So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho.Joshua 3:14-16 NIV
At the beginning of Israel’s journey from Egypt to the promised land, they crossed the Red Sea on dry ground. And that crossing was mirrored as they came to the end of that journey 40 years later. While the first crossing is celebrated more in their song and theology, crossing the Jordan River is no less significant and impressive.
The Jordan River was at flood stage and presented an insurmountable obstacle for Israel. How could they get their great company, along with all of their possessions and livestock, across the river and into the land they had been promised? I have occasionally forded small rivers. And it is not easy. The current and slick rocks are significant obstacles.
Miracle at the Jordan
But God had a solution. He had the priests take up the ark of the covenant and march out into the river. And as soon as the first foot touched the water, the river stopped flowing. A mountain of water formed upstream. The rocks and muck at the river bottom dried up. And they were able to cross in safety.
This miracle at the Jordan only happened once Israel advanced into the river. They put steps to their faith, and God responded. It is so tempting to wait until God removes any obstacles in our way before we step out to follow him. And as a result, we often find ourselves camped on the wrong side of the Jordan, doing nothing. When God calls you to cross your Jordan River, be willing to step out into the water, trusting him to get you to the other side.