In Joshua chapter 1, we saw Joshua setting out the vision for the people that God had given him. They all promised to follow their new leader. In chapter 3, we see the first real test of their commitment.
Itís one thing to say youíll support your leader. Itís a completely different thing to actually set off and follow their directions, especially when their directions lead you straight into a fast-flowing river. Here is where the Israelites got to prove the truth of their commitment to Joshua as the leader appointed by the Lord.
This was literally new territory for everybody. Joshua explains that the Ark of the Covenant would go ahead of them, and they should all follow it because otherwise they wouldnít know which way to go in this strange land.
It must have been nail-biting. Joshua tells the priests to go and stand in the waters of the River Jordan. They just have to take his word for it that the waters will stop flowing so they can pass through. Of course, all the people know that God parted the waters of the Red Sea, but that was with Moses. Would God still work in miraculous ways through this new leader? Could they trust him?
And yet, as we saw in chapter 1, God is still God. He miraculously stops the waters of the river in the best possible proof that the same powerful Lord that appointed Moses, had now appointed Joshua. He had been with his people in power, and he still was.
Throughout Scripture, we see great leaders, who were nevertheless humble people who understood that their role was a single thread in the tapestry of Godís great purposes. No man is greater than God; no plan of man is greater than Godís plans.
Today, letís pray for ourselves as a church, as the body of Christ, that we may recognise the calling of God on others, and allow them to fulfil that calling, trusting the Lord that has appointed and anointed them.