THE LORD IS MIGHTY!
Great are You, Lord, and most worthy of praise (Psalm 96:4).
Read Joshua 4:10–24
10 Now the priests who carried the ark remained standing in the middle of the Jordan until everything the Lord had commanded Joshua was done by the people, just as Moses had directed Joshua. The people hurried over, 11 and as soon as all of them had crossed, the ark of the Lord and the priests came to the other side while the people watched. 12 The men of Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over, ready for battle, in front of the Israelites, as Moses had directed them. 13 About forty thousand armed for battle crossed over before the Lord to the plains of Jericho for war.
14 That day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they stood in awe of him all the days of his life, just as they had stood in awe of Moses.
15 Then the Lord said to Joshua, 16 “Command the priests carrying the ark of the covenant law to come up out of the Jordan.”
17 So Joshua commanded the priests, “Come up out of the Jordan.”
18 And the priests came up out of the river carrying the ark of the covenant of the Lord. No sooner had they set their feet on the dry ground than the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and ran at flood stage as before.
19 On the tenth day of the first month the people went up from the Jordan and camped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho. 20 And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. 21 He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 22 tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ 23 For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea[a] when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. 24 He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.”
a. Joshua 4:23 Or the Sea of Reeds
ReflectWhat is the most amazing thing that you’ve seen the Lord do? Think of that and thank Him for being a mighty God.
At last the people reach the Promised Land. In many ways Joshua 4:10–24 repeats what we’ve already read, but there are differences. Keep a lookout for these.
These verses continue to show Joshua’s authority to lead, derived both from the Lord and from Moses (10). What is the result of Joshua’s careful following of instructions (14)? Why is this important?
This passage also draws out parallels with the crossing of the Red Sea during the escape from Egypt (Exodus 12–14). Both miraculous crossings of water happened in the first month, associated with Passover celebrations. The main difference is that this time the Passover will be celebrated in the Promised Land, rather than as part of the escape from slavery in Egypt. The other difference between the two miraculous water crossings is that this time God’s people were armed for battle and would confront their enemy (13).
Finally, we discover that the memorial of the 12 stones at Gilgal has two meanings. Look at verse 24. How might God’s people have drawn comfort from both of these meanings of the stone memorial?
Do you need a miracle? Our God is the God of the impossible. Ask Him to help you and trust His faithfulness. Do you know someone who needs a miracle? Can you encourage them today?
My King, I think of the world around me and pray that today, Your mighty hand will be at work in miraculous ways.