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The Passage of the Jordan.

The Passage of the Jordan.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY REV. FREDERICK WHITFIELD, M.A.,


Joshua iii, 3 ; 4.

And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the
Covenant of the Loud your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it,
then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it: Yet there shall be
a spaee between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come
not near onto it; that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye
have not passed tit is way heretofore.
BY REV. FREDERICK WHITFIELD, M.A.,


Joshua iii, 3 ; 4.

And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the
Covenant of the Loud your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it,
then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it: Yet there shall be
a spaee between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come
not near onto it; that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye
have not passed tit is way heretofore.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Aug 03, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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THE PASSAGE OF THE JORDA. BY REV. FREDERICK WHITFIELD, M.A., Joshua iii, 3 ; 4. And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the Covenant of the Loud your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it: Yet there shall be a spaee between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near onto it; that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed tit is way heretofore. One of the most beautiful types of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Bible is the ark of the covenant. It is brought before our notice in the passage we have selected for con- sideration in connection with Joshua and the camp of Israel. The subject is beautifully instructive and emi- nently practical. Joshua and the host of Israel have a great work before them, the passage of the Jordan, and the destruction of the guilty city of Jericho. Judgment was about to do its terrible work in the land. But mercy always precedes it. "He delighteth in mercy." "He willeth not the death of a sinner." Judgment came upon Jerusalem to the uttermost, but not till mercy had gone beforej in a large and overflowing stream, in the person and work of the Bon of God. ot till His tears had fallen upon her soil, 44 COUSELS FROM THE WORDS OF TRUTH. and last of all His blood, was wrath poured out. It is so always with God. "I will sing of mercy and judgment," says the psalmist. But mercy is first. So was it with Jericho. Before Joshua and the host are allowed to take
 
one step in the direction of judgment, grace is seen at work. Bahab in the doomed city hangs out the scarlet line, leans upon it as her only hope of safety, in depend- ence upon the promise made to her, and is safe in the hour of judgment. Thus we see mercy to the guilty-, the safety of the trusting sinner, and, the source of it all, the scarlet line; all brought before us in the very midst of that scene over which the wrath of God was impending. How sweet to see that with our God this is always the first step, the background of the picture, bringing out in bold relief the righteousness of all His subsequent dealings. The next thing we mark before one step is taken in the direction of judgment, is living faith in active exercise in the hearts of God's people. (See Josh, ii, 24.) These two features then are the Divine pencilings of the Spirit of God before He draws the darker lines of judgment; namely, grace before judgment, and faith before victory. These are, in one form or another, the background of every picture in the Bible where the darker colors of wrath are made to follow. Blessed be His name, who is "rich in mercy" and "the God of all grace," that it is so! The next thing brought before us, in Divine and beauti- ful order, is the ark of the covenant. For if the streams of grace and faith run on before, where do they take their rise but in Him whom that ark represents, the Lord Jesus Christ? It is He that is to be the subject of all our praises; "for of Him and through Him and by Him are all things, who is over all, God blessed forever." THE PASSAGE OF THE JORDA. 45 Mark, first, how Christ ia exalted. "When ye Bee tin- ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests and the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it." o matter what Israel might be doinL r , no matter how important, the moment the ark
 
moved they were "to leave their place, and go after it." There was to be readiness of heart towards it. 77 was to have the first claim. The ark, the ark, that was to be the signal to the whole camp and to each member of it. The ark, that was to awaken in each heart a response and a movement. And the movement of that ark and its fol- lowers wis only in one direction, towards the promised land. How clearly one eye was on that ark in after-days, and how ready to "remove from his place and go after it," that man who exclaimed, "I am determined to know nothing among you sav e Jesus Christ and Him crucified : " "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." Like the cloud of glory in the wilderness in earlier days, so was the ark now. Where it stood, the camp stood; when it moved, the camp went after it. So also Him whom they both represent: "And when He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, and the Bheep follow Him, for they know His voice." So also with the redeemed in glory: "And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them: and when the living creatures w<-rc lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up. Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went, thither was their spirit to go." " When those stood, these stood; when those went, these went, . . . for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. And there was a 4o COUSELS FROM THE WORDS OF TRUTH. voice from the firmament that was over their heads, when they stood, and had let down their wings.-" Mark it in later days: "For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them to living foun- tains of waters, and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." "These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth."

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