Uncharted Territory – Uncertain Times by David Jeremiah
In this video
let me ask you a question what do you draw on a map when you come to the edge of the worlda as you know it do you know that back during Roman times map makers would often write the words quote here are the Lions to mark the areas that they had never before explored later during medieval days adventurers would draw dragons and sea serpents and other ominous-looking fictional animals on the edges of their maps the sketches of dangerous beasts and mythical sea creatures invoke the harm that sailors feared to encounter when entering previously uncharted territory well you know today it seems that is where we find ourselves on the edge of the world as we know it anxious to find out what lies ahead and it reminds me of another time when a nation of some three million people face their own uncharted territory the stories told in Joshua chapter three and it may be the best passage in the Bible to get us ready for what’s ahead you see Joshua and the people of Israel were about to experience the greatest moment in their nation’s history the land which almighty God had promised to their father Abraham was now in sight in the book of Deuteronomy Moses described that land in these graphic terms here’s what he said for the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land a land of Brooks of water of fountains and springs that flow out of the valleys and hills a land of wheat and barley of vines and fig trees and pomegranates a land of olive oil and honey a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity in which you will lack nothing a land whose stones are iron and whose Hills you can dig copper this land that Moses wrote about was a special place that God had promised to his people it was actually called the promised land and throughout her history the people of Israel looked forward to the day when they would occupy this special territory forty years before this moment Israel had been on the verge of going into the land and God had sent 12 spies into the land unfortunately for that generation when the spies returned to Kadesh Barnea 10 of them were overwhelmed with the what-ifs of entering the promised land in numbers chapter 13 we read these words and they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out saying the land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature God was pretty angry with that generation because of their unbelief and he promised that they would never see the land and so in Joshua 5 6 we read and the children of Israel walked 40 years in the wilderness till all the people who were men of war who came out of Egypt were consumed because they did not obey the voice of the Lord so after 40 years of wandering in the desert because of their disobedience the people of Israel are now standing on the border of their fulfilled dream behind them lay the wilderness and the graves of their disobedient parents who had not believed God but before them awaiting their possession was the land that flowed with milk and honey the land of promise the Bible tells us that between the Israelites and the fulfillment of their dreams stood the Jordan River now the Jordan River was not usually a frightening body of water I mean most of the time it was about 100 feet wide but during the spring harvest season the river rose to the flood stage it overflowed its banks and instead of being 100 feet wide it was 1 mile wide if you could pick one time in the year when you did not want to cross the Jordan River it was during the spring harvest season and that was the time that God determined for his people to cross over it seems as if God was making this just about as hard a faith test as he could can you imagine the thoughts that were going through their minds wandering in the wilderness was all they knew and now the Lord God is telling them to go to a land that they had only heard about from their fathers I mean yes it was a good land but it was also a frightening land they had heard the stories of the Giants that were in the land they had heard that in this land there were fortified cities where the people were armed and dangerous in fact for the first time in their history they had heard about iron implements of warfare and now God had placed them at the Jordan River during the flood stage oh how God loves to put us in situations where it is visually evident that we are powerless to succeed without him it’s been his pattern and if you read the Bible that’s why he removed more than 30,000 soldiers from Gideon’s army that’s why they heated the furnace seven times hotter for three Hebrew children that’s why they poured buckets of water on Elijah sacrifice that’s why Jesus didn’t show up until Lazarus had been dead for four days you see without intervention there was no way three million people could ever cross over the Jordan River when it was at flood stage but the Bible says the people of God were commanded to cross over a little cross over is a phrase in the Hebrew language it means not just to go from point A to point B it means to go from what is known to what is unknown the Bible tells us that the Israelites were brought to the bank of the Jordan River and God left them there for three days before he let them cross some scholars believe that God did that on purpose so that the people would have three days of visual reminders that they were about to experience a miracle from God you know it’s awesome to consider these thoughts on the threshold of tomorrow we’re going into uncharted territory ourselves let’s face it we do not know what this year holds for us so many things have happened in this surreal year that we couldn’t possibly have anticipated what happened they did and there are going to be things that will happen this year that we could not have possibly anticipated either we have no control over them so how do we get through the Jordan rivers of our lives as I processed this