The Supernatural Work of Returned Waters: The Waters Must Return to Their Original Place

Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament book of Joshua which was written and recorded by that one who was appointed to succeed Moses in leading the people into the land of Canaan. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters four through seven of this Old Testament book. When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find the beginning of the journey of the children of Israel into the land which the LORD had promised unto and prepared for them. In order to understand that which is found in this portion of Scripture—specifically that which is found in the fourth chapter—it is necessary to turn and direct your attention to the previous chapter. If you begin reading with and from the third chapter of the Old Testament book of Joshua you will find that Joshua commanded the congregation of the children of Israel to pass over the Jordan River, and that they prepare themselves for the third day when the priests which bare up the Ark of the Covenant would enter into the waters of the Jordan. As soon as the feet of the priests which bare up the Ark of the Covenant entered into the waters of the Jordan River the waters would be separated before them, and the congregation of the children of Israel would be permitted to cross over into the land on dry ground. It’s actually quite remarkable to think about and consider the words which are found in the third chapter of this Old Testament book, for what we find within this book is a truly wonderful and powerful picture of the LORD preparing His people to finally do what they have been expecting and anticipating. For forty years this generation wandered in the wilderness and knew they would enter into the land which was sworn unto their fathers, and for forty years they lived with the expectation and anticipation they would cross over the Jordan River and both conquer and subdue the land which was before them. After the death of Moses the time had finally come for the congregation of the children of Israel to move on from the plains of Moab and to cross over the Jordan River, and into the land which was promised unto their fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. THIS IS IT! THIS IS WHAT WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR! THIS IS WHAT WE’VE BEEN PREPARING FOR! When you come to the third chapter of this Old Testament book you will find Joshua the son of Nun preparing the congregation of the children of Israel to rise up from that place on this side of the Jordan in the plains of Moab, and to cross over into the land which was to be theirs as an inheritance.

I have to admit that I absolutely love how the Old Testament book of Joshua begins and opens, for in the first and opening chapter of the book we find the LORD speaking unto Joshua upon and after the death of Moses and instructing him to rise up—both he and all the people with him—and pass over the Jordan River, and enter into the land which was before them. It was the death of Moses which was the catalyst that opened the door for the congregation of the children of Israel to enter into the land of Canaan, however, it was the LORD speaking directly unto Joshua instructing him not to hesitate and to move forward across the river and into the land which flowed with milk and honey. As you begin reading the first and opening chapter of the Old Testament book of Joshua you will find the LORD speaking very clearly and pointedly to Joshua the son of Nun upon the death of His servant Moses, and instructing him to take this people and lead them into that which was to be their inheritance and possession in the midst of the earth. I am firmly convinced that before you can truly get into and understand that which is written and recorded in the third chapter of the book of Joshua it is first necessary to think about and consider the words which are found in the first and opening chapter of this book. It is what we find in the first and opening chapter of the book that sets the stage and sets the tone for both Joshua and the congregation of the children of Israel to enter into the land which was before them—the land which their fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob sojourned within as strangers and pilgrims. The opening chapter of the Old Testament book of Joshua was a clarion call and open invitation to this one who would succeed Moses in leading the people of Israel into the land that was to be theirs as an inheritance. Consider if you will the words which are written and recorded within this Old Testament book beginning to read with and from the first verse of the first chapter:

“Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your toot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great seat toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast. There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:1-9).

