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2. Crossing the Jordan River

October 2, 2009

Text:      Joshua 3:1-4:24

Key Verse:      Joshua 3:5

Outline:      I. In Position           Joshua 3:1-13

                         II. The Crossing     Joshua 3:14-4:18

                        III. A Memorial     Joshua 4:19-24

Context/Discussion/Comments:

     The Israelites move nearer to the banks of the Jordan River and camp. They are told to wait for the Ark to move out ahead of them and then to follow it about a half mile back all the way to the Jordan River. In the meantime, Israel is to consecrate themselves prior to the crossing the next day [see Ex. 19:10].

     Joshua tells the priests to take the Ark and go stand in the river and he tells all Israel they are about to witness God’s power available to help them drive out the inhabitants of their Promised Land. The Ark sets out for the Jordan River the next morning and it immediately stops flowing when the priests step into the flooded river. Israel crosses over and the appointed man from each tribe stops to pick up a rock from the river bed to be used as a memorial when they make camp on the west side of the Jordan River. The army of the three tribes inheriting land on the east side of the Jordan River actually crossed over first, showing their commitment to fight for Israel. Israel’s successful and safe crossing gave reason for God’s exalting of Joshua as Israel’s leader. The priests come out of the Jordan River and it returns to its’ normal flooding stage.

     Joshua sets up the 12 stones taken from the riverbed at Gilgal as a memorial to remind Israel and other nations of God’s miracles enabling them to cross the Red Sea and the Jordan River. Gilgal is believed to be located about 2-4 miles NE of Jericho.

Lessons/Applications:

     1. Always consecrate yourself to the Lord before beginning your God-directed assignment. Focus on God’s promises and promise to obey His Will and follow His lead.

     2. Be alert so you will recognize God’s miraculous acts in your life.

     3. God’s Presence removes the “raging waters” of life that would normally destroy us.

     4. Identify God’s miracles in your life. Remember God’s leading, God’s miracles, and God’s power by establishing a memorial. Use it to make His Name known to your descendents and others.

     5. God keeps His Promises, going before us and preparing the way we should go.

     6. Take note of God’s miraculous power in leading His people and acknowledge Him as your God too.

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