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Joshua Chapter 4:8-19

Cross the Bridge / David McGee
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September 30, 2023 1:00 am

Joshua Chapter 4:8-19

Cross the Bridge / David McGee

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September 30, 2023 1:00 am

Cross the Bridge 43204-2

Cross the Bridge
David McGee

We had a men's meeting a month ago, and we had one last year, and we call them men's attack, because they're not retreats. You know, that whole retreat thing, I just, I don't like it, because it's not really biblical. Oh, the enemy's coming, retreat, retreat.

I mean, you think of, you know, white flags and we've lost, run. That's not a notion we're supposed to have. Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. David is the senior pastor of the bridge in Kernersville, North Carolina. Christianity is not a retreating faith.

It is an advancing faith. Pastor David teaches on this topic and more today as he continues his study in the book of Joshua, chapter 4. But first, have you ever experienced a time when you felt spiritually drained?

Well, the Bible holds the cure that will bring joy and vitality back into your life. That's why we want to send you a copy of Pastor David McGee's video message, A Checkup from the Neck Up. In this inspiring teaching, you'll find biblical truths that can restore your spiritual health. A Checkup from the Neck Up is our way to thank you for your gift this month to help more people on this station and beyond cross the bridge from death to life.

So please, visit to get your copy of A Checkup from the Neck Up. Now, here's David McGee with part 2 of his teaching, Hearing from the Lord. Turn with me to Joshua, chapter 4, verse 4. Then Joshua called the 12 men whom he had appointed from the children of Israel, one man from every tribe. And Joshua said to them, Cross over before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, What do these stones mean to you? Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off, and these stones shall be a memorial to the children of Israel forever. And the children of Israel did so just as Joshua commanded, and took up 12 stones from the midst of the Jordan, as the Lord had spoken to Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them to the place where they lodged and laid them down there.

Now, that's an interesting way verse 8 starts out. And the children of Israel did so. What did they do? They did what Joshua told them to do. Why were the people willing to submit to Joshua?

Because they had seen something. You remember probably there was a battle going on, and Moses was up on the hill. He had Aaron, he had her, and then there was good old Joshua. Now, Moses said, Aaron and her, I want you to stay up here. We're going to watch the battle from up here. Turn to Joshua and said, Joshua, I want you to go down.

I want you to fight. Notice, he didn't send Aaron down there. Now, I've got nothing against Aaron.

I mean, Aaron was Aaron. That was Moses' brother. And you probably remember, some things didn't go so well in the ministry of Aaron. If you remember, you know, Moses went up to the hill to get the Ten Commandments. Who did he take with him? Took Joshua, who stayed with the group. Aaron, what happened? It didn't go so well.

That's an understatement, isn't it? Moses comes back down, and there's like this drunken orgy going on. And Aaron's first role as assistant pastor, that's not good. But on that day, Moses didn't send Aaron down there. He sent Joshua. And Joshua went. And Joshua was down there fighting while Moses was up there praying for him. You remember, Aaron and her held up the hands of Moses, and as they did, the battle went well.

What's my point? The people were able to submit to Joshua because they knew that Joshua was a man under submission. You say, well, Moses is dead.

Right. Joshua was…he was submitted to God. He was submitted to the Lord. And because they knew that he was submitted to the Lord, they could follow him wholeheartedly. He bore the fruits of somebody that was following the Lord, that is hearing from God. And they followed him.

They followed him even when they didn't understand it sometimes. Verse…well, let's say verse 9. Then Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priest who bore the ark of the covenant stood, and they are there to this day. Now, we believe that to this day is speaking of when Joshua wrote the book of Joshua except the last few verses.

The Talmud talks about who wrote that at Phinehas, I believe. But it says, to this day, verse 10, So the priest who bore the ark stood in the midst of the Jordan until everything was finished, that the Lord had commanded Joshua to speak to the people. According to all that Moses had commanded Joshua, and the people hurried and crossed over. They did it.

They did it. Again, notice the order. God spoke to Joshua, and also God had spoken to Moses to speak to Joshua, and Joshua did those things, and he spoke those things to the people. That's, again, that's an important concept, that spiritual leadership speak what they hear God saying from his word primarily, and also perhaps what the Lord is laying on their heart. And as long as that's happening, that's a good thing. When spiritual leadership or pastoral leadership or ministry or whatever quits hearing from God or quits listening to God, and then they're still speaking to people, well, that gets dangerous.

I think we've probably all seen examples of that. I want to hear from the Lord. I want to speak and teach the Word of God. And the things that I present, I was going to say from the pulpit.

The pulpit's gone. The things that I present, the things that I present from the platform, we'll say platform, the things that I present from the platform, I want to be very careful that they're from the Lord. And you better believe that anything that I share, I prayerfully consider before I share it. Anything that we do here, leadership prayerfully considers the way that we do it and how we do it and when we do it. And that's why when some of you come up and go, hey, hey, why don't we do this? I'll say, you know what, I'll pray about that.