The first chapter of the Old Testament book of Joshua begins and opens with the LORD speaking directly unto Joshua after the death of Moses and instructing him to rise up from that place in the plains of Moab, and to lead the children of Israel across and over the Jordan River, and into the land of Canaan which the LORD had sworn unto and promised them. While the LORD was speaking unto Joshua He instructed and commanded him multiple times to be strong and to be very courageous, and to not fear, nor be afraid, nor be dismayed at what was before him in the midst of the land. The Lord knew and was very much aware of the task that was before Joshua and the children of Israel, and was very much aware of how daunting and challenging it was going to be. In order for Joshua and the congregation of the children of Israel to enter into the land they would need to pass over the Jordan River, and up until this point in time the LORD had not yet revealed how He was going to lead them into the land. The only thing Joshua and the congregation of the children of Israel knew was that they needed to pass over and cross the Jordan River, but they weren’t aware of how the LORD was going to bring them over and across the river that was before them. WHEN A RIVER LIES BEFORE YOU! WHEN A RIVER SEPARATES YOU FROM THE INHERITANCE BEFORE YOU AND YOUR CURRENT PLACE IN THE EARTH! WHEN A RIVER LIES BEFORE YOU AND YOU ARE TASKED WITH MOVING FORWARD! It’s worth noting that this would not be the first time there would be something which was present before the congregation of the children of Israel and the command and instruction to move forward. Forty years earlier their fathers—perhaps even some among them—stood before the vast Red Sea and the only direction they were to go was forward. There was absolutely no room, nor was there any space for retreating, and there was no place for them to return or hide. The waters of the Red Sea were before them, and the Egyptian army with their horses and chariots were behind them, thus signifying the fact that they could not retreat or return to where they had come from. IT’s actually quite intriguing to think about and consider the fact that the Egyptian army with their horses and chariots were behind the congregation of the children of Israel, and the Red Sea was before them, for with the army of Egypt behind them there was absolutely no place for them to go. There was absolutely no space, nor was there any room for retreating.

While the congregation of the children of Israel were there at the waters of the Red Sea it was quite clear and quite obvious that there was absolutely nowhere for them to go, as the sea was before them, and an army was behind them. What do you do when there is an army behind you and the path before you is obscured by a vast body of water? What do you do when you have been instructed to move forward, and yet there appears to be something impossible which lies before you in the midst of the earth? For that first generation of the children of Israel the only way to go was forward, for there was absolutely no room for retreat. I would dare say this might very well have been by the divine design, for with the enemy and adversary behind you threatening to overtake you in the midst of the wilderness there is absolutely no room for retreat, nor is there any room for returning. There at the Red Sea the congregation of the children of Israel were faced with the only direction they could go, which was forward—and even that would and could only take place after the Lord parted the waters before them. Once the waters of the Red Sea had been parted, the congregation of the children of Israel could pass through and move forward rather than and instead of retreating and returning to the place they had just come from. In a similar manner their sons and daughters and that generation which would be in the plains of Moab would find themselves coming to their own body of water and their own border and boundary which would be before them and the land of Canaan. It’s interesting and worth noting that the congregation of the children of Israel would and could enter into the land of Canaan and the land which was promised unto them and their descendants after them, however, they would need to pass over the Jordan River. For forty years the congregation of the children of Israel knew they would come to the edge of the land that was to be theirs as an inheritance, and they knew they would cross over the Jordan River, but that was all they knew. It wasn’t until Joshua would step into the role of leading them into the land of Canaan they would understand that in order for them to enter into the land before them they would need to pass over the Jordan River. The Old Testament book of Joshua begins with the LORD speaking directly unto Joshua the son of Nun and instructing him to lead the people over the Jordan River and into the land that was to be theirs as an inheritance, and by the time the first chapter draws to a close, it does so with Joshua commanding the officers of the people to prepare the people to pass over the Jordan River to go in and possess the land.

It’s worth noting when reading the Old Testament book of Joshua that in order for the congregation of the children of Israel to enter into that which was prepared for them of the LORD, they would need to cross over the Jordan River. While the land of Canaan—the land which was before them—was in fact to be theirs as an inheritance, they needed to cross over the Jordan River, which at that time of year overflowed its banks. At the end of the first chapter of the Old Testament book of Joshua we find the commander of the army of the children of Israel instructing the entire congregation to prepare themselves to cross over the Jordan River, and it isn’t until we come to the third chapter of the same book that we actually find the congregation of the children of Israel passing over the Jordan River and entering into the land which was to be theirs as an inheritance. If you begin reading with and from the opening verse of the third chapter of the book of Joshua you will find Joshua instructing the children of Israel to prepare themselves to cross the Jordan River, and to actually cross and pass over. The beginning of the third chapter opens with Joshua rising early in the morning on the first day—both he and the entire congregation of the children of Israel—and removing from Shittim to come to the Jordan River. IT’s actually quite astonishing to think about and consider the fact that the congregation of the children of Israel came to the Jordan River and lodged there at the river before they would actually cross over. I can’t help but wonder what it was like for the congregation of the children of Israel as they lodged and camped before and at the Jordan River knowing that what lie beyond the river was the land that was to be their inheritance and possession. What was it like to be camped on the opposite side of what you know the LORD has for you, and to be camped there for three days knowing that the only thing that stood between you and the inheritance is the river Jordan? Imagine what it must have been like for the congregation of the children of Israel to lodge there before the Jordan River for three full days as they anticipated and prepared to pass over. Consider if you will what those three days must have been like for the congregation of the children of Israel to spend three days before the Jordan River knowing that the river was the only thing that stood between them and the land that was to their inheritance. Consider if you will the words which are found in this particular chapter beginning with the first and opening verse of the chapter:

