Mandy Baker Johnson

Living without Shadows

Tag: River Jordan

Go

‘Go’ is a small word with potentially explosive results. It’s like the ripple effect of tossing a pebble in a lake.

Naaman was told by the prophet to go and wash in the Jordan River to be healed of leprosy. It seemed a silly, almost insulting, instruction but when Naaman came down off his high horse (literally and figuratively), and did what he was told, God miraculously healed him.

Moses repeatedly went in to Pharaoh with the request: ‘Let my people go.’ Pharaoh ummed and aahed and faffed about, and flatly refused. God sent increasingly nasty plagues until eventually the stubborn, arrogant king agreed to let God’s people go.

Ruth, whose story I’ve been reflecting on recently, showed intense loyalty and love to her mother-in-law when she declared: ‘Where you go, I will go….’ And thank God she did, because she is one of Jesus’ ancestors.

Jesus told the famous story of the Good Samaritan and encouraged His original listeners to ‘go and do likewise’ in terms of being a good neighbour.

Another famous statement of Jesus’ is the one He made shortly before going back to His Father, to ‘go and make disciples of all nations…’ It’s His heart’s desire that every Jesus-follower should so overflow with passionate love for Him that wherever we go, we will share the good news of God wanting a relationship with us and being willing and able to deal with all of our baggage.

Rahab’s Journal: Preserve

My family and I could have easily felt out of place in this Israelite camp, but they have all been so welcoming. One family in particular has been very friendly; Jonathan and Elizabeth have taken us under their wings.

They have quite a large family, from Salmon a strapping young man in his early twenties to nine-year-old Jael.

Today, Jael took me to see the memorial stones by the Jordan. She skipped alongside me chattering non-stop. When her people (or should I say ‘my’ people now?) were camped on the other side of the great river, the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant walked down into the water first. As soon as their feet touched it, the river began to part on either side, forming great walls of water.

Jael’s words tumbled over themselves as she breathlessly told me how she’d walked on the dry river bed holding her abba’s hand, looking up at the walls of water on either side of her. She even saw fish swimming in the banked up water.

When all the people had crossed over, the priests carried the Ark of the Covenant through the river bed and up the bank. Only then did the waters rush back into place with a huge crash.

‘Water splashed everywhere!’ giggled Jael. Her eyes were glowing with the wonders she’d seen.

‘There!’ she stopped and pointed.

I looked and saw the towering pile of memorial stones, boulders really.

‘Why so many?’ I wondered aloud.

‘There are twelve, one for each of the tribes of Israel.’ Jael explained. ‘God said that when our children and grandchildren ask us why they are there, we can tell them how He parted the River Jordan so we could walk across safely on dry ground.’

I nodded. I was falling more and more in love with this amazing God who does wonders for His people. My heart leapt as I realised that I am now one of them. He preserved their lives in the Jordan River, but He preserved my life when Jericho was destroyed. I love Him. 

 

 

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