The next morning after the spies returned home and reported that the people of Jericho were paralyzed with fear, Joshua led all the people down to the banks of the Jordan River. The promised land was on the other side of the river, just past the city of Jericho. The Israelites couldn’t wait to cross the river. However it was flood season. The river was higher than usual. The people were sure they could make it across, but they had to go right away because the river was getting higher and higher each passing day. But God told Joshua to wait three days!
Have you ever prayed about a solution or an answer to a problem, but the thing you prayed about got even worse? God’s timing is perfect. Sometimes God allows things to get worse so that He can demonstrate His power even more, so that there is no doubt that it was Him!
Three days later, the people stood at the banks of the much deeper and wider Jordan River. The only two people that were present when God parted the Red Sea were Joshua and Caleb. Everyone else had died in the desert. I’m sure the israelites heard about it from their parents and grandparents, but they were probably wondering if God would do the same for them.
God told Joshua to choose twelve men to carry the Ark of the Covenant ( the gold trunk that held the Ten Commandments) to the edge of the river and then into the river. Imagine being the first two guys walking into the deep water of the Jordan River! They had to have faith that God was going to do something! And God did! The moment the men touched their feet to the river’s edge, the waters parted! The twelve men with the Ark of the Covenant stood in the middle of the river bed while all the Israelites crossed over on dry ground.
When all the people were across the river (all two million of them) God spoke to Joshua and told him to choose twelve more men and have them each take a large stone from the middle of the river near the Ark of the Covenant and bring it to the bank of the river where the people crossed and put them in a pile.
Now why did God want them to do that you may ask. Well, God tells us why in the Bible. In Joshua chapter 4, verses 6 and seven, He says. “Do this as a memorial so that, in the future, when your kids ask you what those stones mean, you can tell them how I did an amazing miracle.”
While the men were building the memorial, Joshua went and built his own memorial right in the middle of the Jordan river. You are probably wondering what good that will do. Right? Since as soon as the water flowed back into the river, the memorial would be under water. That is true, but during a draught, when the water level was low, the memorial would be visible. Then the people could remember that God controlled nature when he parted the river. He controls the rainfall as well. God likes us to remember what He does for us. He likes us to remember the past so that we can trust Him in the present.
When Joshua was done building the memorial, the men with the Ark of the Covenant crossed the river.
Then the water flowed back and filled up the river.
I like to write down on little pieces of paper the things that I am praying for, and when God answers the prayer. I put it in “the answered prayer jar.” It really builds my faith when I look at that jar filled up with all those answered prayers! It’s a great way of remembering what God has done for me.
One week from today is the Thursday before Easter. It is the night that Jesus had the last supper with His apostles. The reason I mention this, is because Jesus took the bread and gave it to the apostles and said “Do this in remembrance of me.” Jesus wants us to remember that He suffered and died to pay the price for our sins. This Easter remember what Jesus did and have a Happy and blessed Resurrection Sunday!