📚Bible Study Notes on Joshua 3, Joshua 4 and Psalm 50
Crossing the Jordan river during harvest season was not just hard; it was impossible. You see, during harvest season, the Jordan river is flooded all the way to its banks. Joshua had to to lead the Israelites to cross the Jordan River to get to the Promised Land. So let’s read together from Joshua 3-4.
Hi everyone. Welcome back. It has been a very hectic day to be honest. It is in the late afternoon and I wanted to do this way earlier in the morning, but there’s just been many things happening. As you know, around the world, people have had to really change their usual routines. In Thailand, we now have a third wave of COVID cases.
The kids have been home and it’s expected that they won’t even get to go back to school to finish off the semester, which ends in early June. But it is what it is. And I’ve been really reflecting on how as a mom working at home, how to spend my best allocate my time and spend my energy. You know, it’s hard to juggle work and the kids at home all the time. We live in a condo where we’re sharing the bandwidth, we’re sharing the resources, we’re sharing our spaces.
So it’s really hard to get a really long stretch of time for me to do my work and share my Bible study notes like this. However, I am grateful for the time that we have with them while they are still at home. I know that people say that the days are long while the years are short. I know that’s very true and I want to make the most out of every day and today really tested that for me.
You see, we are Thais but our kids attend an international school, which means that they still have to take Thai classes at a level that is equivalent to what they would be doing in Thai school. Thai is difficult for all of us. I was in Thai school only up until the second grade, so Thai is actually a challenge for me as well. And with my eight year old, it’s always a struggle. It would be much easier if I just gave him the answers and we’d be done really quickly, but that wouldn’t really help him in the long run. So we do the difficult things so that he would grow and his Thai skills would improve.
But having said that, it’s been a long day and I’m really glad to actually just sit down right now to share my Bible study notes with you on Joshua 3-4, which is not just about doing hard things, which we’ve had to do, but actually doing something that was really impossible. And I think that really speaks to me.
And I’m grateful that God is using these verses to speak to me today, actually about trusting Him to do the impossible things in life. As I was reading these two chapters this time around, I think I missed the part before in my previous reading, where they were told by God to collect 12 stones from the bottom of the Jordan.
This means that they had to go collect pretty big stones. They’re not just small stones where you put it in your hand, but they had to put it on their shoulders. So let’s go look at that verse again. So here we see in verse five that each of the men is to take up a stone on His shoulder. So these are big stones that are need to be carried on the shoulder.
These large stones are located in the depths of the Jordan river at the very bottom. So that made me wonder how deep is the Jordan river. Do remember that at the time of this event when they were crossing the river was actually during the harvest season.
And at that time, the Jordan would have been flooding its banks. The water would have overflowed its banks. A large volume of water would have been rushing down to the Dead Sea. o let’s look at how wide and deep was the Jordan river. The Jordan river flows about 60 miles between the Sea of Galilee to the dead sea. The river drops 610 feet down to nearly 1,300 feet.
Joshua 3:15 indicates that the Jordan river was overflowing its banks due to the spring harvest season. This made the Jordan river was wider and deeper than normal
It was documented that in 1854, an expert swimmer was unable to make it across the river, because the river was too wide and the current was too strong. So despite it being a river or not a sea or an ocean, there was a lot of water and very hard to cross.
As you can see, this was a really, not just a hard task, but an impossible task for these Israelites to cross the Jordan River. So why does God make us do these hard and impossible things? As I was praying and reading, it’s not just that God asks us to do hard things. He asks us to do impossible things so that we would depend on Him.
God shows His perfect strength in our weakness. (See 2 Corinthians 12:9) At times when we actually accomplish humanly impossible things, we must acknowledge that it was only God Who could have accomplished that through us. This is seen throughout the Bible. We experience His supernatural power in our natural bodies.
This theme is woven throughout the Bible. God asks His people to trust Him and take a step of faith. He invites us to do the impossible so that we would know without a doubt, that it was His power and His might that accomplished that amazing impossible feat. We would witness that not by our own might nor our own strength nor our own wisdom, but it was all God.
Witnessing His mighty hand should make us tremble in reverence to Him. It should turn our hearts to worship Him. We should be in awe of Him as we acquire a better understanding of His character. As we see His hand at work, better understand His character, we also experienced His love. And then, we need to be able to share our supernatural experience with other people.
