Joshua 3:7-17

And the LORD said to Joshua, "Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses. Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: 'When you reach the edge of the Jordan's waters, go and stand in the river.' "

Joshua said to the Israelites, "Come here and listen to the words of the LORD your God. This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites. See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you. Now then, choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the LORD -the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap."

So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water's edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.

Crossing the Jordan River. It was the priests that took the lead, following the presence of God (through the Ark) and stepping into the Jordan River. According to my notes, the river was at its peak flooding stage. It would have taken the priests carrying the ark that extra step of faith to step into the river, believing that they would not be swept away. So what can we learn from these priests and why is it so relevant to our Christian walk?

It is in every sense relevant. As Christ followers, we are listed as members of God's royal priesthood. As 1 Peter says: we are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. So these priests who carried the Ark were our forerunner, in some sense. What is our Jordan River? We, the royal priests of God, have to lead the way of faith so that the world can be changed. For me myself, certainly the area of outreach and changing the world for God is one area that I constantly need to have that faith. I need the faith. So how about you? A lot of time, it is when there are a lot of uncertainties and dangers that our faith is tested the most. I do feel that my faith is tested everytime those areas appear in my life. It is easy to know in our head that God will help us. It is another putting them into action.

But yet, everytime someone demonstrates that great faith, generations benefited. Think about people who went out for God. Think about missionaries such as Teresa, Hudson, Elliot. Think about the people around our church. Think even the person who dares to dream about starting your church, the very reason why you are serving in the church you are serving now. I dun know how can my demonstration of faith can benefit future generations. But we were created to last the race, and along the way, we are called to influence people. If this is so, why not influence the positive way?

So we need to live a faith-filled life. But possible by human effort? I learned that a lot of time, even faith has to come from God. We need to ask God to help us to live a faith-filled exemplary life. No doubt God needs to be our consistent lifelong partner in this race. So brace on, people.


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