Awesome Hands – part 161: “The mighty hand of the Lord”

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Awesome Hands – part 161

“The mighty hand of the Lord”

December 2, 2019

In our previous study we found ourselves seeing ourselves in the story of Rahab and the 2 spies which she helped escape from king Jericho’s men.

In this study, we are going to skip forward a few chapters to Joshua 4. It is here that we finally see the moment the Israelites cross over into the promised land and mark the occasion with stones for a generational memorial.

This marking of the passage through the river Jordan was a command from the Lord via Joshua to the people of Israel.

Jos 4:1  And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over Jordan, that the LORD spake unto Joshua, saying,
Jos 4:2  Take you twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man,
Jos 4:3  And command ye them, saying, Take you hence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests' feet stood firm, twelve stones, and ye shall carry them over with you, and leave them in the lodging place, where ye shall lodge this night.

Joshua is told to appoint twelve men, one from each tribe, to take a stone from the Jordan where the priests carrying the ark stood, and place those stones in the lodging place.

Jos 4:4  Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, out of every tribe a man:
Jos 4:5  And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take ye up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel:
Jos 4:6  That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones?
Jos 4:7  Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.

If you are like me, you may be wondering if these stones are still in this place, and the answer is no. It is also an interesting study in and of itself to look into the word “forever” as mentioned here is verse 7, but I will just cover a brief point.

The word used here in English as “forever” is a combination of two words. Those two words are H5704, making the “for” part, and H5769 making the “ever” part.

What is interesting is that H5769, “ever” is the Hebrew word “olam”.


‛ôlâm    ‛ôlâm

o-lawm', o-lawm'

From H5956; properly concealed, that is, the vanishing point; generally time out of mind (past or future), that is, (practically) eternity; frequentative adverbially (especially with prepositional prefix) always: - always (-s), ancient (time), any more, continuance, eternal, (for, [n-]) ever (-lasting, -more, of old), lasting, long (time), (of) old (time), perpetual, at any time, (beginning of the) world (+ without end). Compare H5331, H5703.

Total KJV occurrences: 438

The root of “olam” is H5976 which means veil, hide or concealed.




A primitive root; to veil from sight, that is, conceal (literally or figuratively): -    X any ways, blind, dissembler, hide (self), secret (thing).

Total KJV occurrences: 28



Total KJV Occurrences: 27

hid, 11

Lev_4:13, Lev_5:3-4 (2), Num_5:13, 1Ki_10:3, 2Ki_4:27, 2Ch_9:2, Job_6:16, Job_28:21, Eze_22:26, Nah_3:11

hide, 8

Lev_20:4, Deu_22:1, Deu_22:3-4 (2), Psa_55:1, Isa_1:15, Isa_58:7, Lam_3:56

hideth, 2

Job_42:3, Pro_28:27

secret, 2

Psa_90:8, Ecc_12:14

blind, 1


dissemblers, 1

Psa_26:3-4 (2)

hidden, 1


hidest, 1


“And these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever” is just telling us that God veils His purpose for all things, for only His children to discover and remember.

Obviously, this is not exactly what is said in English, but we know that the physical stones are no longer setup as a memorial for the physical Jews to ask their fathers about, so we can conclude that there is another meaning that is hidden within these passages.

The Israelites are going to do as instructed and gather the stones up.

Jos 4:8  And the children of Israel did so as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the midst of Jordan, as the LORD spake unto Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them unto the place where they lodged, and laid them down there.
Jos 4:9  And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant stood: and they are there unto this day.
Jos 4:10  For the priests which bare the ark stood in the midst of Jordan, until every thing was finished that the LORD commanded Joshua to speak unto the people, according to all that Moses commanded Joshua: and the people hasted and passed over.
Jos 4:11  And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over, that the ark of the LORD passed over, and the priests, in the presence of the people.

This is one of those miracles that captures the imagination. It had to be a momentous occasion for the people of Israel. Yet, we know the miracles done to, for and around the people of God soon wane in their strength to hold their attention.

This isn’t going to happen right away, but the Lord did want to mark the occasion in His own way, and He did so with stones.

Stones have been used throughout scripture for many reasons whether to erect an altar or to mark an occasion such as we read about here. However, the chief cornerstone always comes to mind when speaking about stones in general.

1Pe 2:4  To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
1Pe 2:5  Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
1Pe 2:6  Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
1Pe 2:7  Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
1Pe 2:8  And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

The foundation of needing to cross the river Jordan is truly needed for all Christians. It is spiritual for us of course, but we are living stones which follow after THE Living Stone.

It is the same Greek word mentioned above for the word “living” and “lively”, G2198.

