Step In

step in

But as soon as the feet of the priests who were carrying the Ark touched the water at the river’s edge, the water above that point began backing up a great distance away at a town called Adam, which is near Zarethan. And the water below that point flowed on to the Dead Sea until the riverbed was dry. Then all the people crossed over near the town of Jericho. (Joshua 3:15-16)

Read: Joshua 3:1-4:24, Luke 14:7-35, Psalm 80:1-19, Proverbs 12:27-28

Relate: In 1927 there was an earthquake near the city of Jericho at about three in the afternoon. This quake took down some hotels killing a few people and destroyed the major bridge that allowed traffic to move from one side of the other. The cliffs along the banks of the Jordan river also collapsed and for twenty-one hours there was no water flowing from that point all the way down to the Dead Sea.

In 1265 AD, there was another similar event that happened a bit further north at a point called the Damieh Ford. We do not know much about this event except that it was a landslide and that it blocked the flow of the river all the way to the Dead Sea. The Damieh Ford is most likely the place where Jacob crossed back into the promised land with Rachel and Leah and his dozen kids. I say this because flowing into the Jordan River right near this spot is a little river called Jabbok. On the west side of the river at this point is a little town called Adam. The Damieh Ford is probably the same place where God blocked the Jordan when Joshua led the people into the Promised Land.

Joshua 3:15 says that as soon as the priests touched the water at Jericho, it began backing up near Adam. How would they know this? Adam is a couple dozen miles to the north. There is no way what was happening up there could have been seen visibly seen from their vantage. Even if the speed of the water increased as it drained, it would have taken quite a while for the river to dry up at Jericho.

React: This is just speculation on my part but I would say they heard and felt that river being blocked. Can you imagine it? The priest steps forward and as soon as his feet touch the water there is a rumbling. There is a shaking. Everybody stops for a minute and by the time he is ready to step forward again, people have noticed that the water has receded so that he is now once again on dry land. He steps again into the water. Again, the flood levels drop and his foot is on solid ground. Again he steps forward. Again the waters flee. Step by faithful step his foot splashes water only to have it fall away. Finally the priest reaches the center. The waters that seemed like an impossible barrier between the people and the promise are gone, but only because the priest was willing to get his feet wet. He had to step in, and then God provided the miracle, and each time he stepped out further, that miracle grew.

What is my Jordan River? What is the impossible thing that is standing as a large barrier between my current situation and the promise God has given? How long will I stand here on the wrong bank waiting and praying for God to take that thing, that barrier away? When will I step in? When will I tackle it head on? God is willing to shake heaven and earth to bring me over. He is just waiting for me to get my feet wet. What does that step of faith look for me? How about you?

Respond: 

Dear God,
Give me the courage to step in. You have so much more for me than what I am currently living. There is a promised land and I can see it but there is this river in my way. I know You are able to part that sea, but sometimes I have a tough time personalizing Your power. Sometimes I doubt that You would do it for me. Give me the strength to step in and get my feet wet. There are miracles ready to happen. Help me to do all that I can to position myself for them.
Amen

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14 thoughts on “Step In

  1. I agree this is one of your best – it really spoke to me. But then I think every time I read your posts, “this is the best one!” You’re very talented and I love how you bring it together. But we do know why….it’s not just you, you are the willing vessel. Thanks for following the leading of the Holy Spirit!

  2. Always been one of my favorite stories-not only were they (potentially) risking their lives, they were also (potentially) risking the Ark-a very serious and frightening thought. So many times congregations are timidly tiptoeing toward the direction God is clearly leading because they are afraid to simply trust. Thanks!

  3. Reblogged this on Church Set Free and commented:
    “How long will I stand here on the wrong bank waiting and praying for God to take that thing, that barrier away? When will I step in? When will I tackle it head on? God is willing to shake heaven and earth to bring me over. He is just waiting for me to get my feet wet. What does that step of faith look for me? How about you?”

    Beejai is someone I have read for a long time. Don’t always agree – and there is nothing that says any of us should all the time. Yet … Beejai writes good – and this piece “extracting the juice” from Joshua is so relevant right now today – kind of “wow ” relevant! Thank you.

    (comments disabled here as usual, please join the conversation at Beejai’s place)

  4. This is an wonderful post so full of meaning and purposes of God! thank you! We no longer “strike the rock” to get Christ, water of life, to come out; we get in the river of water of life and yield to the flow, letting the Holy Spirit lead us in God’s Will, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven!” I had a dream/vision just as I was waking up a bit ago where I was shown a book and the last line was, “put the mountain in the transfiguration river.” The obstacle that we think is such a big deal, such a big mountain or giant that we are afraid and can’t see to the other side or to the highest mountain of God that is far above any other mountain. In our Father’s eyes the obstacle is so tiny and he says just put it in my transfiguration river, full of my glory, fire and Spirit, and it will be gone and you can cross into my new heaven on a new earth! To God be the glory now and forever and ever!!

  5. An interesting observation. I am not a student of history, so enjoyed the way you wove that in. Stepping into troubling circumstances is one of the things we must do, trusting God completely for the outcome. Personally, I believe they had no idea if the water would stop or not – they just trusted God when they took that step, and for each step after. Their faith was honored, not by any natural occurrence, but by the hand of God stopping the water. In either my or your case, one question still remains – How was the ground dry?

    • I think it was CS Lewis who said that miracles do not break the laws of nature. God is simply working through them in ways we do not yet understand.

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