Lockdown 15 – The Priests in the Jordon
Read: Joshua 3:1-4:18
Joshua’s calling, in this season of his life was to lead the Children of Israel into the promised land of Canaan.
There were obstacles to be overcome!
There were enemies to be defeated!
There was territory that needed to be possessed.
The Ark of The Covenant was a vital gift from God to and for Joshua and the Children of Israel.
The Ark of The Covenant was a chest that contained two stone tablets, with the 10 commandments written on them, given by God to Moses.
The Ark of The Covenant was also known as “The Ark of The Testimony”, because it expressed God’s Holiness, representing His Divine Presence.
Wherever The Ark of The Covenant was, God brought His Blessing.
(Joshua 3:3-4) …. The orders from God to the officers of the people: “When you see The Ark of the Covenant of The Lord God, and the Levitical Priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep your distance of about 2,000 cubits (that is 900 meters, or, 3,000 feet) between you and The Ark; do not go near it.” That’s what you call now, “Social Distancing.”
Isn’t it wonderful to live under the New Covenant! The writer to the Hebrews tells us that God says, “Since we have a Great High Priest who has ascended into Heaven, Jesus The Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to emphasise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet He did not sin. Let us then approach God’s Throne of Grace with confidence, so that we may receive Mercy and find Grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-16).
(Joshua 3:5) Joshua told the people, Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow The Lord will do amazing things among you! For us our focus is Jesus. For Old Testament Believers it was faith in God and trusting Him by focusing on The Ark of The Covenant.
 “For The Priests it was time to Stand Up!” = “To Take Up!” (3:6)
(1 Chronicles 15:15) After David’s terrible experience of the death of Uzzah, who had touched The Ark to stop it falling off the cart. David was distraught and found out how to carry it: “The Levites carried The Ark of God with poles on their shoulders, as Moses had commanded in accordance with The Word of The Lord.”
Joshua and The Priests knew that it was time for The Priests to Stand Up!” To take up The Ark of The Covenant. To shoulder their responsibility!
We too have To Stand Up! To Take Up! Our Responsibility!
 “For The Priests it was time to Stand In!” – “To Go Ahead!” (3:8)
“Tell the Priests who carry The Ark of The Covenant: when you reach the edge of Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the River.”
This was to be Joshua’s moment. Moses had had his Red Sea moment, For Joshua it was The Jordan.
(v13) “And as soon as The Priests who carry The Ark of The Lord – The Lord of all the earth – set foot in The Jordan its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand in a heap.” For The Priests it was time to “Stand In!” = “To Go Ahead!”
As New Testament Priests that is what we are called to do – “To Stand In.” Ezekiel calls it, “Stand In the Gap.” To Go Ahead – To lead the Way; To open up the Way. It can be tough, a lonely place, a challenging place that stretches our faith to breaking point as we Trust/Stand on The Word of God – His Promise, and see Him at work.
Perhaps we are being called to “Stand In” or “To Go Ahead?” Perhaps we are doing that already – we are stood in The Presence of God and taking Responsibility on our shoulders?!
 “For The Priests it was Time to Stand For!” = “To Declare! (v10-11)
“This is how you will know that The Living God is among you and that He will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites. See, The Ark of The Covenant of The Lord of all the earth will go into The Jordan ahead of you!”
The Priests stood for the people!
The Priests declared God’s Will and Purposes to the people!
As New Testament Priests we are called to Stand for People! To declare The Purposes and Will of God – taking the weight of responsibility on our shoulders.
 “For The Priests it was Time to Stand With!” = “To Support!” (v15-16)
“Now The Jordan is at flood stage during harvest. Yet as soon as The Priests who carried The Ark reached The Jordan and their feet touched the waters edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adom in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the sea of the Arabah (that is the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho.
The Priests Stood with each other! The Priests Stood with God! The Priests Stood with Joshua!
In “Standing with,” they “Stood to Support.”
As New Testament Priests we are called to Stand with People. To support. Taking the pain that comes with it, paying the price – tears, time, physical pain, mental anguish, psychological tiredness, spiritual strain…….
Conclusion: “Stand Until!” (4:10)
“Now The Priests who carried The Ark remained Standing in the middle of the Jordan until everything The Lord had commanded Joshua was done by the people, just as Moses had directed.”
(v15) “Then The Lord said to Joshua: Command The Priests carrying The Ark of The Covenant Law to come up out of The Jordan.”
Millions had crossed the Jordan – safe and sound. Walking into their future, in God.
As New Testament Priests we are called “To Stand ……. Until!”
Paul writes (Eph. 6:13b-14a) “After you have done everything to stand, Stand firm then.”
There are seasons of Standing i.e.
 “Stand Up! = To Take Up!”
 “Stand In! = To Go Ahead!”
 “Stand For! = To Declare!”
 “Stand With! = To Support!”
“Stand! = Until!” (The Lord’s Releasing Word).