Songs from Joshua: Monuments
Each week, we will go through the books of the Bible, looking at a song that illustrates a passage from each book.
The story of the Israelites’ journey from Egypt to the Promised Land spans from Exodus to the early chapters of Joshua. In Joshua 3, they finally arrive. As they reach the banks of the river Jordan, God instructs Moses:
This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee. And thou shalt command the priests that bear the ark of the covenant, saying, When ye are come to the brink of the water of Jordan, ye shall stand still in Jordan (Joshua 3:7b-8, KJV).
Joshua, in turn, instructs the people:
Come hither, and hear the words of the Lord your God. And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites. Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passeth over before you into Jordan. Now therefore take you twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, out of every tribe a man. 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 3:9b-13).
That is exactly what happened. As verse 17 states: “And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.”
Chapter 4 discuses God’s instructions to Joshua to have the children of Israel construct a memorial commemorating this miracle. The classic Wilburns / Legacy Five song “Monuments” recounts this story: