And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap. – Joshua 3:13
Text: Joshua 3:7-17
Props: a poster of SpongeBob SquarePants and/or a yellow sponge
Summary: God held back the water in the Jordan River to make a dry path for the Israelites to pass over into Canaan, the Promised Land. The Lord Jesus is the way through whatever problems may be keeping us from going where God wants us to go or doing what God wants us to do.
Are you ready, kids? Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? (SpongeBob SquarePants ®) Do you like the TV show on Nickelodeon called SpongeBob SquarePants? (Show the poster if you have one.) Who is your favorite character? (Listen to responses.) The characters are SpongeBob (sponge) and his pet snail Gary, Patrick Star (starfish), Squidward Tentacles (squid), the boss Mr. Krabs (crab), and Sandy Cheeks (sea-domed squirrel).) I like Patrick because he is SpongeBob’s loyal friend and sticks up for him no matter what kind of problem they face. SpongeBob always looks on the bright side of things and gets along with everyone, so I can see how he could easily be your favorite character.
Today I want to talk about an invisible sponge. Invisible means you cannot see it. Look at this yellow sponge that you CAN see. (Show yellow sponge.) It is full of holes, yet it holds water because it can soak up water. This small sponge might be handy in the kitchen if I spill a glass of milk because it will help me clean up the mess. But what if I wanted to soak up the water in a large river? It would take a very big sponge to do that! But God did that one day for the children of Israel.
After Moses died, Joshua became the leader of the Israelites as they were about to enter Canaan, the Promised Land. Joshua was ready to follow God but he had a problem. He needed to get the people across the Jordan River but there was no bridge to cross over. God was ready for them to enter Canaan. And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the Lord will do wonders among you. (Joshua 3:5) Joshua told them to get ready for a miracle!
God told Joshua to get the priests to carry the Ark of the Covenant and stop as soon as their feet were in the water. The people were told to follow about a half mile behind. Joshua told the people that God would stop the water in a heap so they could pass through on dry ground. Let’s read what happened. (Read Joshua 3:14-17.)
Wow! It was as if God’s hand came down with an invisible sponge that started soaking up water! The waters coming down the river must have looked like they were running into a glass wall, heaping up higher and higher, while the water that was cut off continued to empty until the river bed was dry. God made a way for his people to pass over on dry ground to enjoy the blessings of the Promised Land. What an awesome God we serve!
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have problems like SpongeBob. God wants us to enjoy the blessings he has prepared for us. If we are facing a problem then we need to stand still and trust the Lord Jesus to help us in that situation. The Lord Jesus is the way through whatever problems may be keeping us from going where God wants us to go or doing what God wants us to do. Let’s close with a prayer. Dear Lord Jesus, help me to trust you with my problems. Amen.
Alternate Introduction: Red carpet is used to create a path for important people at important events. God “rolled out the red carpet” for the Israelites to enter Canaan.
©2002 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.
SpongeBob SquarePants ®, Nickelodeon ®, and all related titles, logos, and characters are registered trademarks of Viacom International Inc. Image above is copyrighted by Viacom International Inc.
This article was written by Jim