Old Testament story I discovered three things that God did to help his people get ready for this new chapter in their lives these are truths that worked for them that apply to us and I will tell the story as it was told in the scripture but I want to apply it with our outline as if it is all about us today because I promise you it is first of all when we face uncharted territory we have the provision of God behind us the place to start when facing uncharted territory is the past look over your shoulder at what God has already done in your life in fact Moses asks the people to do just this in the book of Deuteronomy here’s what he wrote this is in Deuteronomy chapter 8 and verse 2 and you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness to Humble you and test you to know what was in your heart whether you would keep his commandment or not now the word remember is a word which means to mark out to set aside to underline to highlight so what had God done for his people what did they have in their memory bank that they could count on to give them encouragement as they looked at the future well for 40 years God’s people had been wandering in the desert but God had miraculously cared for them their journey in the desert was one miracle after another they entered the desert by way of the Red Sea crossing which was a miracle and every day for the entire 40 years every day that they were in the desert they had been supernaturally led by God they were led by a pillar of cloud during the day and by a pillar of fire during the night and whenever the pillar of fire and the pillar of cloud would move the people would move and when it stopped they would stop the people of Israel knew exactly what to do and where to go every single day you see God had miraculously sustained them in ways that you and I could not possibly comprehend I want to read a couple of verses that you will find hard to believe especially if you’re in charge of buying the clothes for your family Deuteronomy chapter 8 and verse 4 your garments did not wear out on you nor did your foot swell these 40 years and Deuteronomy chapter 29 and verse 5 and I have led you 40 years in the wilderness your clothes have not worn out on you and your sandals have not worn out on your feet God gave them clothing and shoes that lasted for 40 years I mean where can you buy that today God was providentially caring for his people yes they were under judgment for their unbelief but God in His grace and in His mercy was still bearing them up in his loving hands and caring for every need they had there was no grocery store there was no clothing store if God had not miraculously provided for them they would have perished in the wilderness some time ago I clipped an article out of a magazine written by an army general who was interested in this episode of the children of Israel in the wilderness the general tried to figure out what it would have taken to care for three million people in the wilderness for 40 years according to the US Army quartermaster general Moses needed 1,500 tons of food per day that would fill two freight trains each a mile long and that one dollar per meal per person the cost of food alone would have been 9 million dollars every day in today’s standards and since they were in the desert they would need firewood to cook the food this took 4,000 tons of firewood which bit would be more freight trains each a mile long every day and they would have to have water if they only had to have enough water to drink and wash a few dishes not even bathe it would take 11 million gallons per day that is enough to fill a train of tanker cars around 2 miles just to bring water but God didn’t use any freight trains every day he dropped their food right in front of their tent every day a special delivery was waiting for them and for 40 years they ate manna the manna wasn’t all that tasty but it sustained them and God faithfully supplied it every single day and he supplied their water in miraculous ways too in fact the basic needs of the Israelites had not one time failed to be met by God for 40 years during their wilderness wandering you say pastor Jeremiah why is that important well the people of Israel were standing on the bank of the Jordan River and their hearts were filled with fear about the unknown just like many of us are right now as we try to figure out what’s going to happen next in the midst of this virus but behind them was the memory of the provision of God that he had made for them every year for 40 years sometime over this next week I want you to do something for me I want you to write down ten things God has provided for you last year keep that list in place where you can get to it on an occasion when you get a little discouraged or a little afraid or your wonder if God is involved in your life go back and see what he’s done he hasn’t changed and he isn’t gonna change his love for you today is just as secure as it was yesterday you can count on it so the first thing that we have when we face uncharted territory is the provision of God behind us secondly we have the presence of God beside us once again reading from Joshua chapter 3 verses one through three here’s what the scripture says then Joshua rose early in the morning and they sent out from acacia Grove and came to the Jordan he and all the children of Israel and they lodged there before they crossed over so it was after three days that the officers went through the camp and they commanded the people saying when you see the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord your God and the priests the Levites bearing it then you shall set out from your place and go after it now if you study the Bible you’ll notice that when things are repeated a lot that happens to be the focus of what’s being said and the central focus of Joshua chapter three and four is the Ark of the Covenant the Ark of the Covenant appears in those two chapters by name