14 So when the people set out from their tents to cross the Jordan with the priests carrying the ark of the covenant before the people, 15 and when those who carried the ark came into the Jordan, and the feet of the priests carrying the ark were dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks all the days of harvest), 16 the waters which were flowing down from above stood and rose up in one heap, a great distance away at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those which were flowing down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. So the people crossed opposite Jericho. 17 And the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan. (Joshua 3:16)
Forty years after God parted the Red Sea so that two million former Israealite slaves could walk away from Egypt, He did it again. In His Sovereign Power, He backed up the swollen, flooded Jordan River almost twelve miles (in ONE HEAP) so that His people could enter the Promised Land of Canaan! This was on downstream side, then He cut off the River - which He created - from the exit into the Dead (or Salt) Sea. As an aside, the minerals and salt products from this Sea are premium cosmetic items used far and wide!
On both Partings of Major Bodies of Water (Red Sea and the Jordan), the complete Sovereignty of God were on full display for not just Israel, but those they were about to conquer and replace, in the Promised Land.
The Crossing at this point on the River Jordan was strategic. Led by God's General Joshua, the Exodus was complete right outside the City of Jericho where the conquest began almost immediately. The Mighty Power of God's Hand was again immediately obvious here. Jericho was almost like a sanctuary city for those who had heard what the God of the Israelites was doing to clear the path for His plans and purposes. The King of Jericho, a city of around 40,000, had to have seen the multitudes across the flooding River from his city one day. Then the very next day - the River bed is clear and all the water backed up as high as small mountain upstream. We all know what happened when Joshua led a crack military unit around the double walled city with shofars and rams horns - the secure, tough city of Jericho fell. The Lord can break down the ramparts of despair around us, when trouble comes, when we too release the sound of worship from our hearts.
TRUTH: All of this history, now confirmed by archaelogists, is contained in the accounts surrounding Joshua 3:16. This verse, like ALL the other 3:16 verses we are looking at, is pivotal. It is here where God made a way, where there was no other way. It is another example of the Mighty One showing His Power and Majesty as King of all things.
LESSONS: Like the River Jordan, overflowing during the flood season here in Joshua 3:16, sometimes we get run over by life. When the semi truck of sadness and sorrow beset us and more troubles pile on than we could ever imagine, this is the perfect opportunity for the Sovereign Hand of God to make a way, where there is no way. Here is where God rolls back the stone.....or sends the water that's drowning us so far back upstream that we cannot see it. It is here we see God do His best work.
There is a caveat - we must believe three things - that He alone is God; that He is Sovereign and thirdly, that He loves YOU. Yes YOU and I. He loves us so much He gave His Life for us. That is already done. The rest is easy for Him. The rest is resting in Him. For the rest of it, He is full of mercy, grace and long suffering and will bring it to fruition. Breakthrough can be had, until it is our time to go, if we give EVERYTHING to Him, holding nothing back...no hidden sin, no disbelief....holding nothing back from Him. Trusting Christ in the Flood, with Godly perseverance and Faith, can lead to crossing over....on dry land.
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