The time had come for them to cross over into the Promised Land. As they made ready for the crossing, it was necessary for them to have a reminder of God's presence and promises to look toward. They needed something to occupy their thoughts as they crossed over into a new land. If not:
Joshua told the people, "When ye see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God…remove from your place, and go after it." v3
The time had come for them to cross over, but it was humanly impossible for them to do it! They needed God to intervene. The same is true for our lives as believers. We must push forward to victory in Christ, but in order to do so…God must intervene! Let's consider and learn from this experience in the life of God's people. Some preparation was necessary for them to cross over into victory.
I. The People Were Sanctified. v1-6
A. Sanctification = Holiness
1. The words mean to be set apart.
2. This carries a two-fold application.
3. We are to be set apart from sin, and set apart for service unto God.
4. To be sanctified is to be set apart for God's purpose.
B. Joshua needed it.
1. He rose up early in the morning.
2. He took time to get alone with God and talk with Him.
3. It wasn't up to Joshua to try to figure out how they were going to get across the Jordan.
4. God has commanded, and He would provide a means for Israel to accomplish this task.
C. The people needed it and so do we.
1. They were commanded to keep their eyes upon the Ark of God.
2. The Ark was a reminder of God's promises and a symbol of His presence.
3. We need to fix our eyes upon the Lord and remember His promises to us.
4. He will not fail!
5. We need to sanctify ourselves to be used of God!
II. The Lord Was Glorified. v7-13
A. The Lord was in command. (7)
1. God gets the glory but…
2. He uses individuals…
3. God has always had a leader whenever there was a job to do.
B. The Lord laid out the plan. (8)
1. The priests were to bear the Ark to the edge of the Jordan.
2. Then they were to step into the water and wait for God to work a miracle.
3. They had to step out by FAITH before God would work the miracle.
4. Every now and then you hear of someone who gives millions of dollars to a church with no strings attached…
5. But man gets the glory there…normally God chooses to supply the needed finances by His people simply walking by faith.
6. Then He gets all the glory!
C. Joshua delivered the Message. (9-13)
1. Joshua didn't say, "Listen to me because I am your leader."
2. God had promised him that soon there would be no doubt in their minds that he was God's man.
3. Joshua simply said, "Hear the words of the Lord your God." v9
a. It was a message of encouragement. "Ye shall know that the living God is among you." v10
b. It was a message of confidence. "He will without fail."
c. It was a message of victory. "Drive out from before you the Canaanites."
d. It was a message of miracles. "They shall stand upon a heap."
III. The Word Was Verified. v14-17
A. The people were obedient. (14)
B. The priests were obedient. (15)
C. God was obedient to His Word. (16-17)
1. As the soles of their feet dipped into the water…
2. God stopped the flow of water of water and caused it to heap up…
3. And the priests stood on dry ground!
4. Their feet touch the water, but by the time they touched the bottom they were on dry ground!
5. All of the Israelites passed over on dry ground.
We will never walk in victory until we are willing to step out by faith and get our feet wet! We must be willing to step out by faith and trust God to do the rest.
If we hesitate and balk at the message of God…if we refuse to step out in obedience…then we are limiting the blessings that God has for us.
Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
God's man delivered God's message to God's people. They heard and obeyed. As a result they passed over into victory. Do we want victory in our lives?