Alex Chow made an awesome observation from God’s Word on Sunday. In Joshua 3, as the Israelites stand at the edge of the Jordan River, God doesn’t tell Joshua that he is going to part the waters, he simply tells Joshua to go.
“Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. And as for you, command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, ‘When you come to the brink of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.’” -Joshua 3:7,8
Joshua’s heartbeat was the same as God. In the same way that Jesus know’s his Father’s voice, Joshua knew and trusted God. And so he went with complete faith that God would part the waters, that someone the Israelites would cross the waters the same way that they crossed the Jordan.
What makes this even more amazing is how this faith was acted out, and how the miracle unfolded. With Moses and the Red Sea, Moses raised his staff, and the nation of Israel saw the waters part, and then they crossed. In this instance, Joshua and the ark bearers were commanded to stand in the Jordan. In otherwords, they had to get their feet wet. It’s one thing to be standing outside the waters, raising your arms, watching the waters part, and then going — it’s another thing to stand in the waters waiting for something to happen.
And that’s what happens. The priests carry the ark into the Jordan River. And then 18 miles away, the water begins to pile up. 18 miles upstream. Hmm, I’m not a mathematician, but that probably means the waters didn’t dry up immediately. It means, although the water stopped flowing at the city of Adam, the water that was already in the river had to flow down the river before there would be dry land. In other words, this faith, was being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see.
They needed to draw on the faith that God, who had parted the Red Sea before, would do another miracle to get them across the Jordan. They had to have faith in what they hoped for (crossing into the promised land) and be certain of what they did not see (the parting of the water.) In this case, it was not a parting of the water, but the stopping of the river. (which makes more sense actually right? you wouldn’t part a river, because well, the water on one side is already moving in a direction).
Faith for us is the same — it is hope in the one who has done miracles before. Assurance that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, is the same God we worship today. And so we are certain, that through Christ, we are brought into this amazing family of God.
So then, how should we live? In strength and courage naturally. For we walk with a risen saviour. We serve a reigning king. And though I don’t see things immediately, i will stand in faith in the water of this world, knowing that God has made a way to breakthrough this world’s darkness.