The spies' report couldn't have been better. The people of Jericho trembled whenever anyone said "Israel" or "the Israelite's God". I wanted to swim the Jordan river and attack today! Unfortunately, thousands of Israelites couldn't just hop across a river to get there.
We moved the camp closer to the beach then prepared to cross. We organized supplies, cleaned our bodies and our clothes, and packed for the great adventure we'd waited for all these years.
I appointed officers to go throughout the camp to see if anyone needed help or if any had questions. They also gave these instructions to the people from the Lord, "When you see the ark of the covenant and the priests holding it, follow them. Keep a space between the priests and you, this will help you know which way to walk."
Once they left, I gathered the priests together. "God has given new instructions. It's time to take up the ark of the covenant and cross the river Jordan. You will go before the people carrying the ark. When you come to the edge of the river, take a step into the water and watch what miracle God will do."
I must admit, a tear of joy formed as I watched the priests pick up the ark of the covenant and place the poles on their shoulders. They counted off and stepped together to balance the ark.
I looked back at the children of Israel. They were ready to go. Time for their next instruction. I climbed on a rock to help them hear and see me. "You're about to see and know that the living God is among you and that He will, without fail drive out the evil people in this land. Look. The ark is going before you into the Jordan. As soon as the soles of priest's feet who are holding the ark touch the river, the waters of the Jordan will be cut off, both upstream and downstream."
We turned to watch the priests and the river. They stopped for a moment at the water's edge, took a deep breath then step forward into the water. Instantly the water stopped upstream and downstream.
The people raised their hands and shouted praises to our great God. The dark brown river sand turned light brown as it dried. A bridge of dry land stood before us, waiting for us to cross.
Once the priests moved forward a signal sounded for the rest of us to follow. Not one foot stuck in muck or sandal pulled off from grabby mud because the river bottom had dried completely. Children danced across. Moms and dads laughed together. No one struggled with their belongings. The priests stood in the middle of the river holding the ark as we all passed them.
One man from each tribe took a large stone from the dry river bottom and carried it to the shore.
When the last person crossed the river, the priests carried the ark to the shore. Once their feet touched the beach, the Jordan river waters filled the land bridge.
I remember seeing God stop the waters of the Red Sea for us to cross on dry ground many years ago. Now a new generation has seen God do the same miracle with the Jordan River.
We are so blessed to have God take care of us.
Praise the Lord, the great God of heaven and earth.
1. What did Joshua want to do?
2. What river did the Israelites want to cross?
3. How did they get across the river?
4. Who did God want to go first into the water?
5. What did they carry?
6. Who took care of the Israelites?