Joshua at Jordan

Preamble.

  1. The book of Joshua is the account of the O.T. church's entry and conquest of Canaan.

  2. That Canaan was the inheritance for which Israel had waited: their rest. DEU 12:10.

  3. Paul shows us a greater rest in coming in faith fully to Christ. HEB 4:1-11.

In JOS 3, Jesus/Joshua instructs his disciples in preparation for the new era of the church.

v. 1. Joshua promptly sets to the work.

  1. Having received reassurance that the Lord had delivered unto them the land (JOS 2:23-24),

    Joshua wastes no time in commencing the work. c/w JDG 7:13-15.

  2. Faith bolstered by the power God has already displayed should promote prompt obedience.

    GEN 22:2-3 c/w HEB 11:17-19; PSA 119:60; ACT 22:16.

vs. 2-6. The ark of the covenant borne by priests was to precede the people, who were expected to follow it.

  1. The Levitical priests were the teachers of God's word in Israel. MAL 2:7.

  2. The ark held the word of the Lord to Israel and was to be carried upon their shoulders. Thus, the word of the Lord is the burden of his ministers. MAL 1:1; 2CO 2:15-16; 3:5-6.

  3. The church and its ministry were not to amend the given law of the LORD but to bear it up and follow it. c/w 1TI 3:15; 2TI 4:2.

    1. Christ's apostles were to be delivered God's words for the church as it entered into its new era. JOH 14:26; 16:13; 17:20.

    2. By following the leading of Scripture, God's church may know the way which they must go. 1JO 4:6.

    3. Those who would be led to the heavenly Canaan must also take God's laws as their guide and hope in His mercies. 1JO 5:3; JUDE 1:20-21.

  4. Note that in that dispensation, the people were to keep at a distance from the ark. c/w EXO 19:12.

    1. Since Christ came and satisfied God's judgment against His people's sin, the church may now draw nigh. HEB 7:19; 10:19-22.

    2. By faith and Christ's blood, we draw nigh to our Joshua's ark. REV 11:19.

  5. Joshua instructed the people to sanctify themselves in anticipation of their entry into Canaan

    (v. 5). Our Joshua has left us with no less an order:

    1. for church membership and fellowship with God. ACT 2:38; 2CO 6:14-18.

    2. for the river of death we must cross if Christ tarries. 2TI 4:6-7.

    3. for the day of Christ. 2PE 3:10-14; 1JO 3:2-3.

  6. Note that Joshua, after telling the people to sanctify themselves, appropriately directs them to the word of God. v. 9 c/w JOH 17:17; PSA 119:9.

  7. These Jewish believers were told to remove from their place (v. 3) in order to enter the new church era under Joshua. c/w HEB 13:10-13.

vs. 7-8. God here promises to validate Joshua's leadership/ministry.

  1. A similar promise was made to our Joshua. DEU 18:15 c/w ACT 3:20-23; 2:22.

  2. The place of the Father's first magnification of our Joshua is significant. MAR 1:9-11.

  3. God told Joshua, “...as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee,” and so Joshua would become a notable servant of God's house. But God went even further than that with Jesus. HEB 3:5-6. Joshua at Jordan 1-16-21 Page 1 of 2

vs. 9-13. Joshua here encourages the people and promises them that one sign should be given to prove that Canaan was theirs. The ark of God's covenant and the priests must be imperiled but preserved.

  1. The Lord Jesus similarly advanced one sign of ultimate victory. MAT 12:38-40.

  2. The assurance that God is with the church for overcoming and entering the heavenly Canaan comes through seeing death itself unable to vanquish the Covenant of God.

    ISA 49:7-8 c/w HEB 2:14-15; ROM 8:35-39.

  3. See also here how God preserves His words (MAT 24:35). The true Scriptures have not perished even in the face of a flood of corrupt “versions.” ISA 59:19.

  4. Note that Joshua here chooses twelve men of Israel for a special work as the church enters its new era. c/w MAR 3:14.

  5. In the opening of a path through Jordan River, God was about to truly show Joshua “as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee” (v. 7). c/w EXO 14:21-22.

  6. Further, God would basically make the waters to divide and the dry land to appear (GEN 1:9).

    By this, the church might be assured that the God of Creation was the very One Who would deliver them safely into His rest. c/w HEB 1:1-3.

  7. Though dangers lay ahead, they would know “...that the living God is among you” (v. 10).

    MAT 28:18-20.

vs. 14-17. True to Joshua's word, Jordan stopped flowing and Israel passed over on dry ground.

  1. Mark how that God did not bring Israel to enter Canaan while Jordan was low in a dry season.

    1. This would glorify God to do the impossible.

    2. This teaches us that our entry into the true Canaan will be attended by troubles.

      ACT 14:22.

    3. This teaches us reliance upon Him regardless of the overwhelming nature of opposition we must face. If we focus on circumstances, we are bound to sink. MAT 14:29-31.

  2. Note how that Joshua steps on the scene to bring the church to its transitional milestone at the optimum time: the fields of the Gentiles were white unto harvest. v. 15 c/w JOH 4:35.

  3. The priests/ark stepped willingly into Jordan and remained there until Israel had passed through. So Christ’s sufferings, death and burial were temporary measures for our good. ROM 4:25.

  4. The priests jeopardized themselves for the sake of the church. c/w ACT 15:25-26.

  5. The priests were not overcome by Jordan. God's ministers in peril may be also assured that as long as they, like the priests (v. 17), are standing on firm ground with the word of God, they have heavenly security and backup. ISA 54:17; 2TI 4:16-18.

  6. For what it's worth, these ministers went down into the water to facilitate God's people's entry into their inheritance. vs. 16-17 c/w ACT 8:38. 1. But for the intervention of God, the people would have been dead and buried under the waters of Jordan. 2. This was a lively baptism, as at the Red Sea. 1CO 10:1-2.

  7. Unlike their fathers, these people readily went through Jordan. 1. They had been through forty years of judgment for lack of faith that drove home that “the living God is among you” (v. 10). 2. The living God should be served with a healthy mix of faith and fear.

    HEB 10:31; 11:7; ROM 11:20.

  8. Having come through their Jordan baptism, the reproach of their former existence was rolled away for a better inheritance. JOS 5:9.

    1. God did not deem them out of Egypt until they were in Canaan. ACT 7:36.

    2. Those who profess Christ but refuse His baptism should take note.

    3. “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” (J.W. von Goethe)

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