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Across the Jordan

Key References: Joshua 1; 3; 4; Patriarchs and Prophets, chap. 44, pp. 481-486; The Bible Story (1994), vol. 3, pp. 78-83; Our Beliefs nos. 3, 2, 11

Power Text

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

Power Point

New situations bring new opportunities to serve and witness for God.

Imagine your father is helping to move friends to a new country. You can send notes back and forth to your father. You have many questions, including how your dad is going to get where he’s going because there’s a big, flooded river to cross and there is no bridge or boat.

The following “letters” are the imagined correspondence between a father and son from the tribe of Reuben:

Abba, Shalom!

Father, what’s happening now? I’m worried that things just won’t be the same without Moses as our leader. Can Joshua do a good job? Will you still go into the Promised Land? If you go, when will it be, and how will you get there? Please write to me as soon as possible and tell me everything. I think about you often, and I pray for God’s leading and protection on your journeys.

—Baram

Shalom, My Son!

Please don’t worry, Baram; everything will be fine. Even though Moses is not with us anymore, Adonai has not left us; His presence is still with us in the pillar of cloud over the tabernacle.

Joshua is a faithful servant of Adonai, and he has been Moses’ assistant since he was a young man. Adonai has chosen Joshua, and He is with him. We will follow Joshua just as we followed Moses.

You asked about the Promised Land. Yes, we are going into the Promised Land very soon. Today we received orders to prepare to cross the Jordan River. I don’t know where or how we will cross yet—the Jordan has flooded its banks, and the water is flowing quite swiftly.

I miss you, Baram, and I hope to see you soon, but our work here is just beginning. I will write again once we have crossed over into Canaan, and I will tell you everything that happened.

—Abba

Shalom, Baram!

My son, I wish you had been here with me today so you could have seen the awesome power of our mighty God! We have crossed over the Jordan, and we are in the Promised Land, finally! Let me tell you what happened.

This morning the officers came around and told us to watch the ark and to follow it wherever it went. All of the soldiers, the men from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh, were instructed to stay in front of the people, so I was able to see everything. First, the priests who were carrying the ark began moving toward the Jordan River. A loud whisper went through the crowd, and then everyone became silent. I felt my skin tingling with excitement. We were all marching straight toward the water as if we were going to walk across on the top of it. I held my breath as the priests’ feet touched the water at the edge of the river. The water stopped flowing! I have never seen anything like it; it was the most amazing sight!

There was a loud cheer, and all the people began talking and shouting as the news spread through the crowd. The priests walked ahead and stood in the middle of the riverbed while everyone crossed over on dry ground. After everyone had gone over into Canaan, Joshua commanded 12 leaders to each take a stone from the place where the priests had been standing. Then he commanded the priests carrying the ark to come up from the Jordan.

What do you think happened then? When the priests came out of the riverbed, the water came rushing in, and the river returned to normal. It was just like it must have been at the Red Sea. There was no path, but Adonai provided one for us. Hallelujah! Praise Adonai! For the first time we worshipped God in the Promised Land today. I was so happy, I cried tears of joy. Everyone sang praises to God and worshipped Him. My son, you should have heard the singing! It seemed as if the birds and the trees and the whole land were singing, rejoicing, and praising God with us. Hallelujah!

When we set up camp for the night, an altar was built with the stones from the river Jordan so that everyone would know of our God’s great power. Baram, I can’t wait to show you the altar and this wonderful land that Adonai has given to us.

—Abba