The Sign of Crossing Jordan River (Joshua 3:1-17) 2014.2.11 morning prayer
1Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. 2After three days the officers went throughout the camp, 3giving orders to the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. 4Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about two thousand cubitsa between you and the ark; do not go near it.”
5Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”
6Joshua said to the priests, “Take up the ark of the covenant and pass on ahead of the people.” So they took it up and went ahead of them.
7And the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses. 8Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river.’ ”
9Joshua said to the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of the Lord your God. 10This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites. 11See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you. 12Now then, choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. 13And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the Lord—the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.”
14So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. 15Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, 16the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.
The miracle of Scripture has the above meaning than curious phenomena. The miracles belongs to the pictorial revelation or, the explanation revelation because God reveal his will to his own people through the miracle . What is the miracle? We can say that the miracle proves that our God has the supernatural power to create, to provide and to redeem.
Why did Jehovah reveal many miracles to Israel in the wilderness. Their lives consisted of lots of miracle, super natural power. Among eating, drinking, sleeping and walking and fighting of daily life they had experienced the wonderful events. Theses miracles proved obviously the supernatural power of God as sign in the church.
Among them crossing of red sea reveals the wonderful redemption that the church were delivered out of sins. This is the interpretation of the Apostle. Actually the event of crossing the red sea stressed on the abundant salvation in the event., the remission, justification and baptism as a sign of salvation.
In the text we can find another crossing. It is crossing of Jordan river. What do you think of the crossing Jordan river? In this time we have to think the reality of crossing Jordan river. What does it mean?
First, crossing of Jordan River means the another aspect of church salvation.
Verse says “And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the Lord—the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.”
14So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. 15Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, 16the water from upstream stopped flowing.”
It is very great event that reveal the reality of salvation of his people again as crossing the red sea. So we can interpret this symbolic event as another aspect of salvation. I Corin.10:1-5 explain that Paul interpreted that the church was baptized under the cloud and the water. For I want you to know, brothers,a that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3and all ate the same spiritual food, 4and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. 5Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.” What does it mean? Crossing the red sea is a symbolism or, a pictoral revelation. What is the reality of symbolism? It is the salvation of his people out of miserable sin. In the event we can learn the character of our wonderful salvation, that is, to be saved out of miserable sins. Here crossing Jordan river point that detailed salvation in his people who depend on the fundamental salvation. Actually after we were saved out of our sins we taste the actual grace in our every area by the work of Holy Spirit. In other words we shall be saved out of our sinful desire. Just it is the reality of crossing of Jordan river. Crossing of red sea points the baptism, justification but crossing of Jordan river self-denial, crossbearing those are the sanctification.
After we received the baptism with the water, we affirm that we are saved out of sin. Basically the baptism of water is the mark of our salvation, but more important is the baptism of Holy Spirit. What is the baptism of Holy Spirit? It means to be cleaned by the Spirit. In other word, it is the regeneration. “Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. “(Jn3:6) Can you see the kingdom now and also can you enjoy the kingdom of God? Actually the regeneration means the event baptized by Holy Spirit in our Christian life. It is the reality of crossing of red sea that is a symbolism. This symbolism relates to another symbolism, crossing of Jordan river. Actually two symbolism point the abundant character of salvation Therefor we can think two important things in that picture. As we know the united contents in a verse.
I Corin 12:13 says “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slavesd or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.“ We participate into the baptism of Holy spirit and also we enjoy the abundance of the baptism as drinking the water and eating s baptism’ grace. Refer to revelation 3:20 that explain the reality of salvation as intimate fellowship with the Lord on one table with eating it. Actually the justification is sanctification and also sanctification is justification in the salvation (baptism).
So we understand that the baptism of water of and drinking the living water out of the rock means the abundant grace of Holy Spirit and also the miracle that the Jordan river was broken means the redemption out of the sinful desire that is the factory that product always sins. What does it mean?
Second, Jordan river is the symbol of our sinful desire that product the sins.
- The cross of Christ cleaned up every sin once of all forever. (Gal 5:24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.) And what we remember must be happened through the holiness and the purity. According to the command, “Consecrate yourselves”(5), as we examine ourselves through the repentance and the faith shall happen some wonderful things. (3:11,14,16, 17)
11See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you.
14So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them.
16the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground
- If the Lord cleans up our all sin, our all evil and our all punishment but leave
the sinful desire, can you overcome it by your wisdom? The Scripture says that we cannot do that. Rom7:21-25 says “21So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.” We never be able to overcome our siful desire. Our endurance, our meditation and our good behavior cannot influence to remove it out of our heart because it was very strong, stimulated and systematically.
Ex: Jesus Christ know it very well in his ministry. At Gesemaneth he prayed with his disciples to God for his cross. Then his disciples slept . Then the Lord says “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mt26:41) Do you know this meaning? Most peoples misunderstood that it is physical tiring body for compassion to them. No. it is does not mean. Here sarks means the sinful desire. It cannot arrive to the standard of the Lord. It is impossible to stay there. So we have to cast it to the seat of death, demolishment. Here the Lord pointed the main problem and the solving method to them.
The method is to believe in the merit of Christ’s cross. So our Lord should bear the cross to remove the sinful desire. Paul proclaimed “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.(Rom7:15-19)“ This is the main key to remove our burning sinful desire. When only the Spirit apply it our heart we can overcome the temptation before God. So Paul thanked the Lord and praised the Lord. We have to cross our Jordan river in our lives.
For example when we have receive the temptation of stimulated things, by stealing, lairing, hating envying and sexual desiring, how can overcome them in our actual life? As our sinful desire rise in our heart we cannot control it. We have to admit that fact. At that same time we have to admit the merit power of cross. Then our thing must understand thank praise and devote ourselves to the Lord as living sacrifice. ( Rom12:1-2)
Do not follow the emotion but the will that depended on God’ will , the word of God. When we see the light of the Lord we can see our inner light. When we look at the glory of the Lord’s face we find that we shall be transformed by the work of Holy Spirit. This is the reality of crossing Jordan river.
- My beloved student did you cross the red sea”? ad also did you cross the Jordan river in your lies? As the Israelite looked at the ark of covenant and followed the moving, they shall walk into the water as the dry land. We can overcome the sinful desire by follow the word of God in our actual life.
- In our school life we have to focus this thing in our studying activities.