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July 18 – The last enemy to be defeated

“… the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap very far away, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, and those flowing down toward the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. And the people passed over opposite Jericho.” – Joshua 3:16

Scripture reading: Joshua 3:14-17

Israel was standing along the banks of the Jordan. Every eye was fixed on the ark, as the priests carried it, step by step, toward the river. (Don’t forget, dear readers, don’t forget, that the Jordan overflows all its banks, the narrow ones and the wider ones, all through the time of the harvest.) The tension was unbearable. Would the river really stop flowing? Or would it do what flooding rivers do, sweep those men off their feet, and carry them and the ark downstream and away?

Of all things, says the Spirit, when the soles of the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the brink of the water, the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap – all the way back to Adam, more than thirty kilometers upstream.

Where the river used to be, there was dry ground. And there was the ark, in the middle of the riverbed, a kilometer away. It was shining, gold and glittering in the sun, and it was all they saw. The Jordan River stood between Israel and her inheritance. It was the last great obstacle, the last enemy that stood between them and life in the Promised Land. If they had to cross it on their own, it would have swept them away. But God went into the river ahead of them; He was in the river with them. They weren’t afraid; God made it safe for them to pass through the river.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that you will face the struggles and the sorrows of life in confidence, knowing that God is with you and that He will never leave nor forsake you.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Dick Wynia is the pastor of the Vineyard Canadian Reformed Church in Beamsville, Ontario.

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