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Friday, July 31, 2015

Joshua 4:18

And it came to pass, when the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD were come up out of the midst of Jordan, and the soles of the priests' feet were lifted up unto the dry land, that the waters of Jordan returned unto their place, and flowed over all his banks, as they did before.

For further study - Joshua 4:1-24 

Before we come to our devotional reading for today I want us to glance at Joshua 2 and 3. In chapter 2 we find the record of the sending of the “spies” into Jericho to meet with Rahab and to determine their “plan of attack” as the Israelites enter the “promised land”.

Joshua 3 is the actual account of Joshua and the children of Israel making ready to walk through the Jordan River on “dry ground”. The details are here for you to study and to see how God would provide this entrance into the “land” even though it seemed impossible.

Joshua 4 is the record of the miraculous entry into the Promised Land by the Israelites, under the leadership of Joshua. Those who were entering the "land", were those Jewish people who had not seen the parting of the Red Sea, with the exception of Joshua and Caleb, the others had died during the forty years of wandering in the wilderness.

All that would enter into the land that God had promised them had been born during the forty years of unbelief. The reason, of course, for the two exceptions, Joshua and Caleb, was that they, as spies, had reported back to Moses that the "land" was great and that they could enter in right away.

Joshua and Caleb believed God and thus they were given the privilege of entering into God's Promised Land.

Let me remind you that the time of the year when the Jordan River was parted was in the spring, the harvest time, Joshua 3:15-16. The waters of the Jordan River were overflowing their banks, more so than during the rest of the year.

God had directed Joshua to have the priest to bare the "ark of the covenant" to the western shore of the Jordan River and when the waters divided all of the children of Israel followed the priest with the "ark" as they crossed over into Israel on dry ground.

Joshua also had one man from each of the twelve tribes bare a stone from the center of the Jordan River, now dry, and take it to the place where they would "lodge that night", verse 3and lay all twelve of these stones at Gilgal, verse 19.

You'll remember Gilgal, located about two miles from the Jordan River, is the place where the Jews celebrated their first "Passover" in the Promised Land, Joshua 5:10.

Verse 6 of our extended reading says that the taking of the stones from the Jordan River would be a "sign" for the Israelites, an object lesson for the Jews so that they could tell their children of God's love, provision and protection for them.

However, it would not be done for the sake of only telling the children, verses 19-23, but it would be somewhat of a monument to have so that "all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that they might fear the Lord our God forever", verse 24.

Indeed, there are not many people on the earth that don't know the story of God's fulfilled promises to the Jews and His provision of the land as He had promised. Of course, the parting of the Jordan River, like the parting of the Red Sea, displayed the mighty hand of God.

3,500 years ago God took care of His chosen people, He is still doing so today, and will do so into the future, as He said He would. Praise His name!

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for Your love, provision and protection for me as it has been for Your people, the Jewish people, over the last 4,000 years.