“And Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim, and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over. And it came to pass after three days, that the officers went through the host; and they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, they ye shall remove from your place, and go after it. Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it that may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore. And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the LORD will do wonders among you. And Joshua spake unto the priests, saying, Take the Ark of the Covenant, and pass over before the people. And they took up the Ark of the Covenant, and went before the people. And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee. And thou shalt command the priests that bear the Ark of the Covenant, saying, When ye are come to the brink of the water of Jordan, ye shall stand still in Jordan. And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, Come hither, and hear the words of the LORD your God. And Joshua said, Herby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that He will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites. Behold, the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD of all the earth passeth over before you into Jordan. Now therefore take you twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, out of every tribe a man. And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the LORD of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap. And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents, to pass over Jordan, and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people; and as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,) that the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho. And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan” (Joshua 3:1-17).

I find it absolutely astonishing to think about and consider the fact that the congregation of the children of Israel were camped before the Jordan River for three days as they prepared to cross over it and enter into that which the LORD their God had prepared for them. For three days they were camped before the Jordan River and undoubtedly looked across the river and saw the land that was before them—that land which was to be theirs for an inheritance and possession. Undoubtedly there must have been some sense of anticipation and expectation during that time they were camped before the Jordan River, as they know that once they had crossed that river they would finally be in the land which was sworn on oath and promised unto them. After forty years of wandering and journeying through the wilderness, and now after two days encamped before the Jordan River the congregation of the children of Israel would prepare to enter and step into that which the LORD their God had for them. I can’t help but wonder what the conversations looked like over the camp fires those nights, and what meals were like as there would have been something in the air in the midst of the congregation of the children of Israel. For two full days the congregation of the children of Israel would see the land that was to be theirs as an inheritance, and they would look upon that vast land which was before them. Oh I wonder what it was like to look across the Jordan River and into the land that was to be their inheritance, knowing that everything that was before them was to be theirs. Oh, stop for a moment and consider what it must have been like looking over and beyond the Jordan River knowing that everything that was before you was yours. Pause and consider what it must have been like for the congregation of the children of Israel to look beyond the Jordan River and peer into that which was to be their inheritance, and that which to be their possession, knowing that everything they could see was to be theirs. Once the priests which bore the Ark of the Covenant moved, and once their feet entered the waters of the Jordan River the waters of the river would be divided, as the waters would stand upon a heap a great distance from where the congregation would pass over, and the waters would also be stopped going down toward the Red Sea. Imagine what that path might have looked like for the congregation of the children of Israel, as the waters which had previously overflowed the banks at that time were all of a sudden cut off and dry ground appeared before them.

Imagine looking directly ahead of you and looking straight into that which was to be yours as an inheritance and possession. Imagine spending a full two days encamped in a very specific place looking in upon that which you were to conquer and subdue, and that which you were to take as a possession in this earth. The congregation of the children of Israel had spent two full days encamped at the Jordan River, and I can’t help but wonder how many of them wondered how they would cross the Jordan River and enter into the land which was to be theirs as an inheritance and possession. I would love to know what it was like for the congregation of the children of Israel to camp before the Jordan River for two days as they knew and were very much aware that the land of their inheritance, the land their possession, and the land of the promise and blessing was before them. I wonder what it was like as they knew that the Jordan River was the only thing that stood between them and the land which was before them, as well as the fact that once passed over the Jordan River the true endeavor and assignment would begin for them. Crossing the Jordan River would only be the first step for the congregation of the children of Israel, as once they had passed over the Jordan River they would immediately be thrust into conflict and battle. The Jordan River was the last obstacle that stood before them and between themselves and the land of promise, for once they passed over and crossed that river the work of driving out and dispossessing the inhabitants of the land would begin. The Jordan River would stand as somewhat of a foreboding invitation for the congregation of the children of Israel beckoning them to move forward. They had already left the wilderness behind, and they had already move past the plains of Moab, and now they were camped before the final border and final boundary that stood between them and the land which was to be their inheritance. The congregation of the children of Israel had spent two full days encamped on the edge of their past and on the brink of their future as they were preparing to once and for all pass over the Jordan River and into the land which was to be theirs as an inheritance. ON THE EDGE OF YOUR PAST AND THE BRINK OF YOUR PAST! STANDING IN THE PLACE BETWEEN YOUR PAST AND YOUR FUTURE! There before the Jordan River the congregation of the children of Israel camped on the edge of their destiny, on the edge of the promise, on the edge of everything the LORD had promised unto them, and the only thing stood between them and entering into it was the Jordan River.

