Come to Understanding

They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding,

and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. ó Isaiah 29:24

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,

and caused them to understand the reading. ó Nehemiah 8:8

February 1, 2009

Volume 8 Number 3


In the Swelling of the Jordan

After the children of Israel escaped from Egypt through the miracle of the Passover, they soon found themselves in a very fearful predicament. God had led them to the edge of the Red Sea, and the Egyptian army was fast approaching. They were trapped and their situation seemed hopeless:

10 And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were very afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto Yahweh. -Exodus 14

They complained to Moses. Why had he done this to them? Why didnít he just leave them alone and let them serve as slaves in Egypt? Serving the Egyptians, they argued, would certainly have been better than dying in the wilderness:

11 And they said to Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? why have you dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?

12 Is not this the word that we did tell you in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness. -Exodus 14

Moses, however, told them to not be afraid because Yahweh is going to fight for you. Just stand still and hold your peace. You are going to see the "salvation of Yahweh:"

13 And Moses said to the people, Fear you not, stand still, and see the salvation of Yahweh, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you shall see them again no more forever.

14 Yahweh shall fight for you, and you shall hold your peace. -Exodus 14

Yahweh did fight for them! He miraculously sent a "strong east wind." It divided the waters of the Red Sea, allowing the children of Israel to cross on dry ground:

21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and Yahweh caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.

22 And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand, and on their left. -Exodus 14

After experiencing the miraculous salvation of Yahweh, as Israel escaped from Egypt at the Passover and then was delivered from the approaching Egyptian army by the parting of the Red Sea, they still doubted.

Looking at their condition, they continued to murmur against Moses, even though Yahweh gave them water to drink and food to eat. Consequently, Israel wandered in the wilderness for forty years until most of those who had fled from Egypt had died. Finally, they came to the River of Jordan, which was the water separating Israel from the Promised Land:

1 And Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim, and came to the Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over. -Joshua 3

Unfortunately, to the natural eye, the timing could not have been worse. They had arrived at harvest time, which was when the Jordan River was flooded (see Joshua 3:15).

Israel stayed camped at the edge of the Jordan River for three days. The officers then instructed the people to follow the Ark of the Covenant:

2 And it came to pass after three days, that the officers went through the host;

3 And they commanded the people, saying, When you see the ark of the covenant of Yahweh your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then you shall remove from your place, and go after it. -Joshua 3

Donít go in front of the Ark but stay far behind it, they were told. Follow it and it will lead you, because "you have not passed this way before:"

4 Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near to it, that you may know the way by which you must go: for you have not passed this way before. -Joshua 3

There they were, standing at the edge of the waters of the flooded Jordan River. They were told to follow the Ark of the Covenant no matter where it went! Then Joshua told them to get ready. Sanctify yourselves because Yahweh is going to do "wonders among you!"

5 And Joshua said to the people, Sanctify yourselves: for tomorrow Yahweh will do wonders among you. -Joshua 3

Yahweh told Joshua to command the priests to carry the Ark of the Covenant into the raging waters of the Jordan River, and stand still!

8 And you shall command the priests that bear the ark of the covenant, saying, When you have come to the brink of the water of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan. -Joshua 3

The priests and the people of Israel did as Yahweh had commanded. When the priests entered into the Jordan River carrying the Ark of the Covenant another miracle happened. The waters of the flooded river were stopped and rose up into a heap. The people were able to pass over the Jordan River on dry ground!

14 And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents, to pass over the Jordan, and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people;

15 And as they that bore the ark had come to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bore the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for the Jordan overflows all his banks all the time of harvest,)

16 That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon a 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.

17 And the priests that bore the ark of the covenant of Yahweh stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people had passed completely over the Jordan. -Joshua 3

The waters of the Red Sea separated Israel from deliverance from the bondage of the approaching enemy and the waters of the River of Jordan separated them from the Promised Land. Even though, in both cases, passage through the water seemed impossible, Yahweh miraculously brought them through on dry land.

God is offering His people, the Bride of the Lamb, the Water of Life, which is His spirit:

17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that hears say, Come. And let him that is thirsty come. And whoever will, let him take the water of life freely. -Revelation 22

Satan, however, is trying to destroy the Bride of the Lamb as he sends out his spirit, like a flood of water, trying to stop her from reaching the promised Water of Life:

15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. -Revelation 12

However, just as God overcame the water with dry land at the Red Sea and at the River of Jordan, He continues to swallow up the flood of angry evil spirits coming out of the dragonís (Satanís) mouth:

16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. -Revelation 12

Having already been overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of the testimony of those who believe in the power of His blood, Satan is the great accuser of Godís people (see Revelation 12:10-11). Angry with the woman, the dragon (Satan) is waging war against the remnant of her seed, those who keep the Word of God and have the testimony of the name of Yahshua (Jesus) the Messiah:

17 And the dragon was angry with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Yahshua the Messiah. -Revelation 12

Satanís flood of his unclean spirits operate through his servants to make war with the saints and to even overcome some of them (see Revelation 13:7).

As the faithful prophet Jeremiah complained because the wicked were prospering while he was being attacked, Yahweh reminded him that he was being trained for even greater struggles. When the small trials come and they weary you, what are you going to do when you have to "contend with the horses" or to cross the "swelling of the Jordan?"

5 If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein you trusted, they wearied you, then how will you do in the swelling of the Jordan? -Jeremiah 12

Yahweh, however, reassures those who completely trust in His name and His glory:

19 So shall they fear the name of Yahweh from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of Yahweh shall lift up a standard against him. -Isaiah 59

Even though we "pass through the waters" and even "walk through the fire," Yahweh says we will make it through them because He will be with us:

2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon you. -Isaiah 43

 

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