June 19, 2010

Examining The Scripture XXXIV: Heaping Water & A Microphone

God performs a major miracle at the crossing of the Jordan River as he has done in the past for others that serve Him. The affect on the people of Israel is profound. When the soles of the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the Lord rested in the waters of the Jordan, God cut the water off. The waters stopped flowing and stood in a heap or in this context they stood up as a wave a great distance away. Joshua was as the Lord had told him he would be “exalted in the sight of Israel”. They now understood that the Lord was with Joshua the way He had been with Moses.

God then speaks through Joshua as noted by the two following statements in Joshua 3:9-10:

(v9)-And Joshua said to the people of Israel, “Come here and listen to the words of the Lord your God.”

(v10)-And Joshua said, “Here is how you shall know that the living God is among you…”

Joshua says God will speak and the immediate following proclamation is God speaking through Joshua in the “you shall know” statement that is made in present tense. The words “Joshua said” are the same in both verses but (v. 9) uses the word “listen” [Strong’s H3893] shama’ “to hear intelligently w/implication of (immediate) attention, obedience” in this context because it is waw consecutive, qal imperfect which means this verb applies: for actions continuing into the present or future and is said in active voice demanding obedience.

This is that same pattern we saw when Moses delivered the Ten Commandments to the new generation about to enter the Promised Land after the previous generation (minus Caleb and Joshua) had met their demise in the wilderness. God makes direct statements through His chosen vessel to His chosen people. He uses Joshua as a human microphone and amplifier (conduit). I imagine that might have been like standing in front of a wall of amplifiers if it was coming directly from God. God could've condescended as a Theophany but chose to use Joshua instead. It was done this way probably to instill a sense of confidence in him. If God deems Joshua fit to act on His behalf who would challenge God's wisdom in using Joshua? (Answer: No one in their right mind)

I fairly certain this is an accurate translation of the intent of this passage. That means what comes next is the proclamation or announcement and (v.9) has already told us to “listen to God’s words” and because we are talking about God, to obey Him immediately. An announcement in present tense after being forewarned that God was going to speak. This is a very very powerful statement of God working in "realtime".

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