Reading For Tuesday Joshua 3:1-4:7
Joshua led the Israelites to the Jordan. No instructions had yet been given as to how they would be able to negotiate the raging river. After three days, the plan for crossing Jordan began to take shape. The plan was for the people to follow the ark of the covenant as it was carried by the priests. The ark would be over half a mile in front of the group. That way every Israelite would know that God was leading them forward to a place they had not been before. They would have to trust God to provide a way through an impassable barrier.
Joshua addressed the people and then the priests. He urged the people to “consecrate” themselves and challenged them to believe that on the morrow God would do something amazing among them. Joshua did not tell the people what those wonders would be. Perhaps his words would remind them of what had happened at the Red Sea some forty years earlier. Joshua directed the priests to take up the ark and move forward ahead of the people. They immediately obeyed. God told Joshua that the events of that day would exalt him in the eyes of his people. They would understand that Joshua enjoyed the divine blessing upon his work as Moses had before. What God had promised in his commission would now be fulfilled. Joshua commanded the priests to wade out into the river and stand there. The miracle of crossing the Jordan would show that the “living God” was among his people and this would be a pledge that all the “ites” would be dispossessed by the invading Israelites.
Joshua ordered that one man from each of the twelve tribes be designated. Presumably they were to follow the priests into the river, and Joshua indicated that when the priests entered the river, the Jordan would stop flowing. The priests stood on dry ground in the middle of the river bed while all the people passed over on dry ground! After crossing the river, God told Joshua to have twelve men pick up twelve stones from the place where the priests had stood in the midst of the riverbed. They were to carry these stones to the lodging place on the western bank and assemble them as a monument. Those stones would be a “sign” and a monument to precipitate inquiries from future generations. Adults would then rehearse in the ears of the children the wonderful act of covenant faithfulness that God had performed for them at this place.
Thing To Consider:
- How do we follow God today?
- How was the crossing at the Jordan similar to the Red Sea? How was it different?
- Where do you find God's guidance when you face challenges?
- How can we build monuments?
- What should we do to initiate questions from future generations?