“When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests, who are Levites, carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it.
Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before…”
The Ark of the Covenant was a symbol of God’s presence and power to the Israelites. It was their most sacred treasure. The ark was a golden rectangular box which was constructed to the exact specifications as God had commanded. The contents inside the ark included the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments (representing God’s authority), a jar of manna (representing God’s miraculous provision), and Aaron’s staff (representing God’s power). As the Israelites were heading to the Promised Land, they were commanded to follow the ark wherever it was carried by the priests. God instructed Joshua, the Israelite’s leader, concerning which direction the priests should head with the ark.
On the day that the Israelites entered the Promised Land of Canaan after forty years of wandering, God’s “roadmap” for the priests with the ark led to the banks of the Jordan River. The Jordan River at this time was at flood stage. Yet with the river overflowing its banks, God gave these specific instructions: in order to cross the river into the Promised Land, the priests had to step into the water with the ark.
As soon as the priests stepped their feet into the raging river, the water from upstream stopped flowing. The entire nation of Israel walked across a dry riverbed into the land which God had promised them forty years before. This was the second time in which God had miraculously parted the waters for the nation of Israel. This testimony of God’s supernatural power served to strengthen the Israelites faith in God and remind them that He keeps His promises. His presence was with them through their entire journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. He was with them at the end of their wanderings just like He was with them from the very beginning.
Today we do not have a golden “Ark of the Covenant” to follow in our wanderings. But we do have God’s word, His presence, and His power. Sometimes in our journey through life, we come upon a “raging river” or some form of roadblock. When we approach this type of obstacle, we must trust God in His guidance to us. He will faithfully bring us through to the other side if we simply “take a step into the water.” Often God provides no solution to our problems until we trust Him and move ahead with what we know in our hearts we should do. By taking a step of obedience, we display our faith in God, and then He clears the path ahead.
What are the “raging rivers” you are facing in your life? Follow God’s direction so you will know which way to go, “since you have never been this way before.” Step into the water, and allow God to show his powerful and miraculous ways to you.
Your Word is a lamp to my feet
and a light for my path.