Merritt Seventh-day Adventist Church


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The children of Israel were camped some distance from the river Jordan. Moses had died and this was a sad time for the people. Moses had brought them out of Egypt and slavery and had led them for 40 years through the desert. He had put up with their complaints and criticism which he brought to God for help. God then spoke to Joshua and promised him that as He was with Moses He would be with Joshua. God said, “ Only be thou strong and very courageous,”  thus He warns, “ there will be times that will test your courage but I will be there and not let problems get out of hand.”
Then God warns the book of the law, the Ten Commandments, “ to make sure you do just what the law says if you will do this you will prosper in whatever you undertake.”
What a great promised inheritance! The whole congregation now moved close to the river Jordan. We would probably have said this was a mistake for it was flood time and the Jordan was a big river. Joshua said to the people, “ Sanctify yourselves for the Lord wants to do wonderful things with you.”
To sanctify means to put sin out of the life. Sin is a destroyer and God was about to fulfill a wonderful promise to His people to bring them into a beautiful, prosperous homeland. God wanted them to go into a new home with a new heart and a new will to serve God and thank Him for His wonderful love.
When Jesus was here on earth and before He left He said He was going back to heaven to prepare a home for them, then He would come again to take His people to heaven with Him. John, in the book of Revelation gives a bit of a description of Heaven and the people there. He said there would be no more death or sorrow or pain. It is sin that brings about problems and the basic ingredient of sin is selfishness.
So, for the people at the Jordan, God asked them to put away such things as hatred, lust, jealousy and love for things more than love for God and instead, build a home where love and thanksgiving would be part of life. To make these changes may be easier said than done but Jesus said, “ Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”
When the people were in the wilderness there were no stores, no garden around a very difficult situation from mans thinking but God was there and that made a big difference to their problem. Jesus promised that if we want to change, we need to ask Him to forgive our sins and he promises not only to forgive but to cleanse us form all the things that give us problems.
The overflowing Jordan river that ran along was a mighty obstacle for the children of Israel. It would make it difficult for them to get into the promised land but we can look at the promise Jesus made of Himself to come and take His people to their Heavenly home.
Daniel, the great Bible prophet, said about the time of the end there would be a time of trouble such as never was. What kind of problems? All kinds of them: financial, weather, fire, disease. With all these let us not forget the people in the wilderness. In real problems God was there and is still here.
The Psalmist said in Psalms 81:7, “ You called in trouble, and I delivered you; I answered you in the secret place...”
Heaven's communication lines are always open and Jesus loves to hear the beautiful words of thanksgiving from His delivered children.