Almost everyone knows the story of the parting of the Red Sea, when God drew back the waters so that the Israelites could escape the pursuit of the Egyptians.
However, how many people know that He did it again when the Israelites crossed the Jordan to get to the Promised Land? This story shows God working yet another extraordinary miracle and it’s a shame that this story isn’t better known because there is so much for us to be able to apply to our lives from it.
When the Red Sea parted God literally performed an unimaginable miracle and He used just one man (Moses) to make it happen. He told Moses to stretch out his hand over the sea and the sea would part. Moses trusted the Lord and did as he was told and because of that, we now have this incredible story to stand on when we think about the miraculous nature of God.
The second story of the waters parting is in Joshua Chapter 3 when the Israelites are passing into the Promised Land from the wilderness. They need to cross the Jordan River and God makes the journey possible by parting the river for them to pass through. However, Gods instructions this time are completely different and it’s this difference that makes me love this story so much. God says the Jordan River will part for the Israelites only when ALL the priests carrying the ark of the covenant have put their feet in the river at the same time. It is an act of joint obedience to Gods command that brings forth this miracle. If one of those priests hadn’t complied then the river wouldn’t have parted and they would not have reached the Promised Land.
I think one of the reasons God used this different instruction for this miracle, was to prepare the Israelites for this next stage of their journey. When they got to the Promised Land they would need to work together and trust each other. God could effortlessly just have parted the water with no instruction at all, or He could have asked their new leader Joshua to do it, as He did with Moses. Yet He specifically chose to ask them to show this joint obedience so that He would know (and so that they would know), that they could work together and follow His instructions as a group when asked. He didn’t perform a miracle just to be a great high God who can do anything (although obviously that’s exactly who He is!), He did it with a purpose in mind. To get the Israelites to choose to obey Him in unison, united by their trust and obedience.
I spend a lot of my time clinging onto God, desperately holding onto His word to help me navigate this world and whilst this is what God wants me/us to do, to individually follow Him, He also wants us to follow Him together as the church. As a group of individuals, carrying the truth of God’s word on our shoulders, who obey His word in order that He can teach us and show us what He needs us to do together.
There are so many issues in our world that cannot be tackled by individuals alone but where it is imperative that a team moves in and approaches it together. That team needs to trust each other, to be able to lean on each other and it needs to trust and obey God. It’s easy to think that in our day to day lives we don’t necessarily need to do this because we see charities sending out teams to remote places to tackle poverty. We see teams of doctors and nurses treating patients and it feels like the work is already being done. It’s easy to think that we don’t have much to offer but God made us all with a purpose and all with something to offer and it is often when our gifts are used together that great change can take place.
The work here on earth that needs doing, is not already done. We need to keep serving God and we need to do it together when He asks us to.
What can we do within our families and communities where can stand as a group, with our feet in the water at the same time, trusting God to work through that one act of simple obedience? Are you willing to get your feet wet?
A marathon isn’t a one man race. It’s a group of individuals coming together, for the same purpose and desire, with the same heart and hope, running the race together. Let’s run this race.