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Holy Land Tour Fourth Stop: Jordan River | Joshua 3:5-17, 4:1-9

You know how when worry rushes through your mind and heart? The Lord can stop that. It’s His faithfulness that stops it. His promises stop the floods of worry and the waves of anxiousness from taking over us.

Join me as we walk through the Jordan river today… on dry ground. Let’s dip in!

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Join me for a walk through the Jordan river today on dry ground. Hi, I’m Erica. Welcome to the Bible for Busy People. Today we continue our walk of faith through our lives and through the Holy Land. My daughter Hannah, is actually visiting Israel right now. She’s going to be baptized in the Jordan River. It gives me the good chills. And today that’s where we’re going to camp. Our fourth stop on our Holy Land tour is the Jordan River. It is the place where John the Baptist baptized those who wanted to repent of their sins. It’s the place where the only sinless person who ever lived was baptized; our Lord Jesus. And yes, where my daughter will soon be dunked and I can’t imagine she is going to come out of the water probably feeling brand new. Now as we dive into this story, we’re going to be reading from Joshua chapter three. today you’re going to hear a phrase, the arc of the covenant. And I want to take a moment of our time here to talk about what the arc of the covenant was. It was a symbol of the presence of God in the midst of His people. Inside the arc were three important things; the tablets with the 10 commandments that the Lord gave to Moses. A jar of manna. So the Israelites would always remember how the Lord provided bread in the wilderness for them after they fled Egypt. And finally, Aaron’s Rod. Aaron was Moses’ brother, and at one point the rod that he held in his hand sprouted flowers and fruit. And it was a confirmation that God had chosen him. Matthew Henry is a very famous Bible commentator. He says, these three items showed to after ages, how the ancient church was taught the commandments, and fed the manna and ruled the rod. Isn’t that incredible? Well, without further ado, what do you say? Let’s dive in to Joshua chapter three. Beginning in verse five, we’re about to watch a miracle unfold.

Then Joshua told the people, purify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do great wonders among you. In the morning, Joshua said to the priests, lift up the arc of the covenant and lead the people across the river. And so they started out and went ahead of the people. The Lord told Joshua, today I will begin to make you a great leader in the eyes of all the Israelites. They will know that I am with you. Just as I was with Moses, give this command to the priest who carried the arc of the covenant. When you reach the banks of the Jordan River, take a few steps into the river and stop there. So, Joshua told the Israelites, come and listen to what the Lord your God says. Today. You will know that the living God is among you. He will surely drive out the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites ahead of you. Look, the arc of the covenant, which belongs to the Lord of the whole earth, will lead you across the Jordan River. Now, choose 12 men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. The priest will carry the arc of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth. As soon as their feet touch the water, the flow of water will be cut off upstream, and the river will stand up like a wall. So the people left their camp to cross the Jordan and the priests who were carrying the arc of the covenant went ahead of them. It was the harvest season and the Jordan was overflowing its banks. But as soon as the feet of the priests who were carrying the arc touched the water at the river’s edge, the water above that point began backing up a great distance away at a town called Adam, which is near Zarethan. And the water below that point floated on to the dead sea until the riverbed was dry. Then all the people crossed over near the town of Jericho. Meanwhile, the priests who were carrying the arc of the Lord’s covenant stood on dry ground in the middle of the riverbed as the people passed by. They waited there until the whole nation of Israel had crossed the Jordan on dry ground.

From what I understand, that’s about a million people, maybe more. Alright, picking up our story in Joshua chapter four, beginning in verse one.

When all the people had crossed the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, now choose 12 men, one from each tribe. Tell them, take 12 stones from the very place where the priests are standing in the middle of the Jordan. Carry them out and pile them up at the place where you will camp tonight. So Joshua called together the 12 men he had chosen. One from each of the tribes of Israel. He told them, go into the middle of the Jordan in front of the arc of the Lord Your God. Each of you must pick up one stone and carry it on your shoulder. 12 stones in all; one for each of the 12 tribes of Israel. We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future, your children will ask you, what do these stones mean? Then you can tell them. They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the arc of the Lord’s covenant went across. These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever. So the men did as Joshua had commanded them. They took 12 stones from the middle of the Jordan river, one for each tribe, just as the Lord had told Joshua. They carried them to the place where they camped for the night and constructed the memorial there. Joshua also set up another pile of 12 stones in the middle of the Jordan at the place where the priests who carried the arc of the covenant were standing and they are there to this day.

Such a powerful story. The Lord stopped those waters so the Israeli lights could cross over on dry land. He is the same faithful God you and I are serving to this day. The stones of that memorial remain at the bottom of the Jordan River and his faithfulness remains. He’s not necessarily stopping waters today, in these times, but you know what He stops? You know how when worry rushes through your mind and heart, he can stop that. It’s his faithfulness that stops it. His promises stop the floods of worry and the waves of anxiousness from taking over us. Lord, we thank you right now in Jesus’ name for your promises. Help us to lean on your faithfulness today because nobody ever wrote a song about how small your faithfulness is. Great is your faithfulness. Today we stand on your promises as the Israelites stood on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan River. We praise you Lord, in Jesus name, amen. All right, until next time, you are loved.

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