A Clear Measure of Trust
By Jennifer Slattery
“And the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses. Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: “When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river.” Joshua 3:7-8
I’m quick to talk about God’s power and love, but often, my actions demonstrate my heart hasn’t truly owned those truths. When I hesitate to respond to God’s prompting, I reveal a deep layer of doubt that, if not swiftly squashed, will prove crippling.
Had I been with the Israelites the day God told Joshua, their commander, to lead them across the Jordan River and into a plentiful land, I might have politely declined. My thoughts would’ve been consumed by the rushing waters before me and the threat of death they posed.
This wasn’t how the Israelites responded.
I believe their obedience lay in their backstory. Decades prior, God had miraculously liberated their parents from slavery, led them across the Red Sea on dry ground, and commanded them to take possession of Canaan. When, out of fear, they refused, they were forced to wonder through the desert for forty years. With each step, they were reminded of their foolishness and God’s faithfulness. As He provided for them each day, their trust and dependence increased.
The Israelite’s children, now adults, had witnessed it all. They’d seen the suffering that came from rebellion and the blessings of obedience. Therefore, when faced with a seemingly impassable body of water, they chose obedience.
They focused on their Savior, not the challenge before them.
As I read this account, recorded in Joshua three, I was struck by the order of events.
Scripture tells us the priests stepped into the raging waters first, and they didn’t just dip their toe in. According to verse eight, they stood in the river. This demonstrated total obedience and faith.
And God came through, as He always does.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer, editor, speaker, and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries. She writes for Crosswalk, is the author of eight contemporary novels, and helped write Wholly Loved’s Bible study based on the life of Sarai (Gen. 12-23) titled Becoming His Princess, available for free (in ebook form) from Wholly Loved Ministries. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall outings with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit her online at jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com.
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