Intro Lesson 3 – Joshua 3: 1 – 5: 12
You have to admire men and women who demonstrate unusual courage. Around 400 B. C. Plato defined courage as a special kind of knowledge. He said, “Courage is the knowledge of how to fear what ought to be feared and how not to fear what ought not to be feared”. If this is true, then it is not the total elimination of fear that occurs in the minds and hearts of courageous men and women, it is the wisdom to know when it is a God-given and healthy emotion and when it is not.
It’s hard to even imagine the organization it must have taken for 2 million or more people to move from one camp site to the next one and then to get across the Jordan River in order to live near to the city of Jericho. Surely the people must have been wondering just how they would be able to get to the other side of the river. Were their fears legitimate or not? Scholars tell us the river was close to 1 mile wide at some points and in many places it was about 12 feet deep. The current was very swift especially during the harvest season. These obstacles didn’t seem to faze Joshua. His instructions were clear and precise. His officers carried out their responsibilities and at just the right time the priests put their feet into the water’s edge. What would it have been like for the people at the end of the parade to hear that everyone was marching across on dry land? Apparently somewhere up river, about 18 miles north of Jericho, the Jordan River had suddenly stopped flowing! The astonishment and excitement must have energized them, not only physically, but spiritually. The Lord was doing amazing things for them!
Isn’t it interesting Jesus gave His disciples the very same promise Joshua received? He said to them when he asked them to go and make disciples of all nations, “I will be with you always”. (Matthew 28: 19 – 20) He still longs to do amazing things for those who will move out of their comfort zones and into the places where He can perform miracles.