1 Corinthians 10:4
• (NLT) and all of them drank the same spiritual water. For they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ.
• (ESV) and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.
In Jewish tradition, there was a literal rock that followed Israel in their wanderings in the wilderness. In the Tosephta, the tradition is related as follows:"It was likewise with the well that was with the children of Israel in the wilderness, it [the well] was like a rock that was full of holes like a sieve from which water trickled and arose as from the opening of a flask. It [the rock-well] ascended with them to the top of the hills and descended with them into the valleys; wherever Israel tarried there it tarried over against the entrance to the tabernacle”
Joshua Led the people of Israel into the promised land after more than 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. They were carrying the Ark od the Covenant wish represents the very Presence of God. The Ark was ahead of them showing that God is leading the way into a new direction and God tells them specific instructions about this crossing.
The crossing of the Jordan River represented a next level of Relationship with God.
Joshua 3 (ESV) 4 Yet there shall be a distance between you and it, about 2,000 cubits in length. Do not come near it, in order that you may know the way you shall go, for you have not passed this way before.” 5 Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” 6 And Joshua said to the priests, “Take up the ark of the covenant and pass on before the people.” So they took up the ark of the covenant and went before the people. 7 The Lord said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you.
They had to stay behind about 1KM and this talks about the sacredness of the Ark and the Holiness of God.
God Honours People
John 4:23 (NIV) Yet a time is coming and has now come when the TRUE WORSHIPERS will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.
God is seeking true worshipers. This tells me that there are false worshipers. Are you a “True worshiper”? You may be seeking God but I have news for you, God started seeking you first!
Jesus explained in great detail how we should worship and how Service opens the way to True Worship!
John 12:26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
There is a principle of honor in our relationship with God. God tells Joshua “Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you.”
Jesus also tells the same thing to His disciples. God wants to honor you but you have to do something first. Put God first and serve Him. If you want to cross over “your Jordan” and move to another level of relationship with God this starts with Service.
Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.
God does not overlook your work “Serving the saints” with a persistent attitude of Worship. When you serve others God honors you.
James 4:10 (ESV) Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
Being humble is not being week but humbleness is manifested with concrete actions of service to the saints (God’s people) and as you put God first He will exalt you.
The Crossing of the Jordan River
Joshua 3 (ESV) 12 Now therefore take twelve men from the tribes of Israel, from each tribe a man. 13 And when the soles of the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off from flowing, and the waters coming down from above shall stand in one heap.”
14 So when the people set out from their tents to pass over the Jordan with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, 15 and as soon as those bearing the ark had come as far as the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the brink of the water (now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest), 16 the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap very far away, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, and those flowing down toward the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. And the people passed over opposite Jericho. 17 Now the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firmly on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, and all Israel was passing over on dry ground until all the nation finished passing over the Jordan.
God did an incredible miracle opening a way through the waters of the Jordan river. Many years later John the Baptist was calling people to repentance a new beginning by baptizing them in the same river crossing. Jesus was baptized in the same river near the crossing of Jericho and it is very significant that just as Joshua was honored and God told him that this would be a sign to the people the Baptism of Jesus shows God the Father confirmed that He is pleased with Jesus.
Matthew 3:16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased.”
The crossing of the Jordan was a new beginning for the people of Israel. The waters were opened from the crossing point to the city of Adam (the place were Adam lived). The Baptism of Jesus opened the heavens and confirmed his calling.
As disciples of Jesus we are also baptized. This is more than a symbol of new life but represents a Spiritual crossing into a new dimension of relationship with God. Even though we are only baptized once we have to revisit our call and worship God with our actions not with our lips.
Matthew 15:8 "'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”
Once again Jesus talks about “False Worship” to make the contrast with “True Worship”. When we perform acts of worship God opens the Heavens for us. We need to Honor God with our faith.
How do we honor God? When we honor God by living a life of worship, it blesses Him and honors Him! Not only that, but we are shining lights for Him and living a life we were designed to live!
(c) Tony Silveira, 2017