Show me Your glory, I pray.
Then Joshua said to the people, “Sanctify yourselves; for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.” To the priests Joshua said, “Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass on in front of the people.” So they took up the ark of the covenant and went in front of the people. The LORD said to Joshua, “This day I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, so that they may know that I will be with you as I was with Moses. You are the one who shall command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, ‘When you come to the edge of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.’” When the people set out from their tents to cross over the Jordan, the priests bearing the ark of the covenant were in front of the people. Now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest. So when those who bore the ark had come to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the edge of the water, the waters flowing from above stood still, rising up in a single heap far off at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, while those flowing towards the sea of the Arabah, the Dead Sea, were wholly cut off. Then the people crossed over opposite Jericho. While all Israel were crossing over on dry ground, the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, until the entire nation finished crossing over the Jordan.
Joshua 3:5-8, 14-17
How do you like getting your feet wet? How do you like trying something you have never done before? Today’s scripture gives new meaning to getting one’s feet wet as the people of God are commanded to step into the raging waters of a flooded Jordan River. Our scripture notes that at this time of year “the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest.” Geographers report that while the Jordan normally flows 100 feet wide, at harvest the river is impassable at a width of 300-350 feet wide and 10-12 feet deep.
Hopefully, this new generation of Israelites had had parents who told them about God’s deliverance through the Red Sea, because God now commands sons and daughters to walk through the Jordan. God directs the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant to lead the way by walking into the Jordan. One can imagine the priests first wanting to see God part the waters before they step in. But the raging waters do not part until, in obedient faith, “…the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the edge of the water, the waters flowing from above stood still.” Both the people and the water obeyed that day.
Centuries later God uses Exodus imagery to make a promise to His people:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you.”
Back to the original question: “How do you like getting your feet wet?” Unless we are willing to get our feet wet, to take a bold step into raging waters, we will not get far into the Promised Land. When people dare to step out, God leads the way. He promised us!
- How might you sense God calling you to get your “feet wet”? Or, how might you take a step of faith even before you see the waters part?