I just wanted to post this about the foresight of God and how he has “upstream” solutions for our “downstrean” situations.
(Joshua 3:13-17) 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 up in a heap.” 14 So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. 15 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, 16 the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17 The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.
Joshua, the third chapter, records a story about the challenge the Israelites faced just before they entered the Promised Land that has application to our situation today. God’s people were finally ready to enter the land of Canaan, but they had to cross the Jordan River. Normally that would not be difficult because the Jordan isn’t much wider than a typical creek at places. But the river was swollen at flood stage so the water was deep, the current was swift, and the river was wide and hazardous. Joshua 3 records a miracle God performed that enabled all of them to cross safely on dry ground.
Here are a few observations about how God works upstream to help us downstream.
1. God PROVIDED upstream in anticipation of what was about to occur.
– God’s timing was perfect. He dammed the water several miles upstream.
– When possible the church needs to imitate God by anticipating the future and preparing for it.
– You are giving to meet the needs of people downstream—people you haven’t met who will have much similar struggles and are so lost. “He stands tall who plants a tree in whose shade he will never sit.”
Forty years earlier God performed an even more spectacular miracle in parting the Red Sea.
Each act of God may not be more dramatic from a human perspective, but it’s another affirmation of God’s hand of blessing and the presence of His Holy Spirit within us.
3. God PROVIDED upstream because the leadership was in transition.
– The Israelites had followed Moses for forty years.
– He was the only leader they had known and God used him in a might way.
– Moses was dead.
– God took this opportunity to demonstrate that His hand was on Joshua as it had been on Moses. .
4. God PROVIDED upstream because the people were willing to walk by faith
– God gave the people specific instructions. They showed their faith by obeying.
– God will work upstream for us if we have enough faith to obey Him.
– God has commanded us not to rely on possessions.
– God commands us to return to Him a generous portion of what we earn.
– God commands us to respond to those in need.God commanded the Israelites to do one thing first: consecrate themselves. Before performing a miracle, God commanded them to purify themselves. God works through people who are spiritually clean and fully devoted to Him. A.W. Tozer said, “God can use any vessel, even if it is cracked, as longs as it’s clean.” The same is true with us.
Gos is always working upstream for you…“God…goes ahead of you” (Dt 1:30 TM).