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Crossing the Jordan

Joshua 3:1-17; 4:1-24


INTRODUCTION:  The crossing of the Jordan River marks a major change in the lives of the Israelites.  They are leaving the wilderness behind and entering into the Promised Land.  The Jordan River becomes a type of death to us.  It pictures death to self for the believer and a more victorious Christian life.  Or, it can picture physical death and our entrance into the eternal land of promise. Are you ready to cross the Jordan?



I.                     PREPARATION FOR THE CROSSING (3:1-6)


A.     Moving to the Banks of the Jordan (v.1)


B.     Commanded to Follow the Ark (v.2-4)


1. Go after it (v.2-3)

2. Come not near unto it (v.4a)

3. Ye have not passed this way heretofore (v.4b)


C.     Sanctified in Preparation for Divine Wonders (v.5)


D.     The Ark Placed in Front of the Congregation (v.6)


II.                   INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE CROSSING (3:7-13)


A.     Instructions to Joshua (v.7-8)


B.     Instructions to the Children of Israel (v.9-13)


III.                  THE ACTUAL CROSSING OF THE JORDAN (3:14-17)


A.     The Drying Up of the Jordan (v.14-16)


1. When the priests stepped into the water (v.14-15a)

2. At the time of the flooding (v.15b)

3. Drying up a long section of river (v.16)

a.       From the city Adam: about 15 miles north of Jericho

b.       To the salt (Dead) sea: about 5 miles south of Jericho


B.     The Passing Over of the Israelites (v.17)



IV.                THE SETTING UP OF MEMORIALS (4:1-9)


NOTE:  Two memorials: a type of the two ordinances of the church.


A.     Twelve Stones Taken Out of Jordan (v.1-8)


1. Carried by twelve chosen men (v.1-5)

2. As a sign to the children (v.6-8)


B.     Twelve Stones Placed in the Midst of the Jordan (v.9)



V.                  THE PEOPLE ALL GET ACROSS (4:10-13)


A.     The Children of Israel (v.10-11)


B.     The Two and a Half Tribes (v.12-13)



VI.                THE PRIESTS COME UP OUT OF JORDAN (4:14-18)


A.     Joshua is Magnified in the Sight of Israel (v.14)


B.     The Priests are Commanded to Come Out (v.15-17)


C.     The Waters of the Jordan Return (v.18)



VII.               THE ARRIVAL OF THE PEOPLE IN GILGAL (4:19-24)


A.     They Set Up Camp (v.19)


B.     They Set Up the Memorial of Stones (v.20-24)


1. The stones placed (v.20)

2. The lessons they teach (v.21-24)



CONCLUSION:  They are in the Promised Land!  Now, all they have to do is conquer it in order to receive their inheritance.  In a way, that is what the Christian life is about.  The land is ours but we must go and possess our possession (Joshua 1:11; Obadiah 17).


By David F. Reagan




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