Verse of the Week
“So Joshua said to the children of Israel, “ Come here, and hear the words of the Lord your God.” [Joshua 3:9]
The Main Idea
The Israelites after 40 years of wandering in the desert were finally able to see the land that God had promised them. Moses passed away and Joshua, Moses’ assistant, was chosen by God to lead His people in a very crucial time. At a time where the Israelites just lost their leader, they were worn down from so many years in the desert and now they were facing the Jordan river and Jericho, a city with huge walls all the way around it. In the midst of the chaos and uncertainty they were facing, God stepped in and created order. In the same way for us in the midst of our chaos, and uncertainty if we look to Jesus, He aligns us with His calm and certainty.
Point 1 - Faithfulness can be seen in our daily obedience.
When God gave Joshua clear instruction on what to do he passed it on the people. In verses 3-4 you see officers telling the people when they see the ark of the covenant they were to go out after it and how they were to do so. In verse 5 Joshua says to the people `` Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” The people didn’t know what was going to happen. They didn’t lean on their own efforts or ideas; they were strong in God’s power and plan. The Israelites' strength rested in their faith. They showed this by obeying God in what He told them to do before the trial of taking over the land had even started. They sanctified and prepared themselves for what the Lord promised. In the same way our strength should rest in our faith. Our daily obedience to the Lord and His word is what shows our dependence on Him. Even those who don’t believe in God will begin to call on Him when they get hospitalized for something life threatening. When their life is completely upside down. The Israelites showed their faith by their obedience and trust in God before they were in the river.
Point 2 - Faith leads to next steps.
We see the Israelites obedience to what the Lord called them to do. Then we see in verse 14-15 that the priest carrying the Ark of the Covenant came to the Jordan first. It says in verse 15-16 that when the Priest's feet dipped into the edge of the water, the water from upstream stood still and rose in a heap very far away and the other waters were cut off and they stood and crossed over on dry ground. We see in this that the waters didn’t just open up as in the red sea. The priest actually walked into the edge of the water in response to what God told them He would do. Their faith in daily obedience and seeking the Lord lead to action. Faith isn’t faith if it doesn’t lead to action and obedience. Anyone can say they have faith but if it doesn’t start with repentance and lead to action in growing to be more like Jesus then is it really faith. Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock”. We do not earn salvation by our works, but when we truly know Jesus as Lord and Savior our understanding of who He is, and what He did will lead our faith to action.
Point 3 - Jesus is sufficient.
In this story we see people who were completely sold out to God’s sufficiency to lead them. In this way we must be completely sold out to Jesus sufficiency to save and sanctify. Philippians 1:6 says, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”. We must understand that Jesus is sufficient to save, and that He is sufficient to sanctify, that is to continue and bring to completion the good work that He has started. This understanding leads us to a true ability to seek Him for everything in our lives all the time. When we understand that we don’t have to do it. When we understand that Jesus is sufficient because he has already paid the price and done the work on the cross. We can begin to take our eyes off of where we are in life or what we may or may not be doing and just focus our eyes on Jesus and His finished work. This is what will lead to true joy and fulfillment.
What has God shown you in this passage?
What does it look like to live out your faith and obey Him daily?
What did you learn about God in this passage?
What did you learn about yourself? In what ways has this passage convicted you in your walk with the Lord?
What is your next step in walking out your faith daily?
How has your week been spiritually?