seventeen times and it is alluded to by the pronoun it five times so in those two chapters 22 times you will find a reference to the Ark of the Covenant now in the desert the pillar of cloud and fire were visible signs of God’s leading his people they were not to move until the sign was evident but the presence of God was always symbolized by the Ark of the Covenant now the Ark of the Covenant was a box about 45 inches long and about 27 inches deep and and wide and in this box the box had a lid on it and there were gold rings on each corner of the box and these rings were there so that the poles which carried the box could be pushed through those rings in the Box could be picked up and carried on the shoulders of some of the Israelites but I started to say inside of this Ark were copies of the law God gave to Moses also inside was a portion of the manna from the desert which God had provided and the rod of Aaron that budded these were the contents of the Ark of the Covenant the Ark was associated with the light and glory and direction and presence of God and if you study the Old Testament you know the history of the Old Testament that when the Ark of the Covenant was removed from the people of God defeat was experienced but when the Ark was brought back then victory happened you will see this referenced in verses 10 and 11 of chapter 3 here’s what it says and Joshua said by this you shall know that the Living God is among you and that he will without fail drive out them before you the Canaanites and the Hittites and the highlights and the perizzites and the girgashites and the amorite and the jebusites behold the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord of all the earth is crossing over before you into the Jordan now this piece of furniture this Ark of the Covenant reminded the Israelites that the Living God of all the earth was with them and would go with them wherever they went and don’t miss this as the people of Israel were getting ready to cross over the Jordan River they were given very specific instructions about the distance we know that word don’t we the distance they should keep between themselves and the Ark of the Covenant Joshua chapter 3 verse forces it this way you show there shall be a space beach you in it about 2,000 cubits by measure do not come near it that you may know the way by which you must go for you have not passed this way before now the Bible says 2,000 cubits that’s a distance of about 3,000 feet or 1/2 mile in other words the Ark of the Covenant was to stay far enough out in front of this horde of people that as they headed toward the river all of them could see it and if the ark had been too close to the people at the front end of the March it would have been hidden from the people at the rear end of the March and then the perimeters of the March so the ark had to be seen by everyone not just the leaders in the front but by everyone you see Almighty God was teaching a lesson here he was teaching that leaders are important but each of us need to keep our eyes on God individually it’s not enough for us to see God through the eyes of others we need to see God through our own eyes especially when we’re facing uncharted territory when God leads us into the unknown we better keep him in our sight if you don’t the raging Jordan rivers in your life will fill your heart with fear and discouragement like Peter who was walking on the water remember he took his eyes off the Lord and he began to sink that’s what happens to us in our circumstances – I want to show you three more things about God’s presence with us in our times of transition the best way to do this is to read three passages from Joshua chapters three and four let’s read Joshua chapter three verse 6 then Joshua spoke to the priests saying take up the Ark of the Covenant and cross over before the people so they took up the Ark of the Covenant and went before the people Joshua 3 6 here’s the next one Joshua 3:17 then the priests who board the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan and all Israel crossed over on dry ground until all the people had crossed completely over the Jordan and the last verse Joshua 4:11 and it came to pass when all the people had completely crossed over that the arc of the Lord and the priests crossed over in the presence of the people now folks watch carefully as the Israelites were preparing to take this journey through the Jordan River the priests with the Ark of the Covenant representing the presence of God were to go ahead of them but they weren’t to go all the way through the REE all the way through the riverbed to the other side the scripture says they went to the middle of the riverbed and they stood in the middle of the Jordan River while all the people of Israel passed before them the Ark of the Covenant came in behind them and followed them into the banks of Canaan God through his ark was going before them he was staying with them in the midst of their journey and he was following up behind them when the journey was over and that’s exactly how God works he goes before us he’s the captain of our salvation he goes with us he’s a manual God with us and he follows after us protecting us from behind what a wonderful picture of the presence of Almighty God in your life and mine during this very stressful time I make Isaiah was thinking of this event when he wrote these wonderful words isaiah 40:3 one through five but now thus says the Lord who created you O Jacob and he who found you O Israel fear not for I have redeemed you I have called you by your name you are mine when you pass through the waters I will be with you and through the rivers they shall not overflow you when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned nor shall the flame scorch you for I am the Lord your God and I have loved you fear not for I am with you the provision of God behind us and the presence of God beside us and the promise of God before