What an important even, crossing the Jordan River.
One can’t help but think of another “crossing” God accomplished for Israel. When she left Egypt, a generation earlier! Crossing the Red Sea, namely.
Today I’d like to show you some DIFFERENCES between those two miracles. The “Red Sea” event and the “Jordan” event. Stay with me, now …
The first ended slavery for Israel, leaving Egypt. The second began real liberty for them, the Land of Canaan, the “Promised Land!”
At the Red Sea … Israel escaped the Egyptians! At the Jordan River … she approached (and later conquered) all her enemies!
At the Read Sea, God used “means” to deal with the Ocean … “a strong east wind.” (Look: And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.” Exodus 14:21) At the Jordan River, “no means” are mentioned. God proving He does not require “tools,” He being able “to speak” miracles into existence! (As in: “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Hebrews 11:3)
The first miracle was performed at nighttime! The second, in broad daylight! Seems God is a 24/7 Almighty Sustainer of His people, and Keeper of His Word!
At the Red Sea multitudes were killed, drowned! At the Jordan River event … not a single person died! God is a God of precious “Contrasts,” yet is also perfect in Balance! (Here’s half a verse to illustrate: “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God ….” Romans 11:22)
The first miracle was enacted on behalf of a grumbling and distrustful people. (As in: “And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?” Exodus 14:11, spoken before the Crossing of the Sea!) The second miracle was wrought for a believing, obeying people! (What a difference 40 years makes!)
In the Red Sea Miracle the waters were “divided,” according to Exodus 14:21 again (Watch: “Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.” That last verb “were divided.”) In the second miracle they only had to “stand upon a heap.” (Rivers flowing but Seas merely reservoiring!) Important: “And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap.” Joshua 3:13
The Red Sea miracle invited an attack by Israel enemies, the Egyptians! The crossing of the Jordan miracle brought fear to Israel’s enemies! (Astounding: “And it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites, which were on the side of Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, which were by the sea, heard that the LORD had dried up the waters of Jordan from before the children of Israel, until we were passed over, that their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel.” Joshua 5:1, scared, fearful indeed!)
As Israel left the Red Sea a graveyard of dead soldiers floated in the background! As Israel left the Jordan River … a stack of 12 stones of remembrance remained! Both entities were “trophies” of God’s power and grace and victory!(God just might leave little “reminders” everywhere He has been! Oh, to see them better!)
(I shall never look at the Jordan Crossing the same again! Entering the victorious path of Christian living, indeed! Many older Preachers see the Book of Joshua as a forerunner of the New Testament Book of Ephesians! Claiming and enjoying our God-given blessings, privileges … right here and now!)
The Lord willing, more tomorrow …
— Dr. Mike Bagwell