Believe it or not, crossing the Jordan River was never meant to be a metaphor for dying and going to Heaven. I know that a lot of songs make it seem that way, like “when I cross ol’ chilly Jordan,” or “I don’t have to cross Jordan alone.”
But if Heaven is like the Promised Land, you better hope there’s a “Second Amendment” somewhere. I mean, because God didn’t tell Moses to tell the people that WHEN they pass over the Jordan into the land of Canaan they could lay back and eat grapes, drink milk, and get fat on endless supplies of honey.
No, when they passed over the Jordan they were to engage in total warfare – we’re talking “scorched earth” stuff. Look at Numbers 33:52-53.
Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places: And ye shall dispossess [the inhabitants] of the land, and dwell therein: for I have given you the land to possess it.
- Drive Out ALL the inhabitants
This isn’t their land anymore! Even though they have been here for ages, they are only squatters, now. But their history goes back so far! Doesn’t matter. Make ‘em get gone! They might say, “You can’t come in here and make me leave; I own this place!” Oh, well, you may THINK you do, but it’s actually God who holds the title.
- The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein. – Psalm 24:1
- For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the mountains, and the wild beasts of the field are Mine. “If I were hungry, I would not tell you; For the world is Mine, and all its fullness. – Psalm 50:10-12
- Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the LORD your God, also the earth with all that is in it. – Deut. 10:14
Maybe this is a good time to be reminded that whatever we think we own, it’s only on loan from the Owner of everything. I mean, seriously, people find it so hard to give to the Lord, and I do mean give…like in an offering, or to missions, not just your time and prayers. But what they tend to forget is that there is NOTHING they have that is theirs!
“Oh, preacher, but I worked for everything I’ve got!” Yeah, and do you know what God has to say about that? Turn back a little way to Deuteronomy 8:17-18.
And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
There is nothing in this world, not a thing, that we own. It’s all temporary. Sure, we may have a title or a deed that keeps other people from taking our stuff, but never forget that you and I wouldn’t have a thing if it wasn’t for the grace of God.
As a matter of fact, it could be argued that one of the obstacles we face is the giant of our own arrogance that makes us think God’s will is a matter of opinion, that we have a right to keep all He has given us like we own it.
If you want to see the sermon I preached in its entirety, click on the video link below.