The time has come. The people watch in reverence and silence as the priests step in unison carrying the ark of the covenant. It is the sign! They wait patiently as it passes through the camp. They know when it reaches the front, they will wait until the ark is a certain distance beyond them, and then the movement will begin, tribe by tribe.
Usually, the Jordan River is not particularly deep, but the spring rains and the melting snow from Mount Hermon have caused the river to be at flood stage. As they walk closer to the river, those toward the front begin to see the rushing water. The younger ones have never seen this much water. Imagine the fear in their hearts.
Think about the priests. They guardedly carry the ark, being careful not to stumble. A pole runs through two rings on each side of the ark. The four men each grasp the poles at the ends. The ark itself is not to be touched. If the ark falls toward one man, touching him, the man will die.
Imagine their fear as they approach the surging river. They have been instructed that,
… as soon as the priests set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap. Joshua 3:13
Wow, sounds like the Red Sea miracle. Evidently God decided the younger ones needed the same assurance of His presence and power.
But just think about these priests. The miracle doesn’t happen until the first two put their feet in the water, all the while balancing the ark! We are talking about faith and steadiness of hand, not to mention trusting the Lord to support and guide. Makes my hands sweat just thinking about it.
Sometimes in life we find ourselves carrying a load, trying to balance it with other things going on. At times we have to manage the load with other people. It calls for steadfast faith. It may even call for trust beyond our knowing. Can you trust God with it?
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. Joshua 3:17
The priests made it! Let’s watch the people as they pass through. There is the grandfather who, just last night, taught his family about the time when he walked through the Red Sea. With tears of joy, he touches his heart with one hand and raises the other in praise to God.
Over there is the father who is suddenly a child again gawking at the wall of water—just like he remembered it so long ago.
And here is the child, his face filled with wonder as he realizes those stories he heard over and over were really true. His eyes dart from water to dry land to the ark that represents the God of miracles!
~ Joyce ~