Today’s Reading: Joshua 1-3
Today’s Reflection: Joshua 3:2-4
2) At the end of three days the officers went through the camp 3) and commanded the people, “As soon as you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God being carried by the Levitical priests, then you shall set out from your place and follow it. 4) Yet there shall be a distance between you and it, about 2,000 cubits in length. Do not come near it, in order that you may know the way you shall go, for you have not passed this way before.”
As Israel prepared to enter the Promised Land they were given an interesting instruction. They were directed to follow the priests carrying the ark of the covenant as they had often done in the past, but this time they were told to follow at a distance.
The children of Israel had spent 40 years following God through the wilderness. They were familiar with this land, and were used to following the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night. But now as Israel got ready to take possession of the Promised Land they were entering new territory, lands they were unfamiliar with, paths they had never walked before. God needed them to understand they were about to do a new thing, something they had never done before, and they needed to be even more certain that they were following Him completely not just relying on what they knew (or thought they knew).
Israel needed to stand back, watch God’s leading, learn to walk a new way, and follow Him.
We too are going to find times when God is bringing us into a new season, to a new destination, a new mission, a new project, a new step in our lives and our relationship with Him. But did you ever notice that often when this happens, even as you feel like you’re ready for something new, it seems like God is stopping you? As if every time you try to take a step forward God is putting obstacles in your path? It may seem as though He is now saying ‘no’ to what He was previously saying ‘yes’ to, but perhaps God is really just saying ‘stand back and watch.’ We will be covering new ground we’ve never walked before, entering a land of Promise we’ve never known. Before God ushers us into the new thing He has for us we may need to stand back so we can and see His instruction.
Isaiah 43:18-19a – 18) “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. 19b) Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?