At the end of their 40 years of wandering in the desert and the culmination of the life of their leader, Israel found themselves in the plains of Moab. Just across the Jordan River stood the land that had been promised to them. Finally they were going to step foot on their own land, their own place permanency.
So God told Moses to command the Israelites to do the following, “When you cross the Jordan into Canaan, drive out all of the inhabitants of the land before you…” (Numbers 33:51) “Wait a minute, what? Cross the Jordan?” I wonder if they asked this question. Now I know there are some rivers that can be forded (crossed on foot by wading) but the Bible says in Joshua 3:14 that the Jordan was at flood stage during this time. Not only were the Israelites not able to ford the river but several chapters back in Numbers 26, a census was taken and the total number of men exceeded 600,000, that’s more than half a million men! This census did not include the women or children, in fact, it didn’t consider the livestock. Yet God said to them, “When you cross…” It is as if He causally said it like it was no big deal, actually, the most important part was the command that followed, “…drive out all of the inhabitants of the land before you…”
Now, having read the rest of the account in the book of Joshua, I know that Israel would in fact cross the Jordan as God said. Yes, I know, God had previously made a way for them through the Red Sea back when leaving Egypt but this was mostly a new crowd of folk, forty years later. These were the children of those who left Egypt so most of them did not remember this event first hand. I wonder if they questioned how this would occur. Now the Bible does not say they questioned their means of crossing the Jordan but the Israelites certainly did challenge God on many occasions. Who knows, maybe they didn’t question it but I tell you, the command itself was nothing small. It reminds me of the times God gives us great task and we wonder, “but how can I do this?” instead of asking “by what means do you want me to carry this out?” You see, even though God initially gave them this instruction, it was not until later that He told them how it would take place. Needless to say, when it was time, He gave very specific instructions that can be found in Joshua chapters 1 & 3 and not only did they cross the Jordan, they did it because of the Power of God and they went on to carry out the latter part of the command. So we can rest assured that anything He gives us to do is attainable and He will not only give us the means but also the Power to do it.