As I begin reading the words which are found in the third chapter of the Old Testament book of Joshua I can’t help but be absolutely gripped and captivated with and by the fact that Joshua and the entire congregation of the children of Israel came to Jordan and lodged there in that place for two days before they would cross over on the third day. I have to admit that I can’t help but wonder what it would have been like for the congregation of the children of Israel—not only to be so close to the inheritance and possession that was promised unto them, but also what it was like to look across and beyond the Jordan River and to see everything that was before them. A little more than a month earlier Moses was called to the top of a mountain in the plains of Moab where he would look out upon the land which the children of Israel would enter into, and now here was the entire congregation right before and right at the edge of the Jordan River looking beyond the river with an air of expectancy within their hearts and souls. Here at the edge of the Jordan River the congregation of the children of Israel were lodged right before that border, that barrier and that boundary that was before both themselves and the inheritance, and I can’t help but wonder if they spent time talking among themselves about what it would be like to cross over the Jordan River. Just beyond the Jordan River would be everything the LORD had promised them—and not only them, but also everything the LORD promised unto their fathers. What do you do and how do you respond when you are on the edge—on the cusp and on the verge—of everything the LORD has promised you, and you can clearly see everything that is before you? How do you respond and how do you react when you are standing on the edge of the Jordan River within your life and you are just days before once and for all stepping into that which the LORD had for you? The congregation of the children of Israel. I have to admit that I find it absolutely and utterly fascinating that the congregation of the children of Israel spent a full two days on the eastern edge of the Jordan River preparing themselves to cross over the Jordan River. What I can’t help but wonder what it was like on that third day when Joshua and the commanders of the people declared unto the people that when they saw the ark of the covenant of the LORD their God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, they were to remove from their place, and go after it. What was it like to hear Joshua and these men emphatically declaring unto them on the third day that the ark of the covenant of the LORD their God would pass before them, and they were to follow the ark and the Levites wherever they went. On the third day the entire congregation of the children of Israel were given single command that when they saw the ark of the covenant they were to rise up and follow it, and to keep their distance from it because the way they were traveling they hadn’t been before.

WHEN FEET REST IN THE MIDST OF THE WATERS! WHEN THE WATERS ARE CUT OFF FROM BEFORE YOU! WHEN THE WATERS RETURN UNTO THEIR RIGHTFUL PLACE! With all of this being said, I can’t help but be absolutely intrigued and astonished with the fact that while it is true the waters of the Jordan River were cut off upstream, and that they stood up on a heap, thus allowing the congregation of the children of Israel to pass through on dry ground, there is something absolutely astonishing about the waters returning unto their place and unto its natural order. It’s worth noting that the LORD stopped the natural order and stopped the natural progression of the river in order that a way might be made for the congregation of the children of Israel to pass through the waters and enter into that which the LORD their God had for them. IN order for the congregation of the children of Israel to enter into that which the LORD had for them the LORD needed to stop the natural order and natural progression of things that they might be able to pass straight through and step into the inheritance that was before them. While there would be a number of men and women who would speak a great deal about the waters standing up upon a heap a ways away from the place the congregation of the children of Israel were camped, and while the way was made in the midst of those waters that the congregation of the children of Israel might pass through, I am convinced that there is something that more often than not is not talked about—namely, the waters returning to their place. The third chapter describes the waters of the Jordan River parting and standing upon a heap a ways away from where the children of Israel would cross, however, when you come to the fourth chapter of this Old Testament book you will find the children of Israel passing through the waters of the Red Sea and entering into the land which was before them. What’s more, is that you will find the fourth chapter describing a work which needed to be done in the midst of the waters, and a work which needed to be done before the waters would and could return unto their place. The fourth chapter of the Old Testament book of Joshua is quite remarkable and astounding, for within the fourth chapter we encounter and come face to face with the work which needed to be done in the midst of the waters, but also the waters needed to return to their rightful place. The waters could not return unto their place until the congregation of the children of Israel had passed through the waters on dry ground, and until after the twelve men who were appointed by Joshua and the people had fulfilled their responsibility in the midst of the waters, as well as their responsibility in Gilgal on the other side of the Jordan River. I am utterly and completely fascinated with and by the reality of the waters returning unto their rightful and original place, for there is something absolutely powerful about the waters returning to their place that speaks tremendous volumes and truth into our lives.

