Monday, June 16, 2008

Arise and Go Over This Jordan

Never have I been so fascinated by the Israelites 40 years of wandering around in the wilderness and then crossing the Jordan as I have been lately. It stated a couple of months ago when I moved by to Jordan St. for the third time and this nagging sense that somehow it all connected to the idea of crossing the Jordan. In the midst of moving, everyday life, etc. I really hadn't pursued such a study.

Then a couple of weeks ago I read an interesting series of blogs based off a teaching by Andrew Shearman about the 42nd Generation. In one of the blogs he speaks of the fact that the Israelites went through 41 cities and 40 years of wandering before coming to the 42nd stop of crossing the Jordan into their destiny. My curiosity was aroused as I sensed again God inviting me on a journey into this subject.

Being the ever so in tune and obedient daughter that I am, I read the blogs - even printing them off and highlighting a few things, promised myself to make some notes in my journal about it but turned in for the night exhausted and the highlighted papers are still at the edge of my bed, notes awaiting their place in my journal.

One day last week however as I sat in my room asking God to speak through His Word, to teach me, to awaken my heart that seems to keep pressing the snooze button just like I do every morning. He whispered to Joshua 1. I can't say the reference rang any bells in my head, that is until I started reading. Yep, it's about preparing to cross the Jordan.

Maybe God's trying to tell me something?

So I sat down to read and began wondering what must Joshua be feeling? The last time they were about to cross into the Promised Land, the people doubted God and they spent 40 years eating manna and hanging out in the wilderness. He was there in the beginning. He and Caleb were the only two that believed God was on their side and would defeat their enemies, the rest of the people chose doubt and fear and wanted to stone Joshua and Caleb. (Numbers 14) He'd had this group turn on him before. Was he afraid it would happen again? What was it like after all those years, knowing that right across this body of water is the inheritance promised so long ago? Knowing that they will also have to fight for it? Crossing the Jordan meant going to war to claim that inheritance.

While reading through, I noticed that four times you see "Be strong and of good courage" in this short little chapter.

Be Strong and of Good Courage
1) Joshua be strong and courageous because you have a responsibility to the people as their leader. 2) You have an obligation to follow My word and law - to learn it, speak it and follow it.
3) Be strong and courageous because these things are not yours to handle alone, I am with you wherever you go and 4) the warriors are willing to pay the price - they remember their promise to Moses and are standing behind you in all that you command too.

Right after God points out Joshua's responsibilities to the Israelites and to the Book of the Law, He comes in and says "do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." (v.9) God knows our tendencies to be overwhelmed, to get bogged down in the logistics and responsibilities, to take our eyes off Him. He's so lovingly saying over and over "I'm here. I'm with you. I know what you've faced and I know what you're about to come up against. You have no reason to fear. Trust in My love and promises. Arise and go over this Jordan."


Beth said...

man, I love reading your blog. it makes me think...

Christy Bryan said...

"Arise and go over the Jordan" coming to a theatre near you. Christy Bryan and Stephanie Pridgen Co-star in this thriller classic. It is said to be their best performance yet. This is movie you will not want to miss.