There are four incidents in the Old Testament where God parted a body of water for His people. He parted the Red Sea through Moses, He parted the Jordan river through Joshua, He parted the Jordan again for Elijah before he was taken up to heaven, and then again for Elisha after Elijah was taken from him. And in each instance, the parting of water is always a test, a sign, and a blessing.
Each time, the test is the usual one God sets for us: “Will you trust me?” Will we trust God to provide an escape from those things that are keeping us hostage? Will you submit to that old fear that has kept you captive? Will you step out in faith against the thing holding you back from your future with God?
For the 50 prophets of Elijah’s day, the crossing of the Jordan for both Elijah and Elisha was a sign that God was with these prophets. It was a sign of where God was at work and through whom.
And in every case, it was a blessing of God. Unlike the Egyptians and their Nile, the Israelites never worshiped the Jordan river but instead saw it as a barrier, an obstacle to be crossed over to get to their future. With Joshua, the Jordan represented the Canaanite god Baal who had control over the flooded river, the storms and rain. The stopping of the water, the crossing of the Jordan, was a blessing for the people, a reassurance that Yahweh was stronger than Baal, and would remove the barrier that stood between them and their promise.
What things are blocking your way to God’s future for you? Will you trust God to remove them? Will you allow God to bless you by clearing the path to your future with Him?