What excitement and trepidation there must have been in the Israelite camp that day! After more than 40 years since leaving Egypt, they were about to enter the land God had promised them. The people had promised Joshua they would serve the God of their ancestors, but could Joshua be the leader Moses had been? Although they knew the story well, none of the people in the multitude of Israel had been born when God parted the Red Sea and delivered their forebears from the Egyptians. Could it happen again?
I wonder how the priests carrying the heavy ark felt as they stepped into the Jordan, which our reading says was overflowing its banks. Did they worry about slipping, or being swept away? Living beside a river as I do, I wonder how the people upstream and downstream felt as the water piled up or stopped coming. But God had it all under control. God’s presence in the ark kept the water in place until every single Israelite was across the Jordan and into the Promised Land. God keeps promises!
God of miracles, thank you for the great gift of your promise to be our God and to make us your people. May we always abide in your word. Amen. — RK