Joshua 3:13 “…and the waters which are flowing down from above shall stand in one heap.”
Observation: Joshua is giving the Hebrews one last instruction, an encouragement really, before they were to cross the Jordan into Canaan. When the feet of the priests carrying the Ark stepped into the edge of the Jordan, the laws of physics would be suspended as the Jordan would split in two. Far upstream the water would stop flowing, standing in one heap, while the downstream waters would continue to flow, leaving dry ground behind. This business of waters standing in a heap would be all the more remarkable because this was the time of the Jordan’s annual floods. (v. 15)
Application: For this generation the water’s parting would be a new experience, although I can be sure they had heard what God had done decades earlier. Joshua’s audience had not been alive when their ancestors fled Pharaoh’s army, but interestingly, the water’s description is the same: it had stood in one heap.
Here is where Hollywood got it wrong. In depicting the Red Sea crossing, the wall of water is shown as a roiling, translucent blockage teeming with sea creatures swimming alongside the channel cut for the fleeing Hebrews. Their path is carved by violent, continual updrafts of wind. But that is not what the Bible says. Moses’s song about waters standing in a heap describes something very different than a slicing through the sea with marine life swimming behind it. What Moses says is that “the deeps were congealed in the depths of the sea. (Ex. 15:8) Congealed, as in gelatin. No violent updrafts of wind. No creatures swimming. Rather than the movie’s violence, did this possibly become a place of serenity…an eerily quiet setting through which the people quietly rushed? That’s conjecture on my part, but the congealing of the waters is fascinating to consider. I can imagine an impish grandchild poking his finger into it.
When has my own imagination been as limited as Hollywood’s scriptwriters? When else have I failed to notice God’s transcendent power remaking the very nature of His creation? Isn’t lack of imagination, fueled by rebellion, part of the basis for evolution’s claims…the idea that the way things are today is the way they have always been? Doesn’t the Genesis-trashing claim that countless billions of years were required to cut canyons and raise mountains stem from a stunted imagination? The Word says that there was a moment in time when fountains of the great deep burst open and violently remade the planet in a few weeks’ time. Isn’t it lack of imagination that causes me to believe the preposterous idea that the prehistoric death of trillions of living things created vast oil reserves underground? The Word says that death first came as a result of Adam’s sin just a few thousand years ago. And on and on it goes. The Word says that the Red Sea and the Jordan were converted to gelatin, and then changed back into water. Imagine!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you created the physics that govern all things, and you can intervene to change physics at will. Activate my dulled imagination to believe. I realize that what is most congealed is my imagination. In Jesus’ name, Amen.