That's not a cop-out. But I want to seek the Lord. And, you know, the children's ministry leadership, they're really intimately familiar with this concept because they come to me and go, hey, we want to do this.

It sounds great. Let me pray about it. And I pray about it. A lot of times God says, yeah, let's go for it.

And sometimes He goes, hee, hee, hee, hee. But it's important that I hear from the Lord and that leadership hears from the Lord, and that which I'm hearing I present to you, like the organizational thing. See, that's what the Lord's speaking to me right now, and I want to communicate that to you guys. Verse 11, then it came to pass when all the people had completely crossed over that the ark of the Lord and the priest crossed over in the presence of the people. And the men of Reuben, the men of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh crossed over, armed before the children of Israel as Moses had spoken to them. And about 40,000 prepared for war crossed over before the Lord for battle to the plans of Jericho. And on that day, the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel.

And they feared him, as they had feared Moses all the days of his life. Again, Joshua was a man that was under submission to Moses, as Moses was God's leader for the people. And then now Joshua has been placed in this position where God is raising him up, where God has exalted him. Joshua already was establishing a track record of hearing from God, God blessing what he's doing, and then following him. And so Joshua was a leader who was worth following. And Joshua time and time again in this book, we'll see, establishes that relationship.

He continues to build that trust with the people, and they follow him. And I think, again, that's an important spiritual principle for us to see, because God puts leadership in the church, and we don't take that lightly. I'm not going to turn to somebody and go, oh, you kind of look like a deacon. Why don't you be a deacon?

This will be great. No, that's not what you do. Or, you know, hey, tell you what, I'm going to make you a deacon, and you start acting like a deacon, OK? No, what you do is you look around, and you watch people's hearts. And you see their heart for serving the Lord. And you see a pure heart. You watch them when nobody else can see them. Well, these nifty little cameras all over the church.

No, I'm kidding. But you watch them and watch the way they serve. And you say, wow, you know what? That guy's acting like a deacon. I'm going to talk to him.

I'm going to pray with him. I believe that's the Lord's heart in this situation. And trusting leadership doesn't mean never asking questions. Because sometimes as you ask questions, you can actually build the trust relationship.

There was a dear couple. I've grown to really know and love them. And, you know, it's kind of the running joke that at every service, every time they showed up for the first three months, they had like a list of questions. You know, hey, I need to ask you something.

Okay, what is it? Well, let me run through this. And it was always, it was at least one. And several times it was several. And they were very polite. They'd say, you know what?

Maybe now's not a good time, but I do have this list I'd like to go over with you at some point. I said, great, great. And I could kind of tell that they, that caught them off surprise, that kind of caught them by surprise. They were kind of thinking I was going, no questions, we don't do that here. You'd never ask the man in the robe questions. Oh, I don't wear a robe.

Okay, we're cool. And what happened is that built the relationship more and more, deeper and deeper, and it became a relationship of trust. And now they trust that I hear from the Lord. They trust that I'm looking to the Bible on how to be influenced on what we do here. And that trust has been deepened by questions. So let me encourage you, if you have questions, ask them. We're not freaked out by questions here. We don't have anything to hide. It's a very open thing.

As a matter of fact, we want to build the relationship to be one of trust. And that doesn't mean that you never ask questions. You're listening to Pastor David McGee on Cross the Bridge. He'll be back with more powerful insight from God's word in just a moment. But first, your enemy, the devil, doesn't want you to experience the life-giving truths of God's word. He wants to rob you of the full life God wants for you.

But you can overcome his attacks because there is supernatural power in the word of God. That's why we want to send you Pastor David McGee's video message called A Checkup from the Neck Up. This powerful resource will show you how to revitalize your spiritual health and grow in your faith daily by meditating on God's powerful word. A Checkup from the Neck Up is our way to thank you for your gift this month to help more people on this station and beyond cross the bridge from death to life.

So please, visit now to get your copy of A Checkup from the Neck Up. Now, back to today's message. Verse 15. Then the Lord spoke to Joshua, saying, Command the priest who bear the ark of the testimony to come up from the Jordan. Joshua, therefore, commanded the priest, saying, Come up from the Jordan. And it came to pass when the priest who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord had come from the midst of the Jordan, and the soles of the priest's feet touched the dry land, that the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and overflowed all its banks as before. Now, it's interesting when you look at what God said to Joshua. God told Joshua what to tell the people, and Joshua told the people exactly what God had spoken to him. And then it came to pass.

Why? Because God always does what He says He's going to do. They come through the Jordan, and the water that had been held back all of a sudden comes down, and, oh, isn't that cool? That is so cool. The water that was held back after they got through it, it came down, and that's just, isn't that nice, warm, fuzzy?

