In chapter one of Joshua, we find that Moses is dead and Joshua, anointed to lead Israel into the Promised Land, stands once again at the Jordan River. What must have gone through his mind as he finally looked across that river at the land where he was once a spy? No doubt he remembered when he and Caleb had brought back word of an amazing land “flowing with milk and honey.” Yet that river may as well have been a wall to the Israelites, who, because of their fear and unbelief, lost a generation wandering in the wilderness. But now, everything God had promised, 40 years before, was across that river before them.
God promised to prosper Joshua in everything he did IF he would meditate daily on the “Book of Instruction” and carefully obey (Joshua 1: 8 NLT). So now, with the river at flood stage at the time of harvest, Joshua had to decide if he was willing to trust God. What would happen as the priest, carrying the Ark of the Covenant, stepped into the flood? As you read the first three chapters of Joshua, you can almost feel the tension on the bank of that river. Some would have said, “Did God really appoint Joshua as our leader?” “He’s not MY leader,” perhaps others said. Some would have questioned his decision to send the priest and the Ark into the river first. Surely it would have been more prudent to send riders to “test the waters.”
But, Joshua believed God and led Israel across that river as the waters, ”Piled up in a heap a great distance away,” and the people crossed ON DRY LAND. What a relief he must have felt as God confirmed his leadership to the Israelites with such power and might. It would prepare him and the people for their next wall; the Wall of Jericho.