The crossing of the Jordan is a pivotal event in the history of Israel. The crossing of the Red Sea transferred Israel from slavery to freedom. The crossing of the Jordan transformed Israel from a wandering group of tribes to a landed nation.1
There is an old Hiligaynon [local dialect] children’s song about the crossing of the Jordan. It says, “Didto sa tabok sang Jordan, magakita-ay kita nga tanan. Didto sa tabok sang Jordan, magakita-ay kita nga tanan. Didto.” [There at the other side of Jordan, we will see each other. There at the other side of Jordan, we will see each other. There!]
Many believe that the crossing of the Jordan symbolizes the crossing of the Christian believer from death into eternal life. But Joshua 3 does not say that crossing the Jordan means death and Canaan means heaven. The bloody wars in the land of Canaan make it more like hell than heaven.
My intent in this sermon is to show you what the miraculous crossing of the Jordan teaches us. Let’s look at some clues in Joshua 3 and 4. Josh. 3:3 says, “the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God.” Verse 10—“the living God is among you.” Verse 13—“the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth.” Then in Josh. 4:23-24, “the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord.”
What the miracle in the crossing tells us is not so much about the faith of Israel, but about the presence and power of Yahweh, the God of Israel. The story of the crossing then tells us what we should know about Yahweh, the God of Israel and why we should fear Him.
The writers of Joshua note three things about Yahweh in the story of the crossing. . . more