That's great, but wait a minute. If they wanted to go back now, how would they go back? It's interesting to me to note God cut their retreat off. They couldn't go backwards. There's a big river there now. God got them where He wanted them to be, and He sealed off their retreat. No turning back. The life lesson here is Christianity is not a retreating faith.

It is an advancing faith. We had a men's meeting a month ago, and we had one last year, and we call them men's attack. Why? Because they're not retreats. I mean, retreat's a nice, fuzzy word, and we may use it at some point, but, you know, that whole retreat thing, I just, I don't like it. Why?

Because it's not really biblical. Let's retreat. Let's run away. Oh, the enemy's coming. Retreat, retreat. I mean, you think of, you know, white flags and bad things, and we've lost, run, you know, kind of stuff going on.

That's not a notion we're supposed to have. And I hear some believers, oh, man. Okay, I'm getting ready. I'm going to warn you, okay? Fasten your seat belts.

There's a little turbulence coming. And, you know, I'm getting ready to go from preaching, from pastoring to teaching to just flat-out meddling with you, all right? But I'm doing it in love.

This notion of, because sometimes you ask people, hey, how you doing? I'm just so alone. And you know what? Guys, that's not what Jesus died to provide for us, that we just, hold on, I'm just trying to make it. I hope I make it. I'm probably not.

But I hope I make it. Is that biblical Christianity? No, that's slipping into, well, the theological term that I've developed and coined now, that's slipping to Eorism. We, you know, you know Eor, everything you ran by Eor, hey, Eor, we're going to, it's from Winnie the Pooh. Some of you are going, Eor? Who is Eor?

I've never heard of him. In the whole Bible, there's no Eor. Winnie the Pooh, go with me for just a minute. But every time, you know, Eor, what do you think we're going to do?

I don't ever work. That won't happen. And we've had, to be honest, we've had some Eors in the church before. We were, we were really tiny home Bible study moving into the, the 1600 square foot building, really getting charged up and filled with faith. And, you know, and then we go, okay, we're going to add a service. And, you know, oh, nobody will come.

No, no, really. Now we're getting more chairs. Everybody in Kernsville's right here.

Yeah, but there's people from around. They won't make the drop. Don't be an Eor. God paid too high a price for you to be an Eor. I love Tigger. That's who I want to, I want to be a Tigger.

And if you've got a problem with Disney, just let it slide for just a minute, okay? I want to be a Tigger. You know, Tigger that's bouncing, bouncing, you know, a wonderful thing about Tigger, that whole deal. I actually got a little thing that says, ta-ta for now, you know, because that's what Tigger used to say. And you know what? This is going to be, it's going to sound really weird, but you know what? When I pass away at my funeral, I want a big son that says ta-ta for now. They may tell you I'm dead, but I'll be more alive at that point than I've ever been. So I want to be more of a Tigger.

Why? Because I believe Christians, biblically based Christians should be advancing and not retreating. And you see this here, God cut off his retreat. And Jesus didn't just die for you so you could hold on until you die. He came to give you life and it more abundantly. See, he came to give us life and he came that we might offer life to others. And you know what?

When you do that Eeyore thing, you're giving up so much. You're giving up our blood, balt, and God-given spiritual heritage and freedom that come to us free, but not cheap. That's what Jesus died to provide for us.

And we should walk in it. Verse 19, Now the people came up from the Jordan birthday of the first month and they camped in Gagal on the east border of Jericho. Now, guys, here's another example of really needing to know your Bible. And also, not just the New Testament. Now, I prayed a long time ago about how we wanted to have the teaching done here. And there's a reason that our midweek is centered on the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament, and the Sunday morning is on the New Testament.

Because we need to know both of them. It's amazing when I talk to some people that go, well, you know, Old Testament. It's old. We don't need to look at it, to study it. You can't understand the New Testament without understanding the Old Testament. You can't really understand the gospel until you understand what it says in Leviticus that there is no remission of sins without the shedding of blood. And here again, there's something right here about the 10th day of the first month.

What's significant about that? Well, if you've been here long enough when we were in Exodus, chapter 12, verse 1, Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be your beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, On the tenth of this month, every man shall take for himself, according to the house of his father, a lamb, for a household.

This was not an accident. Understand something. There's two calendars. I'm not going to get deep into this right now, but there's two calendars, two Jewish calendars.

There's the sacred and the civil. Okay, the sacred and the seventh month starts the sacred calendar. So the seventh month of the civil calendar begins the sacred calendar. The sacred calendar starts with first month, here with Passover.

First month, tenth day. So here is an advance going back 40 years ago to the day the Lord had them take a lamb into their house. They had the lamb in there for four days. It lived in the house. They fed it. They gave it water.

