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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: River (08/31/06)

TITLE: Cross Over!
By Rebecca Livermore
09/04/06


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We’ve all heard of people who live on the wrong side of the tracks. The Old Testament equivalent appears to be dwelling on the wrong side of the river.

“And Joshua said to all the people, ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Your fathers, including Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, dwelt on the other side of the River in old times; and they served other gods. Then I took your father Abraham from the other side of the River in old times; and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his descendants and gave him Isaac’” (Joshua 24:2, 3 NKJV).

In this passage of Scripture, the river was a line of demarcation that divided the people of God from those who followed other gods. Abraham’s ancestors had a long history of being on “the wrong side of the river” and it took God’s intervention for him to cross over from a family history of pagan idolatry to godliness. How did Abraham get to the other side of the river? God took him! The implication is that it would have been impossible for Abraham to have crossed the river on his own; he needed God’s help.

Even after becoming Christians, we have a natural tendency to go back to the wrong side of the river. This may be manifested through fear, doubt, shame, or perhaps some sin we just can’t seem to abandon. Oh, sure, we try to overcome. We fight against the forceful current of temptation, and chide ourselves when we begin to drown in sin once again. And yet, in spite of our good intentions, we may find it hard to consistently live on the side of shore known as obedience. We’re no better than Abraham; if we try to cross the river of sin and unbelief without God’s help, we’ll surely drown.

Thankfully, staying on the right side of the river is only the beginning! Once on the shore of obedience, God leads us throughout the land that is full of good things, and multiplies every good and perfect gift He’s given us, as we walk in obedience to Him.

What side of the river are you on? Are you depending on God’s help to stay on the right side of the river, or are you fighting against the current of sin and unbelief in your own strength? Are you allowing Him to lead you and multiply the gifts He’s given you, or are you wandering aimlessly through the land?

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

“. . . choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15).


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Rhonda Clark 09/08/06
Great devotional! This really made me think.
Donna Haug09/08/06
"And yet, in spite of our good intentions, we may find it hard to consistently live on the side of shore known as obedience." How true. Thoughtful piece!
Marilyn Schnepp 09/08/06
A sermonette with a twist...gave me something new to ponder; nice job.
Amy Michelle Wiley 09/09/06
Great point! I like how you brought out the correlation between our common phrase "on the wrong side of the track" and the Biblical phrase.