As teenagers, we often find ourselves navigating through various challenges and uncertainties. In these moments, it is crucial for us to grow in our faith and trust in God’s promises. The story of Joshua and the Israelites crossing the Jordan River (Joshua 3:7-17) teaches us valuable lessons about stepping into the unknown with confidence and witnessing God’s faithfulness.
In Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37, we see a beautiful expression of gratitude to God for His steadfast love and deliverance. Both passages encourage us to embrace God’s promises, step out in faith, and experience His mighty works firsthand.
Bible Reading: Joshua 3:7-17
(Joshua 3:7-17 NIV)
7 And the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses. 8 Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river.'”
9 Joshua said to the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of the LORD your God. 10 This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites. 11 See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you. 12 Now then, choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. 13 And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the LORD—the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.”
14 So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. 15 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, 16 the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17 The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.
- God promised to exalt Joshua and assure the Israelites of His presence (Joshua 3:7).
- The priests were instructed to carry the ark of the covenant and step into the Jordan River (Joshua 3:8).
- Joshua emphasized that this miraculous event would serve as a sign to the people that the living God was among them (Joshua 3:10).
- The moment the priests’ feet touched the water, the flow ceased and formed a heap upstream, allowing the Israelites to cross on dry ground (Joshua 3:14-17).
- How do you think Joshua must have felt knowing that he had the responsibility of leading the Israelites across the flooded Jordan River?
- Can you recall a time when you had to step out in faith and trust God’s guidance? How did it strengthen your relationship with Him?
- Why do you think God often asks us to take action before He reveals His miraculous provision?
- In what ways can we apply the lesson of crossing the Jordan in our lives as teenagers today?
Bible Reading: Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37
(Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37 NIV)
1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
2 Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story—those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, 3 those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south.
4 Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. 5 They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. 6 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. 7 He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle.
33 He turned rivers into a desert, flowing springs into thirsty ground, 34 and fruitful land into a salt waste because of the wickedness of those who lived there.
35 He turned the desert into pools of water and the parched ground into flowing springs; 36 there he brought the hungry to live, and they founded a city where they could settle. 37 They sowed fields and planted vineyards that yielded a fruitful harvest.
- The psalmist begins by encouraging gratitude towards God for His goodness and enduring love (Psalm 107:1).
- The redeemed are urged to share their stories of deliverance from the enemy’s grasp (Psalm 107:2-3).
- The psalmist describes a scenario where people wandered in desolation, experiencing hunger and thirst (Psalm 107:4-5).
- When they cried out to the Lord, He delivered them from their distress and led them to a place of settlement (Psalm 107:6-7).
- The psalmist further highlights how God can transform barren and wicked areas into flourishing and fruitful lands (Psalm 107:33-37).
- How does gratitude impact our perspective on God’s goodness and love?
- Why is it important for believers to share their testimonies of deliverance and redemption?
- Can you think of a time when you felt lost or stranded, but God provided a way out for you? Share your experience.
- How does God’s ability to transform desolation into abundance give us hope in challenging times?
Youth Group Game: “River Crossing Challenge”
Divide the youth into teams and set up an obstacle course that represents crossing a river. Use stepping stones, ropes, and other creative elements to simulate the challenge. Each team must navigate the course as quickly as possible without touching the “water.” The team that successfully crosses the river first wins.
This game serves as a reminder of the Israelites crossing the Jordan River and encourages teamwork, problem-solving, and perseverance.
Dear Heavenly Father,
We thank You for the powerful stories of faith and deliverance found in the passages we explored today. Help us, as teenagers, to grow in our trust in Your promises and step out in faith, even when faced with uncertainty. May we always remember Your goodness and love, knowing that You are with us in every situation.
Grant us the courage to share our testimonies and experiences of Your faithfulness with others, so that they too may be encouraged in their own faith journey.
As we face challenges and desolate situations, remind us that You have the power to transform them into places of abundance and fruitfulness. Strengthen our resolve to trust in Your provision and guidance, knowing that You are always working for our good.
In Jesus’ name, we pray.