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Today is a major day in our readings as the Israelites cross the Jordan River into the Promised Land! The significance of the events in today's readings cannot be overstated. The Israelites 40 years in the Wilderness are over. God's Promise made to Abraham is being fulfilled!
I am intrigued by verse 5 in Joshua chapter 3 today as the Israelites are about to cross the Jordan - "Then Joshua told the people, "Purify yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do great wonders among you."" I'm wondering what the Israelites did to purify themselves? Some sort of ritual purification I'd guess - likely similar to the purification before meeting God at Mount Sinai, which included washing all their garments as well as themselves. I also wonder what we do in our lives today to purify ourselves? The first thought comes to mind that we are of course purified today completely by the blood of Christ. But, then, I also know that once we have made the decision to follow Christ we will still sin on occasion. And then, is purification needed? Not from a salvation standpoint - but from simply having a pure heart before God? I'm thinking that our purification today is confessing directly to God our sins and repenting. And I think through this process God's grace arrives in a nanosecond and purifies us. I think we're purified by God's grace today. But, I think in part we need to recognize our own need for purification and confess to God our shortcomings and repent. Let me know what you think on this in the Comments below if you'd like. Again, I'm not looking at this from a salvation / justification perspective - more of the sanctification perspective. I like the thought of purification - of being pure before God. I pray for this for each of us. No dark corners. No secrets. Just a pure heart before our heavenly Father.
A watercolor painting is below for verses 16 & 17 - "Then all the people crossed over near the city of Jericho. Meanwhile, the priests who were carrying the Ark of the LORD's covenant stood on dry ground in the middle of the riverbed as the people passed by them. They waited there until everyone had crossed the Jordan on dry ground."
Bible.org's commentary on Joshua's readings today titled "Crossing the Jordan" is at this link.
Fascinating! verses today in Joshua chapter 5 verses 13 - 15 - "As Joshua approached the city of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man facing him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, "Are you friend or foe?" "Neither one," he replied. "I am commander of the LORD's army." At this, Joshua fell with his face to the ground in reverence. "I am at your command," Joshua said. "What do you want your servant to do?" The commander of the LORD's army replied, "Take off your sandals, for this is holy ground." And Joshua did as he was told." Tyndale's One Year Bible Companion says this about these verses - "The captain of the host was no mere angel. His presence was an appearance of Christ in person. Joshua worshipped the captain; his worship was accepted and he was neither rebuked nor instructed otherwise." Whaddya think? Was this Jesus in these verses?? Bible.org's commentary on "The Captain of the Lord's Army" is at this link.
Worship God: Today's readings in Joshua reminded me of Mandisa's song "Stronger:"
Do you want to be made stronger? Click here for Strength!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "So the LORD was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout the land." Joshua 6:27 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that God is with you. Pray that you are spreading Jesus' fame throughout the land.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
p.s. Download our monthly Small Group study notes for our Chronological Bible readings at this link.
p.p.s. Download a schedule of our Chronological Bible readings for the year in PDF format at this link.
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