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Monday, October 29, 2012

Know The Way

At the Women of Faith conference this weekend, I listened to one of the dynamic speakers share how she liked to get into the text when she was reading her Bible, imagining what it felt like, tasted like, and looked like. As an imaginative person myself, I like the idea of recreating the scene in one's mind and pretending to actually be there when the event is occurring. Today I'm looking at Joshua 3, with a particular focus on verse 4.

Knowing God~His Covenant Leads Me

Moses has just died and God now commands Joshua to prepare to cross the Jordan river and conquer the land of Canaan. They have been camping at Shittim for some time now, and Joshua tells the officers to tell everyone to pack their belongings and prepare to leave Shittim to cross the river in three days. At the same time, he sends off the spies and they return just before everyone is ready to leave, or perhaps they meet the Israelites at the river, since the Israelites had to camp out there for three days as well.

It is now time for the momentous occasion. Doing some brief research online, it appears that while the Jordan river was not so wide, reports vary from 20 feet to 100 feet, this event did occur during harvest season when the river had gone past its banks, so it likely was a rushing river, and not still and calm. I imagine that while the spies would have been able to swim across as able-bodied men, it would not have been possible for the old, the women, the children, and the animals to cross over unless they could be ferried across. As there is no mention of boats appearing miraculously, God commands the people to prepare to cross.

As the officers pass through the camp telling everyone to get ready, they give some pretty specific directions. They tell the people that when they see the ark being carried by the priests, that they should follow the ark so they will know which way to go. I guess in a way it was very similar to what the Israelites had already been doing, which was to follow the cloud during the day and the pillar of fire at night, since they had no idea which way to go in the desert. So God continues to lead them with a very specific clear direction and with something that they can see with their own eyes.

"When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God. . .Follow it, so that you may know the way you should go, for you have not passed this way before."

How can I today recognize God's leading in my life? When His presence goes before me. It was clear that the ark of the covenant represented God. It was a tangible symbol of God's presence to the people, and they were following His promises (covenant) into the land of promise. What a neat picture that paints! When I'm feeling a little lost or confused as to the direction of my life, I can look in my Bible for God's promises. God says, "You won't know which way to go, because this path is completely brand new to you. But I'm sending My covenant before you, to clearly show you the way to go." If I take the comparison even further, the covenant is also a symbolic representation of Jesus Who went ahead of me and is ready to show me which way to go.

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