Joshua Chapter Four (Part Two)

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

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Body:

Read Joshua 4:14-24

E. The Commemoration of the Crossing (continued). The Lord exalted Joshua. The people revered/respected him all of his life. The priests are ordered out of the Jordan, and the water comes back at flood stage. The monument is built and instructions are given.

 Applications -

- Leadership exaltation. Notice in vs. 14 that the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of the all Israel. First, there is a such thing as giving too much praise and respect to human agents. If we are not careful, we can almost idolize the effective leader.

Second, there is also a such thing as failing to give enough praise and respect to human agents. Leaders are more than errand boys and girls. They are those whom the Lord has chosen for a special assignment and should be respected as such.

Think about how we should treat national ambassadors. Let’s work on being open to giving our leaders the praise and respect that they should have. This calls for seeking God’s wisdom and strength to know what to do and to then do it. 

-  Following in spite of our title. Notice in vss. 15-18 that even the priests were called upon to follow leadership. It is sad to see how there are people who think that their titles, seniority, age, or something exempts them from having to follow leadership.

It is really sad, because to whom much is given much is required.  In church, Deacons and Associate Ministers should be the first in line to follow leadership, not those who sit back as if they are exempt or waiting to see which way the wind is blowing.

In the family, the spouses should be on one accord.  Let’s learn to follow leadership, no matter what our title may be. This is why humility is something to be required of all new leaders.

- God’s great deeds. Notice in vs. 18 that we see that God can do great things. Only God can be given credit for stopping the Jordan long enough for the people to cross over and then causing the Jordan to flow again, after the last person stepped out of the river bed.

In like manner, God is still able to do great things. He can open doors of opportunities and close doors of danger, in ways that no one else can take credit for.

Let’s live like we trust that God is able to do great things. Such living should be noted for obedience and hopeful joy, in spite of what we see. 

- Following through. Notice in vss. 20-24 that Joshua has the people following through on what God told them to do. There are those who make all kinds of commitments on one side of their troubles.

But when things seem to be looking up, they have been known to forget and abandon what God had told them to do.

Think about how people frequent the prayer meetings, in preparation for a serious surgery. But after surgery and recovery, they rarely come back.

Let’s learn to follow through on what God is calling us to do. God is calling us to love Him with all that we have and to love others, as we love ourselves.

- Remembering and obeying the Lord. Notice in vss. 23-24 that the stone memorial was to be used to inspire the telling of how God had brought His people over the Jordan River, so that people may fear and obey God.

First, it is good to set up some reminders of how good God has been to us. In church life, we have special days like Christmas, Resurrection Sunday (some call it Easter), church anniversaries, and the like.

There may be plaques or art work. In our personal lives, there are special days like our birthdays and anniversaries of God doing great things in our lives like bringing us through surgery, sending our cancer into remission, or allowing us to open a business.

Second, as we remember the goodness of the Lord, we should also recommit to fearing Him enough to obey Him.

It is not enough to remember. We are called to obey. God is calling us to be witnesses, worshippers, and those who love especially the less fortunate. Let’s work on remembering God’s goodness and obeying His will for our lives.

Conclusion: Let’s work on obeying God, so we can be blessed. God has much for those who obey His will.

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