The river Jordan is where John the Baptist preached all around it (Luk 3:3), and it is the river Jordan that Jesus was baptized (Mar 1:9-10).

It is straightway coming out of the Jordan water that the Holy Spirit descended like a dove unto Jesus; therefore, the symbolism of the Jordan and the baptism in it is something that all Christians should recognize.

Just like with the foundation of the church by the 12 disciples, these twelve priests established a “monument of stones” which let everyone know that they themselves had witnessed this event and were letting everyone know this by their actions with the stones.

1Jn 1:1  That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;

As such and keeping in context of our story in Joshua today, we need to recognize that war is imminent and to be prepared for when we are talking about the Jordan river.

Jos 4:12  And the children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh,     passed over armed before the children of Israel, as Moses spake unto them:
Jos 4:13  About forty thousand prepared for war passed over before the LORD unto   battle, to the plains of Jericho.

Jesus came out of the river and immediately was taken into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. The children of Israel show us this in type and shadow as they enter into the promised land.

What does this mean for us as Christians? Are we not supposed to be ready for war as well?

Mat 10:34  Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
Mat 10:35  For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
Mat 10:36  And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

Are we not to be ready to fight?

Jos 10:24  And it came to pass, when they brought out those kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him, Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings. And they came near, and put their feet upon the necks of them.
Jos 10:25  And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight.

1Ti 6:12  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

2Ti 4:6  For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
2Ti 4:7  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

Do we not wrestle?

Eph 6:10  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Eph 6:11  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Eph 6:13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Eph 6:14  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
Eph 6:15  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Eph 6:16  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Eph 6:17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Eph 6:18  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Like the children of Israel, when we cross over into the promised land we are not simply going to have it easy-peasy. We are going to have to wage war against the inhabitants.

Only, the enemies we face are within ourselves AND within others. This is what is meant by we shall be hated by all men for His names sake.

Luk 21:14  Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:
Luk 21:15  For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
Luk 21:16  And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.
Luk 21:17  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake.
Luk 21:18  But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
Luk 21:19  In your patience possess ye your souls.

We must be ready to enter into the promised land and lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily besets us so that we can do the will of God.

Heb 12:1  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Heb 12:2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

In the awesome hands 160 study given on Saturday, I mentioned Faith a lot. The way we make war and run the race for the prize of the makr of the high calling is to keep our focus on Jesus whom we are “looking unto”.

When we faulter and look away from Jesus for just a second, we sink into the sea of humanity of which we have come from.

Mat 14:24  But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
Mat 14:25  And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
Mat 14:26  And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
Mat 14:27  But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
Mat 14:28  And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
Mat 14:29  And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
Mat 14:30  But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
Mat 14:31  And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
Mat 14:32  And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.

If we want the wind to cease, we must “come into the ship”, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a storm happening. It just means the tossing to and frow doesn’t affect is and cause us to go off course.

Jos 4:14  On that day the LORD magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they feared him, as they feared Moses, all the days of his life.
Jos 4:15  And the LORD spake unto Joshua, saying,
Jos 4:16  Command the priests that bear the ark of the testimony, that they come up out of Jordan.
Jos 4:17  Joshua therefore commanded the priests, saying, Come ye up out of Jordan.
Jos 4:18  And it came to pass, when the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD were come up out of the midst of Jordan, and the soles of the priests' feet were lifted up unto the dry land, that the waters of Jordan returned unto their place, and flowed over all his banks, as they did before.

Isn’t it amazing that when we listen to the voice of the Lord, the water takes its perfect course? It is the wind the stirs up or hold back the water.

It was the wind that was contrary to the waves that caused the waves to go to and fro and knock the ship around. It was the Lord who contained the waters of the Jordan in their place until the time was right for the waters to “return to their place”.

It is always the Lord who controls the wind and the water, so what are we concerned about that causes us to fear others when we should be fearing the Lord?

Jos 4:19  And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho.
Jos 4:20  And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal.
Jos 4:21  And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones?
Jos 4:22  Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land.
Jos 4:23  For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over:
Jos 4:24  That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.

Notice the message is still the same for us today. “When your children shall ask their fathers in the time to come, saying, What mean these stones?”, it is then that we say it is the Lord who dried up the waters of the Jordan before you ….. that all the people of the earth might know the mighty hand of the Lord! 

We are constantly to remind ourselves, and the children of God, that He is in control of everything. He controls the earth, the water, and the wind. He controls it all.

That is to say, He controls everything we are made of both physically and spiritually. We are made of earth and water and His spirit, His wind, and we are in a good mighty hand.

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