These experiences are not meant for us to simply treasure up in our hearts, keep to ourselves like a well-guarded secret locked away in a journal. In addition to recording it for our own reminders of God’s goodness, we need to be in a habit of sharing these to others, especially our own children so they would know how God has been working throughout the history of your family.
So what are some seemingly impossible circumstances that God has led you through?
Have you recorded them? The story in Joshua 3 is already amazing. But let’s not stop there. We also need to read Joshua 4 and see how that speaks to us as well. What does God want to tell us with Joshua 4? We read that the representatives of each tribe had to take a rock on their shoulders, bring it out and then create an altar for Him.
You know, some of these seemingly impossible circumstances like crossing this flooded and turbulent Jordan, requires a lot more trust in God. So when we go through these figurative turbulent and flooded waters, it’s our opportunity to collect our own stones from the midst of that experience. These figurative stones are how we to document, record, and share with the world about how God led you on “dry ground” through overwhelming circumstances in your life that could have easily drowned you.So when we go through these figurative turbulent and flooded waters, it’s our opportunity to collect our own stones from the midst of that experience. These figurative stones are how we to document, record, and share with the world about… Click To Tweet
So, what did I learn from this story?
1. Be in a habit of collecting our 12 stones and build an altar recording how God did the impossible in your life and share it with other people, including our children, especially our children.
We need to share stories about our past struggles with our children, how God came to meet us there and delivered us.
2. Remember to create a metaphorical altar of praise and worship. Start building these altars of spiritual markers in your heart as the place for giving up a sacrifice of praise to God. We can be very good at praying when we have a problem. We can be very good at going to God and asking God for help when we see a problem that we cannot solve. But then after God delivers us, are we in the habit of going back and praising Him for it? Or do we simply receive a sense of belief thinking, “Phew, I can now move on with my life.” Do we stop and actually acknowledge God and give thanks that it was the Lord who brought you through that.?
Let’s make it a habit of giving up our praise and worship to Him when He has delivered us from our problems. You know, God does not actually need anything from us, but our love and our adoration. Let’s be in a habit of continually offering our hearts as sacrifices of praise and thanks-offering to God. He is worthy of all our praise.
Let’s read Psalm 50 together.
He will show Himself powerful and able to save us out of our impossible situations. And we have this privilege because we are in Christ Jesus. We don’t deserve His mercy. We are wicked without God. We are wicked without the blood of Jesus Christ covering us. When God sees us, He sees His child because we have been adopted into His family.He will show Himself powerful and able to save us out of our impossible situations. And we have this privilege because we are in Christ Jesus. We don't deserve His mercy. We are wicked without God. We are wicked without the blood of Jesus… Click To Tweet
He is willing to deliver His children from trouble when they go to Him. When we humble ourselves and go to Him for help, crying out for His help with a sincere and humble heart, He hears and will rescue us.
Now, if you don’t have Jesus, you can’t ask for this. God is not willing to deliver you because you have not come to Him in humility.
Humility is really the heart of our relationship with God. Humility compels us to bow before Him admitting that we can’t do this by ourselves anymore. What we had been trying do with with all our efforts is just not working anymore.
The biggest obstacle that will hinder you from coming to God and humility is pride. Thinking that you can fix this on your own; thinking that you have everything you need to solve this problem.
Sometimes it takes us being confronted with an impossible situation for us to come to God in humility. Sometimes it takes an impossible challenge to break down our pride admitting that there is no longer anything we can humanly do.
Even if you don’t believe in Jesus right now, I still have good news for you. When you come to Him asking for help, when you call on the name of Jesus Christ, he will hear you. He longs to deliver you. He longs to see that humble and contrite heart, a heart that is broken, a heart that knows that there is no other way you can solve your problem. God wants you to come to Him even though right now, you don’t really know if any of this is true.
You may think, “I don’t really believe in the Bible or God. I just don’t know”. God asks you to come with a sincere heart, asking Him if He’s true, asking Him if He’s real, asking Him if He is faithful. If you ask with a sincere heart, he will answer you. And I was there before too asking God with a sincere heart, “Is this true? Are you really real?”(See my video testimony here and here.)
I got to the end of myself and I asked God for help. Are you at the end of yourself today? Ask God for help. And He will deliver you out of that treacherous flood. We will deliver you from that water that is in front of you — that river that you need to cross to get to the other side, to recover, to be healed, to be rescued from a problem that you have been trying to solve on your own for so long.
And for us who already know God for us who have received this wonderful gift or salvation, always offer up your heart of worship to the God, to the one who is worthy of it all.