awesome privilege of carrying God's Presence!
The very Presence of God dwells within us since we are the tabernacle (house, dwelling place) of the Holy Spirit. Get it! Keep it! Carry it! Put your waders on, and walk right into the face of danger. God is with you!
© 2021, Chris Werre