WHEN THE WATERS RETURN TO THEIR ORIGINAL PLACE! WHEN THE WATERS RETURN TO THEIR RIGHTFUL PLACE! WHEN THE WATERS BEGIN TO FLOW AGAIN! The more I think about the narrative that is found within these chapters found within the Old Testament book of Joshua the more I can’t help but come face to face with the tremendous significance of the waters of the Jordan River returning to their rightful and original place. I have read the narrative and account of Joshua and the children of Israel crossing the Jordan River and entering into the land that was to be theirs as an inheritance, and I know there have been countless sermons preached, as well as countless books that have been written concerning the children of Israel crossing the Jordan River and the miracle of the waters parting and being divided. There have been countless men and women who have found great joy and great comfort in the reality of the waters parting before Joshua and the congregation of the children of Israel, and rightfully so, for it was indeed and was in fact a miracle. It is absolutely undeniable to consider the tremendous supernatural act of the living God as He caused the waters of the Jordan River to stand up upon a heap far upstream from the place where the congregation of the children of Israel crossed. In fact, if you begin reading with fifth chapter you will find that when the kings of the Canaanites, as well as the kings of the Amorites heard how the LORD had parted and divided the waters of the Jordan River before the congregation of the children of Israel their hearts melted for fear at the news. There is absolutely no denying the absolutely tremendous reality that the LORD did in fact do a supernatural work at the Jordan River on the day Joshua and the entire congregation of the children of Israel crossed over the Jordan River and entered into the land that was to be theirs as an inheritance. It is absolutely astounding and remarkable to think about and consider the tremendous fact that when the time came for the congregation of the children of Israel to enter into the land that was to be theirs as an inheritance the LORD went before them as symbolized by the priests who carried and bore up the ark stepping into the waters—a powerful symbol that the LORD their God had indeed and had in fact gone before the congregation of the children of Israel, and had parted and divided the waters before them. When the time came for the congregation of the children of Israel to enter into the land of Canaan, it would indeed require them to cross and pass over the Jordan River, and in order to bring the children of Israel into the land, the living God would part the waters before them as He had done the waters of the Red Sea for their fathers and that whole generation.

With all of that being said, I find it absolutely remarkable that not only did the living God part and divide the waters of the Jordan River before the congregation of the children of Israel, but once they had all clean passed through the waters and came through to the other side, the LORD caused the waters of the river to return to their original strength, as well as their original order. As I sit here this morning I can’t help but think about what that would have looked like as when the priests which bore up the ark came forth out of the midst of the Jordan River came forth out of the midst of the dry ground where the river once flowed, and as the minute the sole of that last and final priest stepped out of the midst of the river and on to dry ground, the waters returned and rushed back to their original place. I wonder what it looked like for the congregation of the children of Israel as they beheld the waters of the Jordan River cease flowing upstream, and as a path opened up before them through the Jordan River. I wonder what that sight would have looked like, and perhaps even what it would have sounded like as the waters ceased flowing and stood up in a heap a ways away from where they would cross and enter into the land. Even with that being said, I can’t help but wonder what it looked like as the waters which stood up upon a heap upstream began flowing again and returned to its original order. Did any of the congregation of the children of Israel stop to look at and observe the waters of the Jordan River returning to their original order and flow? Oh what a sight it must have been for the congregation of the children of Israel to pass through the midst of the Jordan River as the waters were parted and divided before them, but I am convinced there is something that more often than not is rarely talked about—namely, the waters of the river returning to their place and their original flow. In fact, I am convinced that as much as it was a supernatural act of the living God to part and divide the waters before the congregation of the children of Israel, so also it was a supernatural act of God to return the waters to their original order and their original place. We tend to spend a great deal of time thinking about and considering the reality of the waters of the Jordan River parting and dividing before the congregation of the children of Israel, however, there is not a doubt in my mind that perhaps the greatest miracle—the greatest supernatural act of God—was not necessarily the parting and dividing of the waters before the congregation of the children of Israel, but the returning of the waters to their original place.

