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Boaz Baptist Chronicles

Boaz Baptist Chronicles

In the midst of the Jordan... Joshua Chapter Four

Posted on 3 March, 2012 at 21:15


Joshua chapter four is a wonderful chapter that will yield many delights.  If you haven't done so, already, please read the whole chapter.


Notice how similar this story is to Moses’ passage across the Red Sea…


“And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.” (Exodus 14:21-22)


“For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over: That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.” (Joshua 4:23-24; Notice Joshua 4:14)


One was the Red Sea, and the other, the Jordan River. Depending on where they crossed, they were both nice sized miracles, especially when you consider the many people that passed over on dry ground. Remember, “…the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.” (Exodus 14:21-22)


Moses left Egypt. And, since Egypt is a type of the world, this pictures salvation. When someone gets saved, they turn “…to God from idols to serve the living and true God….” (I Thessalonians 1:9)


II Corinthians 5:17 says…


“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”


It’s clear, when the blood of the lamb was shed in Exodus twelve, God called His son (Israel) out of Egypt (Hosea 11:1, Matthew 2:15), by a mighty miraculous hand.


If Israel was (in type) delivered from the world, by Moses leading them out of Egypt across the water, what was Joshua’s passage all about?


Before I answer that, let’s remember, we missed something in-between. We missed the wilderness. Did you ever wonder why God didn’t take you home to Heaven, the day you got saved? He could have easily done that, you know. You were left down here for a reason. God left you down here to be tested and tried. God wants to know, given some testing, how we did.  Given some testing, how did he or she do?


These Hebrews were tested, alright, but how did they do? Do you really want to hear the answer? They wandered for forty years. And, they wandered in the wilderness of “Sin.” (Exodus 16:1) What might have been a few weeks journey, took forty years! Even though you have a new life and a new purpose; even though you are called out of Egypt, you are somewhere between the world and Heaven. Before you cross over, God wants to prove you; God wants to test you. And, that’s okay, because the same One that tested you will be the same One to reward you when you cross over into the Promised Land. Read Deuteronomy 28:1-14. God wants to reward His people. How much more when they cross the river onto the Golden Shore, in the sweet By and By??


Joshua’s passage is a type or picture of Heaven, but it’s also a picture of a Christian living in Christ; walking in Christ; getting out of the wilderness of self and sin.


When that priest followed Joshua across the Jordon River, it was a memorial for what God had done for His people. Joshua and Caleb were the only two that came out of Egypt that saw this with their own eyes. Remember, every one that left Egypt, except for these two, died in the wilderness. (Joshua 5:4-7, Hebrews 3:16-19) That’s why Joshua had to re-circumcise all the males at the “hill of the foreskins.” (Joshua 5:3) This memorial was a second picture, if you please; a second picture that shows what happens when a believer steps out of wilderness of wondering onto the brink of the perfect will of God. This can only take place when someone is walking in Christ.


As we read these verses, we’ll see this progression…


“Who delivered us from so great a death [out of Egypt—across the Red Sea], and doth deliver [out of the wilderness—across the Jordan River]: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us [into the Promised Land]….” II Corinthians 1:10


Just like the great deliverance that God showed at the Red Sea, there is a second one to be experienced. This one begins in the wilderness and ends at the crossing into the Promised Land.


Two memorials showed these two deliverances…


One was remembered every year by eating a lamb—the Passover lamb.


“And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.” (Exodus 12:14; I Corinthians 11:23-26, I Corinthians 5:7, John 6)


This memorial was seen on the great high priest’s garment (Exodus 28:9-12), and showed God’s deliverance from Pharaoh and Egypt.


The second memorial was seen in our text. (Joshua 4:3 and Joshua 4:9) While the first memorial pictures salvation, the second one, for the Christian who has been delivered from the wilderness of Satan and sin, pictures victory.

Jesus, a prophet like unto Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15; Acts 3:22; 7:37), who brought the children of Israel across the Red Sea, is our deliverer, and, like Joshua, The Captain of our Salvation (Hebrews 2:10; Joshua 5:14-15), will guide us across the river of sin and self into the Promised Land of victory. 


Pastor Bob

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