Wednesday, June 10th, 2009
"Get up, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel." (Joshua 1:2)
After crossing the Red Sea, the Israelites wandered in a land described as a "vast and terrible wilderness infested with poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty waterless land." (Deuteronomy 8:15, New English Bible) Jehovah protected his people there, as he had done in connection with the Egyptian forces. And what of the Israelites' entry into the Promised Land? Powerful Canaanite armies opposed them. Yet, Jehovah said to Joshua: "Nobody will take a firm stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I proved to be with Moses I shall prove to be with you. I shall neither desert you nor leave you entirely." (Joshua 1:5) Those words of Jehovah did not fail. Within roughly six years, Joshua defeated 31 kings and subjugated large sections of the Promised Land. (Joshua 12:7-24) That conquest would have been impossible without Jehovah's protective care.
(Watchtower issue: 11/01/07, 1:8)
*I love this account. Sometimes people only remember the miracle God performed at the Red Sea, but forget that he also caused the waters of the Jordan to stand still or dam up in order for the people to cross over. (it was different than the display at the Red Sea, but a powerful display nonetheless) And I like how in this case God required the people to 'make the first move' with a small demonstration of faith before he would cause the waters of the Jordan to stop flowing in the place where they needed to cross over. It wasn't until "the instant that the soles of the feet of the priests carrying the ark of Jehovah" touched down into the Jordan that the waters would begin to dam up. (Joshua 3:13) Not to mention, that the priests were holding the Ark on their shoulders the whole time the entire nation of Israel was crossing over, which obviously would have taken quite awhile! (3:17) There's no way they could have held up the Ark that long in their own strength.
This whole account is a great lesson for us today when it comes to displaying faith in Jehovah's ability to help us get through any 'seemingly' impossible circumstances or obstacles that may arise, isn't it? If we show faith by making that 'first move' or that small demonstration of trust in Jehovah, he will take over from there and really help us get through the rest of it.