us here’s what the next verses say watch this from the scripture as soon as the priest bearing the ark put their feet into the river the water stopped flowing and stood like a wall about 20 miles upstream that wall of water was probably in place for an entire day as the soft bottom of the river became clay the Israelites walk through the Jordan River on dry land and they didn’t have to clean their shoes off when they arrived on the other side the crossing of the Jordan River mirrors what happened to the Israelites on their way into the wilderness as they came through the Red Sea God was sending a message to them by making these two experiences very similar the God who had begun this journey with them forty years ago had not changed and he was still delivering his people how do we take this teaching and incorporate it into our own lives the God who goes before us the God who’s with us in the midst of it and the God who follows after us how do we take this teaching and put it into operation well let me suggest some things as we draw to a conclusion in this message first of all just as then this is a time for consecration remember Joshua said to the people sanctify yourselves for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you and you know it’s a very interesting thing when you talk about being sanctified I remember as a young pastor we used to have a lady in our church who used to stand up every time we had a testimony meeting and say she was saved and she was sanctified and she would sit down and I wasn’t really sure what she meant what does it mean to be sanctified well the word actually means to be set apart like the seventh day was set apart to God or the firstborn son was set apart to God or a certain kind of people among the Israelites were set apart unto God to sanctify means to set apart uniquely for the Lord to dedicate it to him to make it totally his so when Joshua told the people to sanctify themselves he was commanding them to prepare their hearts to get ready spiritually he was telling them to confess their sins to put away their foreign gods to get out of the bad habits they may have cultivated in the wilderness and they began walking with God in the purity of heart men and women is we’re experiencing this time of sheltering what better thing could we do than to take some time to examine our own lives and to make sure that everything is right between us and God I believe God wants to do great things in our lives but he will not pour out his blessing if we are not prepared to receive it so first of all we are in a place where this is a time for consecration secondly this is a time for courage before God piled up the waters of the Jordan River and great heaps and left a path wide enough for three million people to cross over into the promised land he gave the Israelites these instructions Joshua 3 verse 13 and it shall come to pass as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests who beared the Ark of the Lord the Lord of all the earth shall rest in the waters of the Jordan that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off the waters that come down from upstream and they shall stand as a heap now please hear what happened the priests were to rest the soles of their feet in the water of the Jordan before God would part it Almighty God was not going to do what he promised to do until the people obeyed him their obedience probably didn’t make a great deal of sense to them at the time but the Bible says they walked down to the river and when the priests put their feet in the swelling Jordan at that moment that they exercised faith God performed his miracle you know folks many people hit a dead end in their faith journey because they’re waiting for God to go first if the Israelites had waited for God to part the Jordan River they would still be waiting faith is taking the first step before God parts the river son was asked once what they did with the promises of God in the Bible and they said I underlined them in blue if God is going to bless your life let me tell you something friends you have to do more than underline his promises you have to believe them you have to believe God’s promises and then act upon them if you’re going to know the blessing of God you have to have the courage to obey God’s promises are not for underlining God’s promises are for obeying and when we obey God’s promises he works wonders in our lives many of us are seeing that illustrated in profound ways during this coronavirus time as we move through this pandemic and we begin to think of its impact and its effect many people are asking what’s going to happen now and as I talked to people some are predicting the worst I mean the world will never be the same they say we’ll never go back to normal of the pessimism about the impact of this pandemic is almost as bad as the pandemic itself so I’ve been thinking about this a lot and one night last week I couldn’t hardly sleep I almost didn’t sleep at all asking this question what do you say to people who predict such a dire post pandemic life well I’m not a prophet and I’m not the son of a prophet I do have a prophet’s name I cannot tell you what God is going to do with this time of sheltering but I can tell you what God has done during and after times of sheltering in the past and once you review the truth of history as I describe it below I think you’ll know what he’s going to do this time – God sheltered Noah and his family for one year in the ark until Noah emerged to become the father of all the nations of the world God sheltered Jacob in the home of his uncle Laban when he needed to escape the wrath of Esau his brother and 20 years later Jacob emerged with a new family new wealth and a new identity he became Israel the new name for God’s chosen people God sheltered Joseph from his seventeenth year to his thirtieth but his slavery and became the school where God prepared him for greatness God sheltered