Joshua 3:1-17

Talks for Growing Christians

Israel Crosses the Jordan and Enters the Promised Land

Joshua 3:1-17

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Lesson Number 5

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The ark of the covenant is a picture of Christ as our leader.
  2. The ark of the covenant is a picture of Christ as our Savior.

Practical Application

  1. Let God exalt you.
  2. Let's not question God about His flood stage tactics.


  1. Why didn't the nation of Israel use a bridge to cross over the Jordan River?
  2. Why couldn't the Israelites just wade across at a narrow point?
  3. What was the major miracle here?
  4. Name the place where the river was cut off.
  5. How is the ark a picture of Christ?


  1. There were no bridges then. Importantly, God did a major miracle.
  2. The river was at harvest time and at flood stage, overflowing its banks.
  3. God cut off the Jordan River from about 15-20 miles north of where the people were. The river stopped flowing, so the river bed was dry from that place all the way down to the Dead Sea.
  4. Adam.
  5. It is a picture of Christ as our leader and of Christ as our Savior.


  1. The ark of the covenant of God was kept in the holy of holies in the tabernacle. The holy of holies was the meeting place between God and man. The blood of the atoning sacrifice was put on the mercy seat which covered the ark. Thus the sins of Israel were covered and the relationship between God and His people was maintained. Update this in terms of the ark as a picture of Christ. This should have a profound meaning to you. Does it?
  2. The ark led the people into the Jordan River and through it. The spiritual picture? The waters of Jordan picture the waters of death and Christ conquered death all the way back to Adam. The way of spiritual blessing has been opened up for all who would follow the ark. Have you followed the ark into the waters of death to self?


  1. God was glorified in the miracle of the crossing of the Jordan, and He also exalted Joshua. Read 1 Peter 5:6. What does this say to you?
  2. God purposely waited until flood stage so He could do a miracle. The Canaanites realized it. The Israelites realized it. Do you ever question God's timing in your life? Remember, He may want to show His power to you. Can you remember a time when this has happened in your life?

Key Verses

  • "When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God...then you shall set out from your place and go after it. Keep a space between you and the ark...that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before." (Joshua 3:3-4)
  • "Joshua said, ' Come here, and hear the words of the Lord Your shall know that the living God is among you." (Joshua 3:9-10
  • "All Israel crossed over on dry ground, until they had crossed completely over the Jordan." (Joshua 3:17)

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