I am absolutely convinced that it was necessary for the waters of the Jordan River to return to their original order and place behind the congregation of the children of Israel, for there is a tremendous prophetic message in waters being returned to their rightful place. THE SERMON PREACHED IN THE RETURNED WATERS! THE MESSAGE FOUND IN RETURNED WATERS! I am completely and thoroughly convinced that there is a wonderful truth and a powerful prophetic message that is contained in the waters of the Jordan River returning to its rightful place, for once the congregation of the children of Israel had passed through the waters they were once and for all in the land that was promised and spoken about for generations. For more than a half a century the promise to bring the descendants of Abraham into the land which he himself, as well as Isaac his son, and his grandson Jackson sojourned in was alive and active in the earth—despite the fact there was no actual tangible manifestation among them in their midst. On this particular day, however, all that would change, for once the soles of the feet of the priests who carried and bore up the ark had stepped on to dry ground on the western edge of the Jordan River, the waters returned to their original and rightful place, and the congregation of the children of Israel were indeed in the land. After more than half a century the LORD had finally brought the congregation of the children of Israel into the land which He swore unto Abraham, unto Isaac and unto Jacob. The waters returning to their rightful place and order behind the congregation of the children of Israel signified the absolutely astonishing and remarkable reality that the descendants of Abraham were once and for all in the land which was sworn unto their fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and that they were on the move within and in the midst of the land. After four-hundred and thirty years in slavery and bondage in the land of Egypt, and after forty years of wandering in the wilderness the congregation of the children of Israel were finally in the land of Canaan, and the waters returning unto their place was almost in and of itself a prophetic message and symbol that they were once and for all finally in the land, and they were finally in the place of rest, the place of promise, and the peace of blessing before the LORD in the midst of the earth. When the waters of the Jordan River returned unto their rightful place and their rightful order in the midst of the land it was a sign and declaration that the congregation of the children of Israel had not only entered into the land that was to be theirs as an inheritance, but also that they weren’t going anywhere. Once the waters returned to their rightful and original place, the congregation of the children of Israel were finally in the land and there was absolutely no chance of them leaving or departing from the land. When the waters parted and were divided before the congregation of the children of Israel, they crossed and passed over against Jericho which was perhaps the second greatest and second strongest city in the midst of the land—aside from Jerusalem, which was at that time occupied by the Jebusites.

I find it absolutely incredible to think about and consider the fact that the congregation of the children of Israel not only passed through the waters of the Jordan River on dry ground, but when they crossed over into the land that was to be theirs as an inheritance, they passed over right in front of and against the city of Jericho. Please don’t miss and lose sight of this awesome reality, for once the waters returned to their rightful place, the congregation of the children of Israel the children of Israel were in the midst of the land before Jericho which was one of the most fortified cities in the entire land of Canaan. I feel compelled to emphatically declare that there is something to be said about the waters of the Jordan River returning to their rightful place and to their rightful order, for when and as the waters returned to their rightful place behind the congregation of the children of Israel there was absolutely no turning back, nor was there any place for returning to where they came from. I have long considered the single greatest difference between the parting of the waters of the Red Sea and the parting of the waters of the Jordan River is the fact that when the congregation of the children of Israel came to the waters of the Red Sea the enemy and adversary was behind them pursuing them to overtake them and bring them back into the land of Egypt. When the congregation of the children of Israel came to the Jordan River the enemy was not behind them seeking to overtake them in the wilderness, but the enemy was now before them in the midst of the land. As the congregation of the children of Israel prepared to pass over the Jordan River and enter into the land—no longer was the enemy, and no longer were their enemies behind them, but now their enemies were before them in the land which they were preparing to enter. Once the congregation of the children of Israel passed over the Jordan River—not only would they be in the midst of the land that was to be theirs as an inheritance, but they would also be in the midst of a land that was occupied by enemies and adversaries which they had been instructed to drive out and completely dispossess from the land. When the waters of the Jordan River returned to their rightful place and order behind the congregation of the children of Israel there were no enemies that were drowned and consumed in the midst of the waters as the Egyptians were at the Red Sea. That which the children of Israel faced once in the land were seven nation sand seven peoples which were more and mightier than they were, and yet they were given the command to drive out and utterly dispossess them from the midst of the land.

