Joshua Chapter Three (Part One)

Introduction: A key idea in Joshua is that God blesses obedience. Today, we hope to discuss the crossing of the Jordan River.

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Read Joshua 3:1-8

D. The Crossing of the Jordan River. Preparation is being made to cross the Jordan River. Instructions are being given and the officers are echoing the orders. There is to be a following of the Ark of the Covenant. The Lord promises the exaltation of Joshua.

Applications -

- Teamwork. Notice in vss. 1-4 the high level of teamwork. Joshua is leading. The officers are reinforcing his instructions. The people are following the instructions/orders. In similar fashion, teamwork is essential today.

Leaders should lead, officers should help the leader, and followers should follow the leadership. This is often not the case in our churches, families, and communities.

The consequence of such is often that we don’t experience the full blessings of God. Let’s work on doing our part on the team.

- New places. Notice in vs. 4 that following leadership was really important, in light of the people not having experiences with where Joshua was leading them.

They had never been to where they were about to go, so they needed to follow leadership to insure that things went as planned. In similar fashion, God uses those He sends to lead us into new directions and situations that make following leadership even more important.

Even when we think we have some experience with where we are going, this time is different. It is different, because it is a new day and often with different people in different positions.

Let’s learn to trust God enough to follow the leaders that He supplies, especially when facing new directions and situations.

- Consecration. Notice in vs. 5 the call to consecrate ones self. First, to consecrate is to make holy, to dedicate, to set aside. It is important for God’s people to be clearly identified with God.

For some this may include fasting. Others may include prayer. But it should always include obedience.

Second, the people were called to consecrate themselves. In similar fashion, no matter what kind of prayer or study effort is sponsored by the church, if individuals don’t consecrate themselves, there will be very little accomplished.

The first “D” of discipleship is concerned with a decision. Let’s work on consecrating ourselves unto the Lord. This should translate into a made up mind to obey God’s word and will for our lives.

- When God exalts you. Notice in vss. 7-8 that Joshua is to be exalted in the eyes of Israel, so they will know that the Lord is with him, as He was with Moses. First, the people are to be commended for doing so much before exaltation.

Many people would not have acknowledged the leadership of Joshua nor followed him to the Jordan, if it were not for their confidence in him. It seems that the officers’ acceptance of Joshua played a part in getting the people to this point.

Even before exaltation, the people were called to give Joshua the benefit of the doubt.

Second, God understands the dynamics of human relationships and He does the right things at the right times. God is not just spiritual and has no understanding of the psychological make up of people. On the contrary, God created people.

Third, the path to be exalted is characterized by obedience. If a godly leader wants to grow in influence with God’s people, the leader is to consistently and courageously obey God. Fourth, with the exaltation and confirmation of God’s presence comes confidence to face difficult times.

With the assurance of God’s presence, we can face hurricanes. But without God’s presence, a little rain shower is too much for us to handle. Let’s work on being faithful and trusting God’s timetable of exaltation.

- Following God’s will. Notice in vs. 8 that Ark of the Covenant was a symbol of God’s presence. Remember that the ark in question is actually an ornamented chest that is said to contain the tables that the Ten Commandments were on. It is precious a possession of the people of God and a symbol of God’s presence.

Perhaps some items that we look at in similar fashion may be a special Bible, a cross, or our church’s communion table. More important than symbolism is the reality that God is really among us today.

And furthermore, we are called to follow wherever God is leading. Let’s work on discerning and following God’s leading for our lives. This application is important for both our individual lives and our corporate life as a church family.

Conclusion: Let’s work on obeying God’s will. God has much for those who obey Him.

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