FRIDAY, JANUARY 1
“When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan..”
Joshua 4:4 (ESV)
A FRESH BEGINNING
One day, in 1888, Alfred Nobel picked up the morning newspaper and read his obituary. It was his brother who had passed away, but an over-zealous reporter, who had failed to check the facts, wrote that the world saw Alfred Nobel as the inventor of dynamite, an armaments manufacturer, and “The Merchant of Death.” Because of this unusual chance to see his life as others saw it, Nobel resolved to make clear his true desire for peace. Alfred died on December 10, 1896. By that time he had given millions to the underprivileged and other social causes. And he would leave his fortune of nine million to an event that we still celebrate to this day. Every year on December 10 one person from around the world is awarded the Alfred Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts in bringing about peace in the world. So we no longer remember Nobel as a man of destruction but a man of peace.
Symbolically in Scripture, the Jordan represents decision. Crossing over the Jordan River was an opportunity and a decision for Israel to start over. The 40 years of wandering in the wilderness was a consequence of the nation disobeying God and deciding to do things their own way. Joshua 4:8 starts by saying, “And the people of Israel did just as Joshua commanded.” Joshua was God’s spokesman and the nation made the decision to start this new life by doing what God wanted them to do.
New Year’s day is typically a time when we think about changes we need to make. It’s also an opportunity to make new decisions and new memories. What’s your Jordan river today? What changes do you need to make? Where is God asking you to take a step of faith? Are you ready to dig into God’s Word so that we can make some decisions that will radically redirect our lives?