Posted by: biblestudyseattle | August 24, 2016

Joshua 4

Joshua 4 chronicles entering the promised land.  It is very possible this contains clues about how believers will enter the eternal promised land.

Now when all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lordspoke to Joshua, saying, “Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from each tribe, and command them, saying, ‘Take up for yourselves twelve stones from here out of the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet are standing firm, and carry them over with you and lay them down in the lodging place where you will lodge tonight.’”  So Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the sons of Israel, one man from each tribe; and Joshua said to them, “Cross again to the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan, and each of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Israel.  Let this be a sign among you, so that when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ then you shall say to them, ‘Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever.”

Thus the sons of Israel did as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, just as the Lord spoke to Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Israel; and they carried them over with them to the lodging place and put them down there.  Then Joshua set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan at the place where the feet of the priests who carried the ark of the covenant were standing, and they are there to this day.  For the priests who carried the ark were standing in the middle of the Jordan until everything was completed that the Lord had commanded Joshua to speak to the people, according to all that Moses had commanded Joshua. And the people hurried and crossed; and when all the people had finished crossing, the ark of the Lord and the priests crossed before the people.  The sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over in battle array before the sons of Israel, just as Moses had spoken to them; about 40,000 equipped for war, crossed for battle before the Lord to the desert plains of Jericho.

On that day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; so that they revered him, just as they had revered Moses all the days of his life.

Now the Lord said to Joshua, “Command the priests who carry the ark of the testimony that they come up from the Jordan.”  So Joshua commanded the priests, saying, “Come up from the Jordan.”  It came about when the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord had come up from the middle of the Jordan, and the soles of the priests’ feet were lifted up to the dry ground, that the waters of the Jordan returned to their place, and went over all its banks as before.

Now the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth of the first month and camped at Gilgal on the eastern edge of Jericho.  Those twelve stones which they had taken from the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal.  He said to the sons of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ then you shall inform your children, saying, ‘Israel crossed this Jordan on dry ground.’  For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed, just as the Lord your God had done to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed; that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, so that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”  Joshua 4

This account is a little confusing since it sounds like everyone crossed, then the priests gathered stones.  But it could be symbolic of believers crossing over into God’s rest:

Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.  But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.  For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end, while it is said,

Today if you hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me.”

For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses?  And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?  And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient?  So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.  

Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it.  For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.  For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said,

As I swore in My wrath,
They shall not enter My rest,”

although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.  For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; and again in this passage, “They shall not enter My rest.”  Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before,

Today if you hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts.”

For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that.  So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.  For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.  Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.”  Hebrews 3:12-4:11

Paul is using the Exodus and entering the promised land as types of what is to come, the Seventh and Eighth Days.  It is interesting that Paul notes the crossing of the Red Sea and the crossing of the Jordan.  These probably represent the crossing into the Sabbath Day – the 7th 1,000 year ‘day’.  The crossing of the Jordan probably represents the crossing into the Jubilee – the 8th 1,000 year ‘day’.  In between is the forty year testing in the wilderness.  Notice that the Egyptian menace had been removed during that time, probably just like the Satanic menace will be removed in the 1,000 year reign of Christ.

 

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