Today you should read: Joshua 3
This is the moment Israel had been waiting for.
For the past few dozen years, the Jews wandered in the wilderness, wondering if they would ever enter into their Promised Land. By this time, some were probably questioning the existence of such a place.
Their waiting and wandering included times of both great sin against God and great devotion to God. They worshiped idols, complained, revolted against their leadership, and so on. But they also received the 10 Commandments, witnessed the pillar of fire and the pillar of cloud, met with God and had moments of intense worship and prayer. It was the best and worst of Israel in a 40 year period.
Leading up to today’s reading, I asked myself, “How well do I truly follow the Lord?” Convicting… I’m pretty sure my life directly parallels Israel’s time in the wilderness — a cycle of ups and downs. How about you?
Well, the momentous occasion in Joshua 3 is once again an event that could only be attributed to God’s power over nature and God’s care for Israel. The Lord called Joshua to be a great leader, and Joshua was up to the task, knowing that his power was coming from God.
The Lord told Joshua, “Today I will begin to make you a great leader in the eyes of all the Israelites. They will know that I am with you, just as I was with Moses.” Joshua 3:7
Upon entering the Promised Land, the Israelites approached a familiar scene — water. How would they cross the Jordan River? Time to build a bridge? Maybe get a few boats? Pull a Michael Phelps and swim across?
No. They went across “Red Sea” style. God split the waters and allowed them to cross on dry ground (v.17).
The beauty of this historical account is in how much it parallels our spiritual lives. The reality for the Israelites is that they deserved to drown in the Jordan River because of their disobedience to God, yet God’s grace abounded. He gave them a new home, a land flowing with milk and honey. He paved the way for their entrance into the land — it wasn’t anything that they did that merited this moment. They simply enjoyed the unearned favor of God.
In the same way, we don’t deserve anything from God, especially eternal life and Heaven. What we’ve earned is sin and death. Instead of us paying for it, though, God has allowed us to move from death to life on dry ground. It’s splintery ground. It’s the cross of Christ.
Food For Thought:
1) How does Joshua 3 remind you of the gospel?
2) What unmerited spiritual blessings are you most thankful for?
3) Have you come into a relationship with Jesus? Have you crossed from death to life on the dry ground of Christ’s cross?
Posted by: Todd Thomas