The Israelites come to Jordan. (1-6) The Lord encourages
joshua-Joshua encourages the people. (7-13) The Israelites pass
through Jordan on dry land. (14-17)
The Israelites came to Jordan in faith, having been told
that they should pass it. In the way of duty, let us proceed as
far as we can, and depend on the Lord. Joshua led them.
Particular notice is taken of his early rising, as afterwards
upon other occasions, which shows how little he sought his own
ease. Those who would bring great things to pass, must rise
early. Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty. All in public
stations should always attend to the duty of their place. The
people were to follow the ark. Thus must we walk after the rule
of the word, and the direction of the Spirit, in everything; so
shall peace be upon us as upon the Israel of God; but we must
follow our ministers only as they follow Christ. All their way
through the wilderness was an untrodden path, but most so this
through Jordan. While we are here, we must expect and prepare to
pass ways that we have not passed before; but in the path of
duty we may proceed with boldness and cheerfulness. Whether we
are called to suffer poverty, pain, labour, persecution,
reproach, or death, we are following the Author and Finisher of
our faith; nor can we set our feet in any dangerous or difficult
spot, through our whole journey, but faith will there see the
prints of the Redeemer's feet, who trod that very path to glory
above, and bids us follow him, that where he is, we may be also.
They were to sanctify themselves. Would we experience the
effects of God's love and power, we must put away sin, and be
careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit of God.
The waters of Jordan shall be cut off. This must be done
in such a way as never was done, but in the dividing of the Red
sea. That miracle is here repeated; God has the same power to
finish the salvation of his people, as to begin it; the WORD of
the Lord was as truly with Joshua as with Moses. God's
appearances for his people ought to encourage faith and hope.
God's work is perfect, he will keep his people. Jordan's flood
cannot keep out Israel, Canaan's force cannot turn them out
Jordan overflowed all its banks. This magnified the power
of God, and his kindness to Israel. Although those who oppose
the salvation of God's people have all advantages, yet God can
and will conquer. This passage over Jordan, as an entrance to
Canaan, after their long, weary wanderings in the wilderness,
shadowed out the believer's passage through death to heaven,
after he has finished his wanderings in this sinful world.
Jesus, typified by the ark, hath gone before, and he crossed the
river when it most flooded the country around. Let us treasure
up experiences of His faithful and tender care, that they may
help our faith and hope in the last conflict.