Here’s the standard procedure for Israel when they marched, under the leadership of Joshua anyway. “Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over BEFORE the people. And they took up the ark of the covenant, and went BEFORE the people.” Joshua 3:6a
Did the Priests obey this injunction? “And they took up the ark of the covenant, and went BEFORE the people.” Verse 6b
Now verse 8, the day Israel crossed the Jordan! “And thou shalt command the priests that bear the ark of the covenant, saying, When ye are come to the brink of the water of Jordan, ye shall stand still in Jordan.” Leading the throngs of Israel, before the people!
The Priests, bearing the Ark, led the way!
Then to all Israel: “BEHOLD, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passeth over BEFORE you into Jordan.” Verse 11, with “behold” having the idea of “looking, keeping one’s eyes upon an Object.”
Remember, that Ark is so constructed to be the “Resting Place,” the very “Seat” of Almighty God! God’s Presence among men! (It is a beautifully constructed Picture of Jesus, too!)
My point today … the Ark (and God’s Men who were qualified to handle it and accompany it) led the way. And (in essence) held back the fast moving waters of the Jordan (which was in flood stage when Israel transverse it that day)!
And Israel was commanded to trust that God (the God of the Ark) to keep them safe through the whole episode!
The Lesson for us yet today is clear.
Keep your eyes on Jesus!
Let Him lead the way, your way!
And stay around godly men (like those Priests of Israel) who … know how to properly present Jesus, obey Jesus, illustrate and teach about Jesus!
Keep Jesus first, in other words.
He is our Leader, Guide.
He is our Protector, as we face the floods of life.
He is the One we celebrate, as will be seen in the next chapter of Joshua.
Verses like these come to mind:
“LOKING UNTO JESUS the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
“LOOK UNTO ME, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” Isaiah 45:22
Also : “Therefore I WILL LOOK unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.” Micah 7:7
Including: “And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, WHEN HE LOOKETH upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, WHEN HE BEHELD the serpent of brass, he lived.” Numbers 21:8-9, that serpent on the pole being a Picture of Jesus our sin Bearer! Look and live, in reality!
Keep your eyes on our Ark of Safety, on Jesus our Saviour!
I close with Colossians 3:1 … “If ye then be risen with Christ, SEEK (LOOK UPON) those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.”
— Dr. Mike Bagwell
Eve got into trouble when she looked at the wrong thing! So did Lot … and thousands more! Let us not make their mistake!