What I see as being so dramatically captivating about the waters returning to their rightful place in the midst of the land was that once the waters returned to their rightful place, it was as if the LORD their God was declaring unto the congregation of the children of Israel that there was absolutely no room for retreat, nor was their any room for returning. Once they were in the land, and once the waters had been parted and had returned to their rightful place, it was as if a notice was being served in the midst of the land to all the inhabitants which dwelt in the midst of it that the people of God were now in the land. Oh I can’t help but wonder what that must have been like for the inhabitants of the land to not only hear the report of the waters of the Jordan River parting before the children of Israel, but also that they were finally present in the midst of the land. We know from what we read in the fifth chapter, as well as what we read in the sixth chapter that everyone in the midst of the land was on high alert knowing that this people whom the LORD had delivered and brought up out of the land of Egypt with great signs and wonders, this people whom the LORD brought through the waters of the Red Sea while subsequently drowning and destroying the army of Egypt in the midst of it, and this people which had just passed through the waters of the Jordan River, and this people which had utterly and completely destroyed Sihon and Og—two kings of the Amorites—were now present in the land. It’s one thing to hear all the reports of what the great God of heaven and earth did for and on behalf of the congregation of the children of Israel, and it’s one thing to hear how the people of Israel defeated two great kings of the Amorites, however, it was something else entirely to think about and consider the fact that those same people who worshipped that same God whom they had heard about were now present in the land. With that being said, there was absolutely no place for the children of Israel to return or retreat once in the land. In fact, I am convinced that this is what is so absolutely fantastic when you think about and consider the waters returning to their rightful place, and returning to their original order, for once the waters had returned to their original place, the congregation of the children of Israel had nowhere to go but forward into the midst of the land. Once the waters had returned to their place, it was as if the Lord their God was shutting the door to their past behind them, and just as tightly shut up was the city of Jericho that none went in and none went out, so the waters returning to their original place was itself a powerful message that the door to the past of the congregation of the children of Israel was itself tightly shut up. When and as the waters returned to their rightful place in the midst of the land it was as if the living God was declaring unto the congregation of the children of Israel that not only was the reproach of their slavery and bondage of Egypt over, but the door to their past and their wandering in the wilderness had been tightly shut up behind them.

It’s interesting to note that when you come to the New Testament gospel narratives you will find John the Baptist choosing the waters of the Jordan River to baptize men and women unto repentance and remission for their sins. This is quite intriguing to think about and consider, for when you think about and consider what baptism symbolizes you will come face to face with the reality that baptism is an external manifestation and demonstration of an inward reality—namely, that when you go down into the waters you are going down with your old nature, but when you rise—oh when you rise from those very same waters—your old nature and your old self is buried with Christ in death. I find it absolutely remarkable to think about and consider the fact that John the Baptist would choose the waters of the Jordan to baptize men and women unto repentance for the remission of sins, in order that they might be prepared and made ready fort the kingdom of heaven which was at hand. I am convinced there is an intrinsic and direct link and connection between the waters of the Jordan River parting before the congregation of the children of Israel and then returning to their original place and order, and John the Baptist baptizing men and women in the Jordan River, for just as the waters returning to their rightful place was in and of itself a powerful prophetic declaration unto the children of Israel that their past was over and they were moving toward their future in the place of rest, so also when men and women came forth from the waters of the Jordan River after being baptized by John the Baptist, it was a powerful symbol of repentance unto the remission of sins, and a clean break from their past and their old life and old nature. Of course we know and understand that this reality isn’t merely limited to the waters of the Jordan River, but touches the waters of baptism among us within our generation.. The waters of baptism are a wonderful and incredible outward demonstration and manifestation of our wold life, our old nature being buried with Christ in death, and that when and as we emerge from the waters of baptism we are entirely and altogether new in Christ. Of course this reality isn’t merely expressed in John the Baptist when he baptized men and women in the waters of the Jordan River, but you will also remember the Syrian general Naaman who although he was a very successful general in the Syrian army, he was leprous. When he came unto Elisha the prophet of God in the northern kingdom of Israel, he was instructed to go to the Jordan River and to dip himself seven times in the midst of the river. Initially Naaman hesitated when instructed to dip seven times in the Jordan River, but after he was rebuked by one of his attendees, he had a change of heart and decided to do as the prophet instructed. As Naaman came forth from those waters on the seventh time, his skin was completely and utterly restored, and the leprosy was completely removed from his physical body.

