Joshua 3:5 “And Joshua said to the people, Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.”
I watched a Twilight Zone the other night (the old black and white episodes, for those of you who remember.) It concerned four thieves who stole some gold and then hid out in a cave for a hundred years (with the help of gas filled, glass enclosed crypts) until all those who might have pursued them were dead and gone. Then they planned to live like kings.
Without giving away the ending, let’s just say that things didn’t quite go as planned. Because while the time may have changed, their characters did not. They were the same greedy, thieving crooks that they were before their century long nap.
As I read this scripture this morning I realized that the tendency to remain stuck in the past is a pitfall many of us succumb to. Maybe 2012 was not a banner year for you. I know I was not saddened to see it go. “Good riddance”, I told my wife as the peach dropped.
But as we enter into 2013, we are admonished not to drag our past mindset into our future. Today is a new day, and we must sanctify, dedicate, consecrate this day unto the Lord, for He desires to “do wonders” for us today.
There are numerous New Testament parallels to this Old Testament story. The “Ark of the Covenant” is now the Holy Spirit inside of every believer. The priests are you and I, who have been made kings and priests unto our God. Your Jordan River this past year is different from mine, but we both had obstacles to cross keeping us from our God ordained destinies.
Now, the Israelites were not a model of obedience or inspiration for most of their history. But we would do well to follow their example here as Joshua instructed them. They pulled stones out of the Jordan as a memorial of their deliverance. They, and their descendants, would always be able to look back and remember the deliverance that was wrought for them on this occasion.
As we venture into a new year, we may be tempted to approach it with old perspectives. But if we must look back, let us look back on the blessings and victories we’ve had. Let’s look back on the memorials, and may they give us strength to forge ahead through new territory. Because Jordan was just the beginning.