Our church is engaged in a weekly study of the life of Moses in the book of Exodus. We are at the point where the Israelites were pinned in between the Red Sea and the Egyptian warriors. They are terrified and are grumbling. ‘And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today… the Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”’ (Ex. 14.13a,14) And God did so after asking Moses to lift up his staff. The water parted, the Israelites walked over on dry ground, and the pursuing Egyptians were drowned as God collapsed the walls of the sea on them, their horses and chariots. God, through Moses, gave the Israelites the faith to step out and cross over.
In this case, they were saved. Then after several decades, they came to the Jordan River. Joshua was the chosen successor to Moses. It was above flood stage and it was a roaring torrent of water. God commanded Joshua to tell the priests to take the ark and stand in the water and the raging river would part and the people would cross over into what was to become their Promised Land. “Now therefore take twelve men from the tribes of Israel, from each tribe a man. And when the soles of the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off from flowing, and the waters coming down from above shall stand in one heap.” (Josh. 3 12,13)
It was not their salvation, it was the fulfillment of the promise of a land made to Abraham. Can you even imagine the faith that the priests must’ve had taking that first step into the water? God’s chosen people had become a mighty nation free from bondage, and now were entering into the promise, not without many battles along the way.
I could not help thinking about our salvation. Prior to receiving Christ as our Savior, we are like the Israelites backed up against the Red Sea with the enemy trying to defeat us and take us down; hopeless. But God intervenes through his Spirit and provides us with the faith to trust his Son’s death, burial and resurrection. At that moment, we are justified. Then, later in life, through a process of sanctification with many trials, we enter into our eternal hope, our promised land, eternal life.
Our pastor pointed out that the walls of our sin came crashing down on Jesus on the cross. Through faith, our sins are forgiven and Satan no longer has dominion over us. We have a Great High Priest, the Christ, seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us and assuring us of eternal salvation. Jesus is our Ark and Advocate. Dads and moms, your children need to understand just how much they are loved by God. These true stories of God’s deliverance need to become their story.