THE LORD YOUR GOD
Lord, You are truly master of the supernatural.
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
Even today after generations of faithfulness, God still loves time with us. ‘Lord, You have been our dwelling-place throughout all generations’ (Ps 90:1).
‘These memorable events confirm that the mighty God who parted the Red Sea and stopped the Jordan still does “amazing things” today’ (Robert Hubbard, The NIV Application Commentary, Joshua, Zondervan, 2009, p173). Having recently received some dramatic physical healing after many years of suffering, I have been able to appreciate the simple approach of God to us: He loves us and wants a relationship with us. I was surprised because the physical healing was overshadowed by the impact of the inner healing and touch that accompanied it. The unconditional love and relationship surrounding a gift from someone to whom you are close makes it priceless in comparison to the same gift from a stranger. God wanted this same relationship with His people and with Joshua as their leader.
Being exalted among men is one thing, but being exalted by God is quite another. However, even Joshua the warrior needed to humble himself (as he did when assisting Moses) and listen to God, for it is in this obedience that we ultimately see God glorified – and Joshua is exalted, just as Moses was. What is not lost in all this exalted leadership, though, is the fact that the people disobeyed Moses: they sinned and they exasperated him at times. No doubt Joshua would find the same. We are also like this in our relationship with God: keen but human! The Lord, however, is a covenant God, desiring not just to lead but to dwell with His people. In this account we see the interplay of relationships, but above all the writer is clear: God did this so that all people would know just how powerful He is, so that our response might be one of awe and worship (24).
How mighty and powerful is your God? Spend time before Him, worshipping Him for His great deeds and remembering that He ‘so loved the world that He gave …’ (John 3:16).
Lord, we continue to behold Your wonderful works and hold You in utmost awe and respect.
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