Getting ready to enter
to the next level
In Egypt, we see God stopping at nothing to gain the release of His people while reminding all creation that He is the creator and sustainer of all that exists. At the Sea of Reeds, we are reminded that God can make a way when there seems to be no way. In the wilderness, we read that God provides all the necessities of life. When the people came to Sinai, God revealed Himself, His standards for living as His people, and established His laws.
When you are first set free from slavery of sin, there will be a lot of miracles in your life. When you are in God’s wilderness experience you will always have free provision. God will feed you in the wilderness even if you murmur,
God will bless you even if you sin; God will supply for you, God will take care of you even you curse Him, if you backbite, have jealousy, why? to keep His word and integrity, to show you His nature and to conform His Love for you. However, most importantly, He gives you time and opportunity to renew your mind,
Egypt (oppression, bondage); Wilderness is the training class, Canaan is freedom
The people coming out of Egypt were headed for the Promised Land, when it could have been a journey of 11 days by the shortest route. But a big change of direction came at Kadesh-Barnea. That is where 12 men were sent to spy out the land, and two of the 12, Joshua and Caleb, reported, “We can take the land.” The other 10 spies, however, reported that the inhabitants of the land are too strong and would defeat them. So the people complained and refused to enter the land at that time. Therefore God turned them out into the wilderness. Everyone older than 20 when this took place died in the wilderness over the next 40 years of wandering, except the two faithful spies—Joshua and Caleb. (See Numbers 13 and 14).
And then, with Moses gone, God chooses Joshua to lead the people.
In chapters 1, God organized before He give the best (Information)
God is a God of order, He love organization and detest confusion 1cor. 14:33
Order and organization Attract God’s favour
In chapters 2, God gave clear assignment and instruction (motivation)
God always gives the promise while you are still in slavery
God tells you His good news while you are in the middle of a bad experience
God has promised every man, women, child on earth a hope for the future.
You are the product of a promise; when ever God called you He equipped you
Moses was a deliver; his assignment was to deliver Israel from physical oppression, while Joshua was a freedom fighter his assignment was to lead them into the Promised Land
That brings us to Joshua chapter 3:—Joshua 3:1-17
The Preparations Needed for Crossing (3:1-6)
Our preparation is spiritual, not physical. Two key ideas are involved here—Preparation and Dedication:
The Lord gave Joshua four specific instructions about crossing the Jordan River. We must remember these principles when we face obstacles in our lives.
The Israelites were on the east bank of the Jordan, They undoubtedly were anxious to cross the Jordan. But there was a problem. This was the rainy season, and during the rainy season the Jordan in this area was up to a mile side, with deep, sticky mud and wide, marshy banks. The options were simple: either wait until the dry season, or do the impossible.
I. Wait for God before stepping out (3: 1-2) obidience
Came to the Jordan . . . and lodged there before they crossed over: God told the people of Israel to wait three days at shores of the Jordan River (Joshua 1:11).
These three days of waiting at the Jordan River were days of preparation for crossing it. They describe the kind of people that God wanted the Israelites to be and the kind of people he yearns for us to be. This issue of waiting is addressed in the last phrase of verse 1 and the first phrase of verse 2: "...before they passed over. At the end of three days...." we must remember God never wasted a wait
II. We can trust God to lead us (3-4). The ark of God will lead the way.
We can Depend on, Rely on God Strength, Power, Holiness to lead us when we know He wants us to act, even when we do not see clearly the path before us.
The officers …. Commanded the people, saying "When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God being carried by the Levitical priests, go after it, Joshua’s instructions to the people were clearly anticipating the impossible, the direct intervention of the Lord to make it possible for all the people to cross the swollen river. When you see the Ark, move and follow it.
The most important feature of this chapter is the Ark of the Covenant. Its prominence is stressed in the number of times it is mentioned in chapters 3 nine times.
What’s so important about the Ark? Was the visible representation of God’s presence with the people. It represented the person and promises of God. Joshua knew this was a spiritual problem,
This ark was God’s presence without it; they could have no success in moving ahead
There shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: God required that they keep some 1,000 yards behind the ark. This was for three reasons. First, to respect the holy nature of the Ark of the Covenant. But also, second it was to make sure that everyone a clear view of the ark.
Third God did not want them taking a chance of getting ahead of His leading. We need God’s leading because we have not passed this way before. They must do so not in their own strength, but in God’s for it was God Himself who was going before them as their source of victory.
Look around you and be distressed, look within you and be depressed, look to Jesus and be at rest
We all need God’s guidance every day of our lives. Each of us has one and only one life in which to live to please God and receive His blessing of eternal life. If we wish to pass successfully, we too need to follow His guidance, for we have never passed through life before. He guides us through His word. We may think we know better than what His word says, or we may think we don’t need His word but can go on our own. Then we get into trouble. If we trust Him, we will realize that He is the only One who really knows what life is about and the best way to live it. So we will obey His will in faith. [Matthew 15:9, 13; Galatians 1:8, 9; 2 John 9-11; Colossians 3:17; Jeremiah 10:23; Proverbs 14:12; 3:5, 6; Revelation 22:18, 19; 1 Timothy 1:3; 2 Timothy 1:13
III. Consecrated, Sanctify ,purify (vs. 5-6)
yourselves for the Lord commitment
“In verse 5, Joshua commands the people to consecrate themselves ‘Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you’. Joshua was referring to spiritual cleansing,
Sanctify yourselves set yourselves apart, prepare yourselves.” This stem points out personal responsibility. It may have involved simply dedication of heart or attitude, 1 peter 3:15
Sanctify yourselves means they were to separate themselves from common things to focus in on the Lord, and to see that the Lord will do wonders among you.
We must separate ourselves from all other cares, devoted ourselves to God’s Honor (2 Cor 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (KJV)
IV. There is a time to step into the water (8, 9) faith
It takes faith to follow God’s leading in our lives, especially when there are obstacles in our way.
“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’ vs 8
We must learn to step out in faith and obedience to the principles and promises of Scripture. Like the Israelites, we are called on to step out into the waters, sometimes when we don’t see how the waters—that is, the obstacles—will be dried and we are able to cross. But when we do step out to cross our Jordan, we can know that we might see and do and go in ways we had never thought possible.
Since it was the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant, and since it was the ark that represented God’s person and power, they alone were to take the Ark to the edge of the water and stand still in the water. What do we gather from this? It reminds us of our part in the plan of God. We must learn to step out in faith and obedience to the principles and promises of Scripture.
“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, 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), 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.”
Notice when God parted the water. It was not before the priests stepped out into the water, but after they took that first step. The lesson we understand from this passage is simply that we can trust God to lead us, to handle the obstacles when we want to do His will
There is a time when, knowing God’s will, that you are called on to step out even before you clearly see obstacles in your way. All you know is to pray, which is where we should turn first. And when you step out, maybe all you will know is that you remember the people on the banks of the Jordan. And you will remember that you can trust Jesus to bring you through and remove the obstacles in the path. And maybe you won’t know much more than it is God’s will for you to abandon all selfishness and step out into the waters with pure motives.
The lesson we understand from this passage is simply that we can trust God to lead us, to handle the obstacles when we want to do His will,
Crossing the Jordan, The people were surely energized and motivated, then obedient. First, you must be totally committed to God and must also be committed to a focused walk of faith in the only true and living God rather than, as they had done in the wilderness, a walk according to the flesh and their own resources.