It was harvest time and the river was in full flood” Joshua 3: 13-14 GNB
Have you ever stood next to a river in full flood? The noise and sheer power of the rushing water is enough to take your breath away. This summer hundreds of people in the UK have experienced at first hand the destructive power of floodwaters. I take my hat off to those brave priests who had such faith in God’s word that they contemplated wading into a flooded river carrying with them the precious Covenant Box.
Notice that the Lord didn’t say ‘when you get to the river bank the water will stop flowing’. No, they had to put their feet in the water.
For much of the year the River Jordan can be crossed easily at certain points and occasionally in times of severe drought parts of the river dry up so that it is possible to walk across the dry riverbed. But harvest time is the rainy season. Water cascading down from the distant mountains can swell the river to several feet deep and make it very dangerous to cross.
Notice the name used for God; Lord of all the earth. At the time people believed that different gods ruled in different places and had no jurisdiction in the territory of another god. The people of Israel had seen God’s power at work in the wilderness. Now they had to trust that he would also be their God in the new land they were about to enter. And the priests had to trust that they wouldn’t get their feet wet!