I sit here this morning and I can’t help but be completely and utterly astonished by the supernatural work of waters returning to their rightful place, for when the waters return to their rightful place, it’s a powerful declaration that there is absolutely no room for retreat or returning. When the waters of the Jordan River were returned and restored to their original place in the midst of the land of Canaan there was only one direction for the congregation of the children of Israel to travel and that was further into the land as they would engage the enemies and adversaries which were in the land. Pause and think about it for a moment, for once the waters of the Jordan River were returned to their rightful place it was as if the LORD was cutting off their path back to where they came from, and the only direction left for them to travel and journey was ahead and forward. There was absolutely no turning back for the congregation of the children of Israel once the waters of the Jordan River had returned to their original place and their original order, for the waters being restored to their original order effectively cut off any chance and any opportunity for the congregation of the children of Israel to return to their past and where they came from. What’s more, is that when the waters of the Jordan River were returned to their original and rightful place it was as if the only option the congregation of the children of Israel had was to fight—to take up the sword, to take up the spear, and to take up the shield, and engage the enemies and adversaries which were present within the land. Oh, I am convinced that there has been a time within our lives when we come to our own Jordan River, and not only do we pass through the waters of the Jordan River, but when those waters return to their original place, it is a symbol and sign that we can no longer return to where we once were. What’s more, is that I am convinced that there might in fact be more than one single time within our lives when we come to our own Jordan River, and when we pass through on dry ground as the children of Israel did, but once we have passed through those waters, they must return to their original place. THE WATERS MUST RETURN! THE WATERS MUST RETURN TO THEIR ORIGINAL PLACE! We must recognize and understand that the waters cannot remain standing upon a heap a great distance from where we are, and the waters cannot be cut off, for as surely as they had been parted, they must also be brought back to where they originally were. The waters cannot remain upon a heap a distance away from where you are, and they must return to where they have always been, and where they would be from that moment on.

As I bring this writing to a close I find the great and tremendous need to emphatically declare and proclaim unto you that the waters must in fact return to their rightful place, for not only do returned waters signify a complete break from your past, but they also signify to you that the only direction for you to go is forward. Despite the fact that before you are countless enemies and adversaries which might be mightier and stronger than you, there is absolutely no room for retreat. Despite the fact that there might be giants in the midst of the land which you have entered, the waters returning to their rightful place signify and suggest that there is absolutely no room, nor is there any place for retreat from the challenges, the conflicts, and the struggles which are before you. When the waters return to their rightful and original place, the only option you are left with is to take up the sword and shield and face your enemies and adversaries head on. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and pay close attention to this, for when the waters of the Jordan River return to their original place and begin flowing again there is absolutely no place for us to go but further into that which the LORD has prepared for us—even though doing so means we will face giants, even if doing so means we face enemies and adversaries which might be stronger and greater than we are. When the waters return to their original place it is a tremendous sign and symbol that what we are faced with is the need to move forward and to carry out that which the LORD our God has commanded. When the waters of the Jordan River returned, and when the path the congregation of the children of Israel had traveled was closed to them, there was only one direction for them to go, and that wasn’t back the way they had come from. The congregation of the children of Israel had passed over before and against the city of Jericho, and it would be Jericho which would be their first battle and their first encounter with the nations and inhabitants of the land. Oh that we would recognize and would understand the tremendous significance of the waters returning to their rightful order and place, for the waters returning to their rightful place is a powerful symbol and declaration that we cannot return the way we came, we cannot return to where we came from, and the only direction we have to go is forward. Despite the fact there are enemies and adversaries before us, despite the fact that there are conflicts and struggles before us, despite the fact that there might be giants before us, the waters returning to their original place is a declaration before and unto us that retreat and flight are no longer an option, and that what we are left with is a forceful advance forward and a confident fight with and against the enemies and adversaries before us that we might conquer, subdue and take possession of that which the LORD has prepared for us and has brought us into.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s