“When the soles of the feet of the priests carrying the Chest of God, Master of all the earth, touch the Jordan’s water, the flow of water will be stopped—the water coming from upstream will pile up in a heap.
And that’s what happened. The people left their tents to cross the Jordan, led by the priests carrying the Chest of the Covenant. When the priests got to the Jordan and their feet touched the water at the edge (the Jordan overflows its banks throughout the harvest), the flow of water stopped. It piled up in a heap—a long way off—at Adam, which is near Zarethan. The river went dry all the way down to the Arabah Sea (the Salt Sea). And the people crossed, facing Jericho.
And there they stood; those priests carrying the Chest of the Covenant stood firmly planted on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground. Finally the whole nation was across the Jordan, and not one wet foot.” Joshua 3:13-17
God was positioned and prepared to work a miracle, but it required a first, faithful step. This example shows us and challenges us to be expectant of God’s promises in our lives.
God makes a promise to Joshua and it isn’t an easy one to believe. He promises Joshua that if he instructs priests to go and stand in the Jordan river, the water would stop and everyone would be able to cross it easily.
Not only does this seem completely insane, but the Bible tells us the Jordan is overflowing its banks at this time. This isn’t a small stream they could just sort of hop on over if things went wrong—the river is rushing and overflowing. Joshua tells the priests to do this, not knowing if they will. When they agree to it, everyone is watching in faithful anticipation for a move of God. They’re watching a rushing, overflowing river.
They are staring at a dangerous and uncertain situation, but they still agree to take that first step.
Maybe you can relate to this feeling today. Sometimes, we may feel like we are staring down a dangerous, uncertain situation. I love how God chose to bring them across the Jordan on dry ground during a time when the river was overflowing on its banks. It’s so like our God to choose the season that seems the most impossible to us in our humanness to show up and work a miracle. He didn’t see it as impossible, He saw an opportunity. His people saw a dangerous and uncertain situation, and He saw a clear path to lead them on.
I love how the Bible says, “and that’s what happened.” When I put myself into this circumstance, I can imagine myself standing on the river bank wondering if God is going to show up and do the miracle.
In the moment of that first step, in the moment when we don’t know for sure what will happen next, do we believe in His promise?
The Bible declares it so simply. God did what He promised. God always does as He promised. Can we cling to who He is, a God who always keeps His promises, even when we don’t see it yet?
The Word goes on to tell us not only did everyone cross over, but there wasn’t a single wet foot. Sometimes, it feels like we are standing on the banks of the river, staring at the promise of God in disbelief. What we see is a rushing river, not dry ground to cross over, but God is beckoning us, asking us to take that first, faithful step.
I don’t know what your river is. Maybe you are facing uncertainty in your job, in a relationship, or you’re looking at the chaos around the world and wondering, where is God’s promise for you? When are you going to see the miracle?
What if the miracle is already prepared for you? What if, instead of waiting for God to move, He’s asking you to be willing to step into the unknown because the miracle is prepared and He’s ready to move. He just needs you to say you’re willing to get your feet wet and then He’ll show you the dry ground.
Is there a circumstance where you are desiring a miracle in your life? Invite the Holy Spirit to show you now what your next step might be. Write down anything He speaks to you.
Do you relate to this passage? How do you feel and what is running through your mind as you imagine being on the banks of the Jordan river watching the river rushing by?
Think of the promises of God in your life. Do you believe He will do what He has promised? Write out what it would look like in your life for God’s promises to be true for you today.
Hey Father, help us to believe you are who you say you are and you will do what you have promised, even when we cannot see it yet. Holy Spirit guide us into our next faithful step. Challenge us to be willing to get our feet wet today. Make us expectant for you to move and willing to take faithful steps toward your promise. Amen.