“Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”
There was this matter of crossing the Jordan River. There were thousands of people to transport. Normally
it wouldn’t be such a big deal, but this was harvest season and the water level was unusually high. Not only
had it risen to flood height, overflowing and rushing wildly downriver, but it fell short of a small tsunami
destroying anything in its furious path.
This scenario was not unlike that of Moses and the crossing of the Red Sea. But that was then and this was
now, and Joshua was an unproven leader. How could they know for sure if an anointing was upon Joshua as
was with Moses? After all, you couldn’t just take Joshua’s word for it. Well, there was Rahab and the walls of
Jericho, and that worked out okay. So far, so good.
The priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant were walking 1000 yards in front of the huge battalion of
people and they were to go right ahead and step into the flowing Jordan just as if nothing unusual was going
on, regardless of the swift roaring waters. Well, they must have known something the people didn’t because
they did this very thing without hesitation, and what do you know, the upstream waters rose up like a wall and
stopped the river altogether, just like the Red Sea and Moses. That converted more than a few new
believers on the spot.
Meanwhile, Joshua had called together a dozen men, one representative from each of the tribes. They must
have been quite burly men because their task was to bypass the priests who were standing still at the
riverbank, and go out into the middle of the (now drying up) riverbed and each lug a large stone upon their
shoulder across to the far side. These small size boulders would serve as a reminder of this Jordan River
miracle in the future.
Before this miraculous event, the message from the Lord was to consecrate themselves. That meant a
solemn dedication to a specific purpose. The word consecrate literally means to associate with the sacred.
Heavy stuff. The small boulders symbolized this in a way, being heavy too. The point is that they knew how
to consecrate themselves and that they got right to it. When God advised them to, they got the message
without theological debates, a planning committee, or a congregational vote. And what happened? A
miracle of course.