The kids probably named it. And then after four days, that lamb was sacrificed. And what an amazing thing that on that day, 40 years to the day, they were reminded of the lamb that was received into the house, which was about to be slain. This book's so awesome. You can study and dig from now till the time you go to be with Jesus and then some and still be seeing stuff like that.

It's an amazing book. And so almost in advance of when they were going to be going into the Promised Land, first month, tenth day, they're remembering. They're remembering the promises of God. They're remembering the Passover lamb. As a matter of fact, next week, we'll get in the next chapter.

They celebrate Passover. And it's important to remember as you go into the promises of God that you remember. That you remember. There's no coincidences in here. Everything that's in here is in here for a reason. You know, like we tied Bethabara and Gilgal and John the Baptist talking about the stones and now tying the dates with the Passover. You know what?

Let me share one other thing about that. I read this verse for a long time and wondered, why is this in here? You know, you've probably read Begetting Stuff and wondered that, hadn't you? All this, we get three chapters of people begetting people. What is up with that? Especially as a new believer, you're like, okay, okay.

But you know what? There's always something in those genealogies. Always something in those genealogies.

I've not seen a genealogy that didn't mean something. Sometimes it took me years and years to see something. Kind of like finding this verse right now. It's taking me years and years because this is my study bibles.

It's kind of falling apart so I can't really teach out of it anymore. So give me a moment. Oh, here we go. You don't need to turn there.

I'll read it to you. Genesis chapter eight verse four. This is according to the civil calendar because the sacred calendar hasn't been set up yet. It was set up in the book of Exodus. Then the ark rested in the seventh month, the seventeenth day of the month on the mountains of Ararat. What's going on here is Noah finally, the ark has finally rested on the Mount Ararat.

And I used to read that verse and I thought, okay, so? Why aren't we told it's resting the seventh month, the seventeenth day of the month? Well, they took the lamb in their house on the seventh month on the tenth day, right? Now it's the first month because it's the sacred calendar.

So go with me on this. But on the civil calendar is the seventh month. The tenth day they received the lamb into them. What happened on the fourteenth? They sacrificed the lamb on the fourteenth. What other historic event took place on the Passover? Jesus Christ died for our sins. What happened three days after that on the seventeenth? Jesus was resurrected.

Back here in Genesis chapter eight, the day that ark touched the mountain was the anniversary in advance of when Jesus came out from the grave to get a new beginning to us. Guys, there's nothing in there by coincidence or by chance. It's all connected. And sometimes it takes us a while to see the connections.

But man, they're there. And when you uncover stuff like this, God just jazzes you. Just build your faith.

Builds my faith. See, they were reminded. They were reminded of that day when they took the lamb into their house. They were reminded of the day when they shed the lamb's blood and put it on the doorpost.

They were probably reminded of Rahab's scarlet thread saving their buddies. See, it's all tied together, guys. It's all tied together. This book is one book. The whole book. If you want me to boil it down for you, the whole book is God created man. God loved man. God desired fellowship with man. Man rebelled. Now God is searching for us. He paid a price for us to be forgiven, to be in right relationship with him.

And he won't stop until it's over. That's the whole book. That's what happened in the garden. God desired fellowship with man. That's what happened with the tabernacle. God desired fellowship with man.

That's what happened with the temple. God desired fellowship with man. That's what the cross is all about. God desired fellowship with man. And in the new book in Revelation it's about God fellowshiping with man. Because it says and God will dwell with them and they shall be his people and he shall be their God. That's what the whole book's about. Friend, do you know for sure that your sins have been forgiven?

You can know right now. I want to lead you in a short, simple prayer, simply telling God you're sorry and asking him to help you to live for him. Please pray this prayer with me out loud right now. Dear Jesus, I believe you died for me that I could be forgiven. And I believe you were raised from the dead that I could have a new life. And I've done wrong things. I have sinned.

And I'm sorry. Please forgive me of all those things. Please give me the power to live for you all of my days. In Jesus' name.

Amen. Friend, if you prayed that prayer, according to the Bible, you've been forgiven. You've been born again. So congratulations, friend.

You just made the greatest decision that you will ever make. God bless you. wants to help revitalize your spiritual health by sending you his video message titled A Checkup From the Neck Up. This resource shows you how to meditate daily on God's Word so that his truth can transform your life. A Checkup From the Neck Up is our way to thank you for your gift this month to help more people on this station and beyond cross the bridge from death to life. So please visit now to get your copy of A Checkup From the Neck Up.

You know each day comes with its share of stresses. So what better way to wake up than with an encouraging word from the Lord. Visit and sign up now for David McGee's email devotionals. Each devotion includes scripture and a message from the heart of David McGee. It's easy and it's free. Sign up today at And be sure to join us next time on Cross the Bridge as we continue in the book of Joshua. We'll see you then.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-30 05:11:58 / 2023-09-30 05:23:48 / 12

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