We conclude the Out of Egypt sermon series and considere the meaning of the Exodus drama and its implications for us today. The failure of the first generation under Moses to enter Canaan teaches us a valuable lesson: To enter the heavenly Canaan, we must not forget HOW we get there and WHO gets us there—Jesus. (John 14:6)
By the time we get to the book of Joshua, Miriam, Aaron, and Moses are all dead. Rewind to Joshua 1:2 – “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites.” This is a “stone of remembrance” never to be forgotten: Neither delay nor death can derail the promise of God. God Keeps His promises.
Unlike the Red Sea crossing, the Jordan crossing was not a deliverance but an entrance into the promised land. They were going from wilderness wanderers to promised-land possessors. But it would still take faith to possess it.
Rewind to Joshua 3:1-4. Before entering Canaan, the covenant must be followed. The ark represented the covenant—the law, presence, and promises of God. Before Jesus comes back, we must give highest priority to the law, presence, and promises of God. Why? For the same reason that was given to ancient Israel, “You will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before.” (vs. 4) Whether it’s a global pandemic, historic fires or social unrest, None of us have been “this way” before, so we need to head the words God spoke to Joshua: “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may successful wherever you go.” Josh. 1:7
Rewind to Joshua 3:14, 15. God brought Israel to the Jordan at flood stage. He could have brought them in the summer or fall when the river would have been a trickle. But He brought them when it was hard. When it was dangerous. But most importantly, when they would have to trust Him. Before the promise can be possessed, the promise and the Promise-Keeper must be trusted.
God allows them to see the land of promise on the far shore and the flooded river at the same time. We are currently seeing the signs of the times fulfilled and the times of trouble predicted in those signs at the same time. One makes us trust, the other causes us to tremble. What will we trust?
We too, are at our Jordan at floodstage. Why? So God will get the glory. It’s floodstage in the world right now. But flood-stage time is God’s time. For God, the volume of the water in the Jordan makes no difference. All time is in His hands and when it’s God’s time it’s our time to cross the Jordan. When we move forward in faith undaunted by the times of trouble around us, God works miracles on our behalf and causes the kingdom of darkness to tremble!
“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….The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.” (3:15-17)
The same hand that parted the Red Sea to their fathers 40 years before was the same that now opened the Jordan. But this time they had to put their feet in the water before it parted. What this says to me is that we can’t run from our “flood-stage” times, we must engage them. We’ve got to touch the pain of those around us and carry the healing presence of Jesus with us. That’s when miracles happen!
God instructed 12 men—one from each tribe—to gather up a stone from the riverbed where the priests were standing as a memorial of the miracle. These stones represented the faithfulness of God, the people of God, and the presence of God. But there were many other “stones” of remembrance—lessons from the Exodus—that we have observed over the last 5 months and must remember now as we approach our own Jordan.
- God’s promise prevails against all obstacles and against all foes, whether foreign, domestic, or demonic.
- To leave Egypt, something must be refused and something else accepted. Without faith it is impossible to leave Egypt.
- If you never turn aside from the ordinary, you won’t encounter the extra-ordinary. The comfort zone is a tempting place but nothing ever grows there.
- When God calls, He’s already where He’s calling you to go, and has everything you need for when you get there.
- You won’t really know the Lord until you can obey Him despite your discouragement.
- Through the plagues, God was turning the lights out on the “old” so that he could bring forth a new people into His marvelous light.
- The liberation of God’s people couldn’t come by sheer might, nor only by a show of overwhelming force and power. It could come only by the death of the Same LORD who was saving them.
- When you’re trapped between hell and high water, that’s the right time for God to do something great.
- When faced with bitter waters, don’t forget your song.
- To live by every word the proceeds from the mouth of God you can’t let your mouth, or your imagination run amuck.
- Our prayers are God’s greatest weapon in defeating the kingdom of darkness. But our prayerlessness is Satan’s greatest weapon in defeating the kingdom of God.
- God’s purpose in delivering Israel and giving them His covenant was to make out of them a holy nation of priests who would be a bridge to connect people to God and put Him on display.
- The language God looks for in the love of His bride is obedience.
- Whenever you reduce God to something you can control it is inevitable that you will lose control of yourself.
- The Glory of God is His character. You can’t enter Canaan without it!
- When facing giants of fear, you are called upon to be a giant of faith.
- When facing your Jordan, be strong and very courageous because the Lord your God is with you.
My friends, as we near the end of our exodus, these stones, left by our forefathers will help us cross our Jordan. But What are the stones we are leaving to memorialize our moment in time? During this Pandemic, what did we do? What prayers did we pray? How did we serve each other and our neighbors? Did we have faith?
Friends, one day soon our wilderness wanderings will end and we will finally and forever be OUT OF EGYPT and HOME AT LAST. But for now, while our journey continues, God says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord our God will be with you wherever you go.” Josh. 1:9
Pastor Randy Maxwell