Joshua 4 Part 2–The True Changing of the Guard

God never does things half way. When it came time to cross the Jordan and start the new campaign, God did it in a big way. He stacked up the waters so that Israel could cross on dry land.  He exalted Joshua as leader before the people.  Then He prepared them for the first of many battles that were to come. 

Verse 14 stood out.  “That day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of Israel; they stood in awe of him all the days of his life–Just as they stood in awe of Moses.” 

Joshua had big sandals to fill–God knew that, and so God made sure there was no doubt that Joshua was the leader–with the full confidence and Spirit of God resting upon him.  Remember, this was a stiff-necked people.  They needed a strong leader that would operate like a gentle shepherd. Joshua was uniquely trained to fill that role.  As time would pass, Joshua would be given the opportunity to show what a lifetime of faith and obedience could produce.  That picture should have inspired Israel for generations.  That picture should inspire us for all the days of our lives.  

These people, led by this man of God, had the single most direct illustration of the preparation, protection and provision that God could offer. Now, as they sought to claim their inheritance, the world would get a glimpse of God’s direction and care for those He loves.  One can never forget, Joshua was not leading a warrior nation–He was leading a nation of priests called to share God’s love with all men.  Joshua, the great General was now also the amazing shepherd to lead God’s people to fulfil their destiny and their role as that nation of priests.

God Bless You


Now the priests who carried the ark remained standing in the middle of the Jordan until everything the Lord had commanded Joshua was done by the people, just as Moses had directed Joshua. The people hurried over, 11 and as soon as all of them had crossed, the ark of the Lord and the priests came to the other side while the people watched.12 The men of Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over, ready for battle, in front of the Israelites, as Moses had directed them.13 About forty thousand armed for battle crossed over before the Lord to the plains of Jericho for war.

14 That day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they stood in awe of him all the days of his life, just as they had stood in awe of Moses.

15 Then the Lord said to Joshua, 16 “Command the priests carrying the ark of the covenant law to come up out of the Jordan.”

17 So Joshua commanded the priests, “Come up out of the Jordan.”

18 And the priests came up out of the river carrying the ark of the covenant of the Lord. No sooner had they set their feet on the dry ground than the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and ran at flood stage as before.

19 On the tenth day of the first month the people went up from the Jordan and camped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho. 20 And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. 21 He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 22 tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ 23 For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea[b] when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. 24 He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.”

El Elyon-(God Most High)–Genesis 14

The study of the names of God ultimately brings one back to the most glorious truth–God is most high.  There is no authority greater.  While it is easy to say, grasping the concept that God literally controls everything is nearly unfathomable. When one approaches God in prayer, there is not an option to speak to a supervisor.  He is the most powerful, the most knowledgeable, the singly most important being in the universe.

When Abraham saved his nephew from the battling kings in the valley of Jordan, he was met by the King of Salem and the king of Sodom. When he met the King of Salem (Melchizedek)-the king was also the high priest of El Elyon–God Most High! In humility, Abraham gave as an offering–1/10th of the treasure he recovered, to say thank you.  Abraham knew the victory was won at the direction, and with the help of the God who was large, and in charge.

Conversely, he was offered treasure by the King of Sodom, and he flatly turned it down. Abraham knew–1. the treasure was not his to give, and 2.  It would come with a price. The latter king had no authority or power–and would later be destroyed–due to his sin and evil. 

This scenario continues to play out in our lives still today.  We face trials and tests and are confronted with the opportunity to trust El Elyon, or, we can trust the world leadership.  Without doubt, It is El Elyon that carries all the authority and power.  We should, as Abraham, humbly bow to the God Most High.  

But we are chased by the world and promised untold riches and power.   Those promises ring very hollow.  The world powers are as unstable as the world itself. They possess no real authority, nor do they have any real power other than that granted by God.  We are, therefore, reminded, like Abraham, to seek God–El Elyon.  Jesus said it best in his Sermon on the Mount, “Seek first the Kingdom of El Elyon and his righteousness; and, all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33. If we will seek God first, then, we will be going to the top and receiving all from the only true authority, God Most High!

God Bless You

When Abram heard that his nephew Lot had been captured, he mobilized the 318 trained men who had been born into his household. Then he pursued Kedorlaomer’s army until he caught up with them at Dan. 15 There he divided his men and attacked during the night. Kedorlaomer’s army fled, but Abram chased them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. 16 Abram recovered all the goods that had been taken, and he brought back his nephew Lot with his possessions and all the women and other captives.

Melchizedek Blesses Abram

17 After Abram returned from his victory over Kedorlaomer and all his allies, the king of Sodom went out to meet him in the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).

18 And Melchizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High,[d] brought Abram some bread and wine. 19 Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing:

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
    Creator of heaven and earth.
20 And blessed be God Most High,
    who has defeated your enemies for you.”

Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the goods he had recovered.

Jesus–Greater than the Angels–Hebrews 1 Part 2

There is no doubt that Jesus is Lord of all. But often, those that do not know God lump him in with other spiritual beings.  They consider Jesus like any other angel…Well, that simply is not the truth.  Jesus is God! he is not a spirit, he is not an angel, He is God.  Men try to politely cast him as a great prophet, a great teacher or some sort of deluded “do-gooder”–But whether men try to minimize his deity or classify him as just another angel, he simply is wholly and uniquely God.

Knowing that, we need to honor him as God and follow him as our Lord.   He loves us and simply wants this journey to prepare us for an eternity with him. But, we cannot mistake his love, grace and mercy for signs of weakness or denouncing his authority.  He is Lord first and Savior second.  As such, we must follow him and submit to his lordship in order to know and receive his saving grace and mercy. It was never about “Praying the Prayer”.  It was always about submitting to him your will and your life.

God Bless You

For God never said to any angel what he said to Jesus:

“You are my Son.
    Today I have become your Father.[a]

God also said,

“I will be his Father,
    and he will be my Son.”[b]

And when he brought his supreme[c] Son into the world, God said,[d]

“Let all of God’s angels worship him.”[e]

Regarding the angels, he says,

“He sends his angels like the winds,
    his servants like flames of fire.”[f]

But to the Son he says,

“Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever.
    You rule with a scepter of justice.
You love justice and hate evil.
    Therefore, O God, your God has anointed you,
    pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else.”