Jordan At Hand
Joshua 1:10-11
Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying,…

I. THE FIRST FEELING EXCITED BY THE ANNOUNCEMENT MUST HAVE BEEN THAT OF JOY AND TRIUMPH. It was not alone on the contrast between its fountains and depths springing out of valleys and hills, and the arid desolation of the great howling wilderness, that the thoughts of the Hebrew rested, but on the contrast of its repose. The sorest trials of his life had not probably been the hunger and the thirst, the laborious journey and the tumult of the battle, but the ceaseless motion — the movement ever on and on. Rest, rest! rest anywhere, but, above all, in the land that flowed with milk and honey, must have been the innermost desire of his heart. Is not all this applicable to ourselves? It is not the great sorrows of our experience that constitute, after all, the weariness of life; but it is its change, its sense of uncertainty, the consciousness that we keep nothing, call nothing absolutely our own.

II. THERE MUST HAVE BLENDED WITH IT A GREAT TRIAL OF FAITH. The chosen land was indeed close at hand. It seemed as if they could almost touch the shore. Just beyond gleamed in the sunshine the towers of Jericho, and blue in the distance were the hills of Judaea. But, close as they seemed, Jordan rolled between, and they could not but ask how they were to cross it. What, then, of that other Jordan, which we all must cross? that death we must all die some time or other, and through which alone we can enter into our Canaan? Let us make sure that what awaits us beyond on the other shore is heaven, and not the darkness. With the act of dying we have nothing whatever to do. It is in God's hands, not ours, and there we must leave it. Has not the ark gone before?

III. AN ACT OF PREPARATION NEEDED: "Prepare you victuals." There is nothing actually corresponding to this in the experience of the Christian when he is called to cross into the better land. Special preparation for heaven, the Christian needs none. If he be in Christ, that is enough; he is safe. If he be a believer, he can have no less; and though he were the highest of saints that ever caught the light of the face of God, he could have no more than to be "found in Him, not having his own righteousness," &c. For myself I can conceive nothing more blessed than for a saint to pass at once from the midst of his work for his Master into the enjoyment of his Master's presence. Yet I admit that the near sight of so great a change could not but very solemnly affect us, were the warning given to ourselves. There would be an intense revival of faith and hope, and in that close sight of heaven a flinging away of all earthly and temporal ties.

(E. Garbett, M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying,

WEB: Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying,

Crossing the Jordan
Top of Page
Top of Page