JOSHUA AND JORDAN

By: Ely Lagajino

“Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” 1 Corinthians 4:2 (NIV)

Jordan River served as the Promised Land’s principal river. It was 256 kilometers long with an average width of ten kilometers. It is considered as the lowest elevation of any river in the world. It originated from the slope of Mount Hermon, known as “sacred” to the Canaanites who worship Baal. (Judges 3:3-5) The river flowed from the North to the South border of the Promised Land towards the Sea of Galilee.

God commanded Joshua to lead Israel in crossing the Jordan River. Joshua is known as a warrior and a man of strong faith in God. The Lord assured Joshua that He would be with Him all the time and promised to give all the land they would leave footprints. But God advised him to remain brave and follow the law of God.

It was a great challenge for the Israelites to cross the ten kilometer Jordan River during the spring season, when ice from the mountains started to melt which flooded the river. 

Joshua never complained when God told them to cross without further instructions. He asked the people to prepare spiritually and physically. Later God appreciated Joshua’s faith, as He gave specific crossing itinerary.

The origin of the river became polluted with human blood from the sacrifices for Baal worship. For Israel, it served as an obstacle yet a pathway to the Promised Land.

 The Jordan River supplied water to the valleys that made the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah prosperous. But because of their sins, God destroyed them by sending fire. 

Then God used Jordan water to cool off the boiling Sodom and Gomorrah, which later on received its name, “the Dead Sea”, to become useful again as the source of salt. 

It was in this river where Jesus was baptized. Christians, Jews, and Muslims respected the Jordan River as a religious destination were thousands received baptism. However, the Jordan water has no healing in itself. When Naaman dipped into the river for the first time, he was not healed, but he put his faith in God. 

Joshua 1-5; PP pp. 529-530

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