Series: Obstacles and Opportunities: Crossing Jordan-October 28, 2012
Scripture: Joshua 3
In examining our lives we must consider if we will see certain events and challenges as obstacles to our faith or as opportunities to trust God more through these circumstances. It may be tempting at times to have pity on ourselves and wonder why we have such difficultly in our lives or we can choose to see that God is at work in those situations. It may be that God wants us to experience only what He can do and so it will require faith and a moving away from ourselves to trust Him more. The journey of faith for God’s people in biblical times as well as in our day is how do we choose to see what’s in front of us and how can we trust God more fully through this experience?
In part one of this series we are dealing with multiple problems. Moses died and the people who remain really only know of the wilderness of 40 years and now they have a new leader Joshua and God tells them to move to take over the Promised Land. The questions may arise as to His leadership, if God really wants them to go to the Promise Land, what about the people already living there, and how do we get the whole camp and the Ark of the Covenant across the Jordan River during flood stage? There were many obstacles in their way, some physical and others spiritual.
We find that the people of God are given in this scripture some practical advice that would always be good for the people of God at any time. Joshua tells the people the ark of the covenant of the Lord pass by the get up from your place and follow after it. So when we see the presence of God at work and moving follow. Stay back a distance so when God does move you can see and follow because it is not a way that you have been before. Trust where God is taking us and look for where that might be and be ready to follow.
Joshua then asks the people to consecrate themselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders about you. Do we today look with expectation for the Lord to do wonders among us, or are we only dreaming as big as we can accomplish? The wonders may be happening but we may not be paying attention.
God called out a new leader to move the people of God and performed a miraculous wonder as a sign confirming that God was with them. The sign was the parting of the Jordan River during the flood season just as God had done parting the Red Sea for Moses a couple of generations before. The land that they are supposed to be going is occupied by several people groups and God tells them He will help them to overcome.
There are so many obstacles that could prevent Israel from doing what God would have them to do, but they chose the opportunity to exercise their faith. The message for us is watch when the Lord leads, follow where He goes, prepare ourselves to respond, follow good leadership, and trust His promises will provide opportunities where others see obstacles.