In part one of this blog, I discussed how the parting of the Red Sea teaches us the ever-important lesson that salvation is of the Lord. If we truly believe this, the second lesson naturally follows: that God will bring our salvation to completion. If salvation is of the Lord, he will complete it. There is nothing we can do to thwart his plan. Let the explanation of this truth through the consideration of the miracle at the Jordan River be of encouragement to our hearts!
Lesson 2: God will bring our salvation to completion.
Moving from the Red Sea in Exodus 14 to the third chapter of Joshua, Israel finds themselves at another obstacle to the entering of the promised land: the Jordan River. They arrive here after forty long years of wandering in the wilderness. They have also lost their great leader, Moses, and have begun to follow his protégé, Joshua. Could he lead them in the same manner as Moses? Was he capable of leading them into the promised land? Was God still with them as he was before? Would he complete the salvation he started in Egypt, or would he leave them to die on the other side of the Jordan? Surely Israel found themselves asking these questions.
Fortunately, at these waters, there isn’t an impeding army behind them. However, there is a great host of hostile nations waiting for them beyond the Jordan. The land that God promised Israel was inhabited by other wicked nations that they had to drive out to be able to settle in the land. They would have to conquer them in battle to attain possession of the land. But first, they had to cross the Jordan River, which we are told was overflowing at that time of year (Josh. 3:15).
The Lord tells Joshua, “Here is how you shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out the nations before you…the waters of the Jordan shall bet cut off from flowing, and the waters coming down from above shall stand in one heap” (Joshua 3:10-13). God would repeat the miracle of parting the Red Sea by stopping the Jordan River from flowing, and his purpose is clear: to remind Israel that He is with them and will complete the salvation he started in Egypt by driving out the people before them in the promised land.
The parting of the Red Sea and the subsequent parting of the Jordan River models God’s faithfulness to bring to completion the salvation he starts. He started Israel’s salvation through the exodus from Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea, and he continues to lead them in their salvation by parting the Jordan River. He will not abandon his people – such would be inconsistent with his character as a faithful, promise-keeping God – and would make Israel powerful enough to thwart his plans and promises. Even after years of rebellion, God in his patience was still with them (Josh. 3:7), and this fact guaranteed that He would bring their salvation to completion. For those of us in Christ, God has begun the work of salvation in us, and is with us by His Spirit, who is our guarantee of future salvation. Consider Paul’s words to the Ephesians,
“In him [Christ] you also, when you heard the word of truth, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it” (Eph. 1:13-14).
Paul likewise tells the Philippians, “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6). He tells us in Romans that there is nothing in all of creation that can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:39). We have as much power to thwart God’s plans for completing our salvation us as the Israelites did to prevent the river from ceasing flow. Aren’t we part of “all creation?” (Rom. 8:39). Simply put, no true Christian can ever lose their salvation. Therefore, we may take heart that this salvation we have experienced is (1) wholly of the Lord, and (2) will be brought to completion by Him!