And Joshua said to the people, “Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” Then Joshua spoke to the priests, saying, “Take up the ark of the covenant and cross over before the people.” So they took up the ark of the covenant and went before the people. Josh 3:5-6
We all have promises that we go after, and we do if we press on to know the Lord. Hos 6:2; 1 Cor. 8.2. the more we press, the more we discover the promises/plans He has for us. Pursuit of God can be seen as the pursuit of His promises for His word is the same as He. The more the pursuit, the more the materialisation of the blessings in spiritual places in your material realm. God wants this to be. The more you have his seed for the earth, the more you will enjoy the rain of His grace.
The way this ongoing experience happens is in your response to the promises discovered. The response is usually a change of mind-set and an improvement in your walk. Rom 12:2.
The climate changes in from time to time and so we must recognise the demand on us per time. We are not the coming out generation, but the going in generation. The generation that takes over the land, promises that have been pending for long. To enter into these promises, there is the necessity of crossing the hurdles that those before were unable to cross. The typology of the experience of Israel according to 1 Cor. 10:1ff and Rom 15:4 is a great lesson for us.
Jordan was a significant hurdle in the way of these people. You will agree that this is not in any way an enemy coming against them. This was just naturally there from the past (in the order of natural order from your history into the future or matters general to everyone) and they must be crossed if they will ever get deeply into the promise. Everyone would in one way or the other have such hurdles. The good news is that the grace of God however is so abundant that there will be a way through them. Robert Frost made an interesting statement. He said, the best way out is always through. God amazingly took them through this predicament as He would do with everyone, no matter the predicament. 1 Cor. 10:13 affirms that with (in association with) the situation, God makes a way of escape.
Before considering the practicality of the crossing of the hurdle, it is good to remember that there was a crossing of another before now – the red sea. Looking at the differences and the distinctive of the two crossings respectively will also help us.
When they were to cross the red sea, they were full of murmurings and complaints. They were in a situation that overwhelmed or had power over them. It was necessary for Moses to calm them down and give them special encouragement (Ex 14:13-14) not to fear; but to stand still; so as to see what the Lord will do. The interest of God for them was that they will see the Egyptians no more forever. Their agitation was rooted in not being assured of that. Obviously, there was no response from them to the plan of God to take them all the way. Moses only calmed them down as faith is not built in a crisis situation.
The crossing of the red sea was all between Moses and God. God had settled the matter and Moses could believe that. God told him to instruct them to go forward while he (Moses) would carry out the work of faith by stretching the rod over the sea. This looks stupid just like “fill the water pots with water”; “go your way, your son is healed”; “go to the pool of Siloam and wash” etc. Miracles happens consequent to the obedience/agreement of faith.
They crossed the sea because the miracle had taken place, and that because Moses responded in faith to God. To cross the Jordan will be totally different from this. The Joshua generation were a people of the word. They relate with promises and instructions to see the will of God done in their lives.