I’m not sure that I would have been ready to accept God’s plan for crossing the Jordan river. The river was miles across and it was flood season. God’s plan was to have the priests stand in the edge of the river with the Ark of the Covenant until the river flow stopped. Yeah, right.
Now the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firmly on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, and all Israel was passing over on dry ground until all the nation finished passing over the Jordan. (Joshua 3:17 ESV)
It seemed strange, but the plan worked! “Of course it worked,” we think, “This is God we’re talking about here.” It’s easy to pick on the Israelites for their lack of faith thousands of years ago, but do we really trust God and His ways today? Do we trust God to provide air, water, food, and shelter for us today or do we trust in our own abilities, skills, education, and work-ethic? Do we trust God to show us how to be just, to love one another, and to walk humbly with our God? Do we trust God with our marriages, our sexuality, our bank accounts, our daily calendars, our minds, our hearts, our words, and our actions? It’s easy to say, “Of course God’s way will work,” when it’s a story about someone else. But do we trust God in all of our ways today?
When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan, the LORD said to Joshua, "Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, and command them, saying, 'Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests' feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.'" Then Joshua called the twelve men from the people of Israel, whom he had appointed, a man from each tribe. And Joshua said to them, "Pass on before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, 'What do those stones mean to you?' then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever." (Joshua 4:1-7 ESV)
God did amazing things in the presence of the Israelites back then. When we allow it, God does amazing things in our lives today. Remembering these God-acts will give us the courage to trust God in the future, too.
So how about you? Do you believe God acted in amazing ways for the Israelites? Do you see where God has acted in amazing ways in your life? Do you have the courage to trust God in the future?