The people came up out of the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and they encamped at Gilgal on the east border of Jericho. And those twelve stones, which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal. And he said to the people of Israel, "When your children ask their fathers in times to come, 'What do these stones mean?' then you shall let your children know, 'Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.' For the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever." (Joshua 4:19-24 ESV)
The people of Israel crossed the Jordan river, potentially miles across, on dry ground. God’s solution to their problem was not a boat. It was not a hidden bridge. God stopped the waters from flowing, during flood season, to give them dry ground to walk on. The older Israelites (45+ years old) would have been able to compare the experience to crossing the Red Sea on dry ground. God was solving their problem God’s way. So, once they crossed, they stopped and worshipped God.
And the LORD said to Joshua, "Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you." And so the name of that place is called Gilgal to this day. While the people of Israel were encamped at Gilgal, they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening on the plains of Jericho. And the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. And the manna ceased the day after they ate of the produce of the land. And there was no longer manna for the people of Israel, but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year. (Joshua 5:9-12 ESV)
God solves all kinds of problems with style – God’s way. When God solves a problem God’s way, we are reminded that only God can solve these problems this way. The Red Sea parted. That’s God’s way. The Jordan river stopped flowing. That’s God’s way. Manna appears six days a week, but not on the Sabbath…for 40 years. That’s God’s way. And, when they have food to eat from the land promised to them – the manna stopped. That’s also God’s way.
God’s way is bigger than our way. God’s way always drives us to a closer walk with God. God’s way reminds us that God is God and encourages us to walk together with God. Not only that, God’s way solves many more problems than just the ones we are thinking about.
As soon as all the kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan to the west, and all the kings of the Canaanites who were by the sea, heard that the LORD had dried up the waters of the Jordan for the people of Israel until they had crossed over, their hearts melted and there was no longer any spirit in them because of the people of Israel. (Joshua 5:1 ESV)
What about you? Do you trust God’s way? Do you trust God’s way? Do you follow God’s way? When you are distracted, challenged, or even frightened, do you draw courage from God?