Joshua 3: 14-17
I think, dear brethren, there was a note of triumph in our opening hymn (No 291). I just have an impression to follow that up, and perhaps others might go further later; but what we have here is the triumph over death. It is interesting that the reference is to the waters which flowed down and “stood and rose up in a heap, very far, by Adam, the city that is beside Zaretan”. Now Adam, quite evidently, is a geographical location, the city, but surely it is more than a coincidence that the Spirit of God brings that in here, Adam, because it was in Adam that death began. God said to Adam in the garden as to the forbidden tree, “for in the day that thou eatest of it thou shalt certainly die”, Gen 2: 17. That is where death began. However, Adam did eat of that tree and all Adam’s progeny came under that penalty. That river, Jordan, as it were, flowed with uncontested might. Every man from Adam onwards came under the penalty of death. Think of the force of it - it says here that “the Jordan is full over all its banks”. It is a force, a power, which is beyond the ingenuity of man to overcome. Man has become very, very clever, and has accomplished a great many things. He has made cures for many ills, but he has never been able to overcome death. That current flows right down from Adam, right down to this very day, but the Lord Jesus met it. That is the triumph, I think, that enters into our souls as we just consider this. When “the feet of the priests who bore the ark” (that is all one blessed type of our Lord Jesus) “dipped in the edge of the water”, it says, “the waters which flowed down from above stood and rose up in a heap”! One of the Psalms says, “What ailed thee, thou sea, that thou fleddest? Thou Jordan that thou turnedst back?”, Ps 114: 5. Jordan turned back! Think of it, that mighty river that had consumed every man up to that time. Its force was unstoppable until Jesus went into death; then it stopped, turned back, stood up in a heap. It is something that is beyond human comprehension to think of these mighty waters of that river that was in full flood, at its very height in the days of harvest. It just stood up like that. Death, if I might put it that way, had not only met its match but had met its superior. Never before had death been contested by anyone, but when Jesus went into death it stopped in its tracks and turned back, and it went right back to Adam. That is the ground on which all our blessings stand. The Lord Jesus has broken the power of death, and all that that involved for us means that our blessings are in Him.
That is just my simple impression, dear brethren. I would just like to leave that with you, the immensity of the triumph over death, and all our blessings flow now from the fact that He has gone in there and in the power of who He is has opened up a way of blessing for us.
May the Lord bless His word!
17th March 2009