As Joshua and Israel were standing just on the edge of the Promised Land, they faced one last barrier, it seemed, to entering into God's goodness for them: the Jordan River. It looked like it was the one thing that could keep them away; they weren't looking any further ahead than the raging waters that were right in front of them.
Of course, we know that God parted those waters and let His people walk through on dry land. Of course, we know that they landed on the other side in the shadow of really large cities that they would then have to fight. But, of course, they weren't thinking about the fight when they were thinking about the Jordan.
It doesn't matter what cities are on the other side of the Jordan, or how big they are, if you can't even get there.
One thing at a time, folks.
But God was already planning for those cities. God was already planning for the other side of the Jordan.
Even though Israel might not have been watching those cities quite yet, those cities were watching Israel. And they saw God part the waters.
That's the thing about what happens when God acts on behalf of His people - the whole world hears about it. The whole world knows. Joshua 5 tells us that all of the kings of the Amorites and the Canaanite kings in the area had heard about it. Word travels. Every single army that Israel was about to come up against knew what God had already done for His people.
When they were wandering in the desert, everyone knew that God had parted the Red Sea for them.
We've lost sense of this in our world where we are told that your relationship with God is a private thing, a personal thing. Something that's true for you and not necessarily true for anyone else.
We don't live in a world anymore that assumes it was God. When our world sees the miraculous, they assume there's a logical, rational, probably scientific explanation for it. Heck, we've even been going back and trying to make science out of the miracles that God performed that others did know about - like the parting of the Jordan River. Science has come out and said that it has to do with the flood season and the tides and the pull of the moon and some bizarre "natural" phenomenon...anything but God. Anything but a miracle.
So as we go about trying to live our "quiet" lives of faith behind closed doors so that we don't offend the world, which has told us that our faith is meant to be private, what's happening is that the world isn't catching the miracles as much. They aren't noticing what God is doing. Because we're not talking about it and we're not showing it.
But the truth is the same today as it was in the time of Joshua - when God acts, when God does the miraculous, the world notices. Everyone knows about it. Whether they're willing to admit it or not. Whether they know to call it God or not. They're talking about our miracles. They're talking about what happened. We know that they are.
Some things just can't go unnoticed.