Moses in a remote desert for 40 years but Moses came forth to liberate the Jewish people from Egypt God sheltered Naomi in the barren land of Moab until she nearly became bitter but she and her daughter-in-law Ruth traveled to Bethlehem to participate in one of the greatest love stories of history God sheltered David for 15 years after he had been anointed king of Israel and when David finally assumed the throne he was a man after God’s own heart and he gave us many of the Psalms God sheltered Elijah by the brook Cherith and after the sheltering he stood alone against the prophets of Bale on Mount Carmel God sheltered Jonah for three days and three nights in the belly of a whale and when the sheltering was over Jonah went to Nineveh and preach history’s greatest revival God sheltered Daniel for seventy years in Babylon where he wrote this Old Testament book bearing his name outlining the future of God’s dealings with his people God sheltered Esther while in the palace of the Persian king and she saved her people from destruction God sheltered the disciples in the upper room for ten days until the Holy Spirit descended in dramatic fashion to form and fashion the church God’s sheltered Paul in the Arabian desert for three years and when he came back he turned the world upside down God later sheltered Paul in a Roman prison and by the time the Apostle was free he had written the prison epistles Ephesians Philippians Colossians and Philemon God sheltered the Apostle John on the Isle of Patmos and the book of Revelation the greatest prophetic document of all time was given to us lastly and most incredibly God’s sheltered Jesus in a tomb for three days and on the third day Jesus came forth in power to bring salvation to the whole world so no I don’t know all the details about what God is is going to do but what I do know is what he has done and that is what we can count on the God who sheltered his people in biblical days won’t stop now so come what may I’m trusting in the sheltering God to be my refuge and so can you men and women our God is a start-over God he created his world so that every 24 hours we start a new day and every seven days we start a new week and every four or five weeks we start a new month God could have just run all that time together in one package with no breaks and no places to start over but he did not do that in his compassion and grace he made places for us to begin again and I think at this time when God has pushed the pause button on the whole world he’s given us a chance to start again to start over Jesus Christ came into this world so that you and I can start over the Bible says if anyone is in Christ he is a new creature when we accept Jesus Christ into our hearts we call it being born again and when we follow Jesus in our lives old things pass away and behold all things become new so as we stand on the threshold of restarting what an opportunity God has put in our hands does it matter what you were doing before this pandemic hit you you can start again this can be your defining moment Jesus is calling you he wants to save you he wants to bless you he wants to use you and fill you with a sense of purpose and joy the Bible is filled with promises he wants to come true in your life but listen promises aren’t made for underlining promises are made for believing and obeying will you believe God’s promise will you accept what he has said as true will you if you have never done so before accept Jesus Christ as your Savior will you believe that he has promised that whoever comes to him he will never turn anyone away if you have never received Jesus Christ person we will you take the opportunity of this moment wherever you are whatever situation you may find yourself in to just come to this virtual altar and bow your head and close your eyes and pray this prayer after me dear God I know that I am a sinner and that I have failed you in many ways that I cannot live up to your holy standard because it is perfect but I believe you sent Jesus Christ into this world to be my savior and I want to receive him today this weekend I want to receive him as my Lord and Savior invite him into my heart accept his forgiveness of my sin and I want to become a follower of Jesus Christ Lord God please forgive me and Jesus Christ I accept you as my savior if you have prayed that prayer if you have made that decision there’s a place somewhere on your screen where you can click that you have done so it encourages us to know that you’ve done it and if you want more information to help you get started I hope you will let us know how we can do that there’s a place for that on the screen now we head out for a new week many new challenges many predictions many things that we won’t understand but let’s take what we’ve learned in the lesson from the Bible let’s listen to the promises of God let’s don’t just underline them let’s live in light of them with gratitude and Thanksgiving may God bless you and give you a wonderful week of victory in your walk with Christ.
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We are now living in the absolute End Times as per biblical prophecy.
Our Lord Jesus Christ – King of Kings. 2nd Coming and return is IMMENINT!.
Please do not waist another a minute.
No matter what religion you serve, there is only one God.
If, you want to be assured that you will not have to endure the perilous times that will befall you.
Irrespective, of what sins you may have committed at any time of your life. If you humble yourself and ask for God’s forgiveness. He will forgive you and wash them all away and welcome you as his beloved son or daughter with open arms.
If you are not a child of Father God or have not asked Jesus Christ to come into your life yet?
I implore you to do this without delay.
Read this prayer of Salvation and ask God to forgive you now and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and you will be assured of eternal life.