Weekly Devotionals – 11 March 2024

that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam, the city that is beside Zaretan. So the waters that went down into the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, failed, and were cut off; and the people crossed over opposite Jericho. (Joshua 3:16)

Most Christians are acquainted with the account of Moses leading Israel out of Egypt. The parting of the waters of the Red Sea was quite a miracle as God brought deliverance to His people. There was a similar miracle under Joshua, as he assumed the role of Israel’s new leader.

In Part 3 of our series on the Joshua Generation, we will consider the significance of the Jordan crossing. Is there meaning for our day?

The 40-Year Journey
40 is a prominent Biblical number. There was a 40-year period between the crossing of the Red Sea and the one that is about to take place in Jordan. Israel had an opportunity to enter into their inheritance after only two years out of Egypt. They failed due to unbelief (Numbers 13:31).

The number 40 speaks of generations. Joshua is now representing a new generation of leadership. Moses laid the foundation, but it was up to Joshua to build upon it as their new leader.

Why did the Lord allow Israel to wander in the wilderness for 40 years? We find insight into this question after Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness praying and fasting. Do you remember how the devil tempted Him in the area of his appetite? Jesus quoted the following account from the Book of Deuteronomy.

And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall live not by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD. (Deuteronomy 8:2-3)

Can you see the connection? Jesus was tested over 40 days as a reference to what Israel experienced over 40 years. The wilderness journey is not easy and often filled with doubts and unfulfilled expectations. Are you currently going through your own personal wilderness?

Do you know how many years of wilderness Moses spent in the land of Midian? He was 40 when he left Egypt, and after 40 years, Moses returned to become God’s leader over Israel at the age of 80 (Acts 7:23-30).

Remember, the purpose of the 40 years of wilderness was to deal with the internal heart issues of God’s people. This is the reason why circumcision is often discussed in the lead-up to the Jordan Crossing.

A Fresh Circumcision
At that time the LORD said to Joshua, “Make flint knives for yourself, and circumcise the sons of Israel again the second time.” (Joshua 5:2)

Why did there need to be a circumcision for a second time? Here’s the answer! All the men of war who came out of Egypt were circumcised but died in the wilderness.

And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! (Numbers 14:2)

God took the men of Israel at their word. Their unbelief prohibited them from entering the land of promise. What do we say about God? Is our confession rooted in doubts, fear or faith?

because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it. (Numbers 14:22-23)

The crossing over Jordan is a miracle of great significance. It represents the Lord getting at the root of the sinful nature. In the opening verse, we see the waters being rolled back to the city of Adam. Where did sin originate as it pertains to man? It began with Adam in the Garden. Do you think this is a coincidence?

We will follow up on the significance of the Crossing of Jordan in a future devotional. If we understand the dynamics of the events in the first six chapters of Joshua, we will have a solid grasp on where the church is today.

Monday: Numbers 14:24
But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it.

Tuesday: Hebrews 8:10
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
Wednesday: Deuteronomy 8:2
And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.
Thursday: Matthew 4:1-2
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.
Friday: Matthew 3:10
And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Saturday: Joshua 3:3
and they commanded the people, saying, “When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests, the Levites, bearing it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it.
Sunday: Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

All scriptures are quoted from the New King James Version (NKJV).
By Pastor Timothy O’Connell