Day 81: Israel Crosses the Jordan

Key Event 30: Israel Crosses the Jordan (Joshua 3-4)
Israel, led by Joshua, enters the Promised Land by crossing the Jordan River., concluding the journey begun in the Exodus.  Once again God parts the waters, allowing the Israelites to walk across on dry land (Josh 4:23).  This will be the very place that the New Testament "Joshua"--Jesus--will begin his public ministry (Mt 3)

Joshua 1:1-9 This book picks up where the Pentateuch left off, with the Israelites poised to cross over into the Promised Land and Joshua taking the leadership after the death of Moses. The names Joshua and Jesus reflect two different ways of transcribing “God Saves,” making Joshua a TYPE OF CHRIST (TYPOLOGY!!), who leads his faithful into the promised land of Heaven. (CCC 130)

Ch 1:8 Meditate on it day and night: Meditation consists in dwelling on the Word of God with the effort to penetrate its meaning. The meditative reading of Sacred Scripture, called LECTIO DIVINA, is part of our effort to listen to God, to discern his will, and to apply it in our lives. (CCC 2705-2706, 2742-2745)

Ch 1:10-18 It was important that all of the tribes participate in the conquest of Canaan. Even the tribes that had already settled in their land of Transjordan willingly sent their men to help cast out the Hittites and secure the Promised Land. All of the tribes recognized Joshua as having authority over Israel and therefore obeyed his mandates for the sake of the common good. 

Ch 2:1-24 Like Moses, Joshua used spies to obtain advance knowledge of the enemy. Rahab, a Canaanite woman, acknowledged the Lord and hid the spies from the Canaanites in exchange for a promise of her personal safety in the coming siege; thus, Rahab is an example of JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH AND WORKS (cf. James 2:24-25). (CCC 1989-1996)

Ch 2:17-21 The scarlet cord in Rahab’s window was a signal to Israel’s soldiers to spare her household and is also reminiscent of the BLOOD OF THE PASCHAL LAMB that was placed on the doorposts and lintels of Israelite homes to spare them from the death of the firstborn sons in Egypt. (CCC 1339)

Ch 3:1-17 The Ark of the Covenant, carried by Levitical priests, led the way to the Jordan, thus symbolizing that God himself delivered Israel to the Promised Land. As the Israelites were about to cross the river, the flow of the Jordan was interrupted to allow the people to cross on dry ground, much as the Red Sea had been parted during Israel’s escape from Egypt. This crossing of the Jordan, through which Israel entered the Promised Land, is a type of the waters of the Sacrament of Baptism (TYPOLOGY!!) that would open the gates of Heaven, our eternal home. (CCC 1222)

Ch 3:10 The First Commandment forbids the worship, veneration, or belief in any gods other than the ONE TRUE GOD. The pagans who worshiped idols, Scripture tells us, worshipped inanimate objects, images made by human hands: “They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see” (Ps 115:4-7). By contrast, the one true God is a LIVING GOD-Eternal, All-powerful, All-seeing, All-knowing-who speaks to his people throughout history and exercises his providence in human affairs. He is both a living and a life giving God, who created all things. (CCC 2112)

Ch 4:1-25 The twelve stones taken from the Jordan served as a monument to remind future generations of Israel’s miraculous crossing of the river. Gilgal was the site where Saul would later be anointed as the first King of Israel (cf. 1 Sam 11:15)

Psalm 123 Christ called the eye the “lamp of the body,” saying that “if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness” (Mt 6:22-23). The eyes have been described traditionally as the windows of the soul; the eyes in a sense reveal the heart of the person. As we contemplate God through the eyes of our mind and heart, we become filled with the light of his wisdom and mercy. (Cf. Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, June 15, 2005)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

“I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites that were beyond the Jordan … And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no courage left in any man, because of you; for the Lord your God is he who is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.” (Jos 2:9-11) 

(*Walking With God: A Journey Through The Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven, we thank you and give you praise. We glorify your name. We just are reminded, Lord God, of your goodness. We are reminded of your faithfulness. We are reminded of the need to be reminded. We are reminded of the need to remember. Lord God, this day, as we hear these words and as we pray and we let your Word shape us, Lord God, let our lives be a memorial. Let our lives be one that our hearts be one, our minds be one, that remembers who you are and what you have done in this world and in our lives. Help us never ever to forget your goodness, and to never ever forget your presence. We make this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.”