Joshua 1:1-2 Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ servant, saying, “Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel. nasu
It is time. Receive the promise. Cross the Jordan, walk the inheritance. It is yours, and you will own it when you live on it. That is the opening message of the Book of Joshua. The details of this crossing will be the subject of our ladies devotions class for this year. But for this morning, the important message is that the people have been called to “cross over” or to be a Hebrew. But what does that mean?
To be a Hebrew in the most technical sense is to be a descendant of Noah’s grandson Eber, a son of Shem. The letter Hey (meaning “behold”) is prefixed to Eber and has a vav suffix (which connects the word to what comes after), making our modern transliteration, Hebrew.
During the time of Nimrod, the evil leader of Babel, who was known for being a hunter of men, Eber (Genesis 10:21-25 and Luke 3:35 for instance) and his family refused to participate in the rebellion of Nimrod. They “crossed over” the river Euphrates to an unknown land, looking for the place God would provide for them. By doing so they were exempt from the confusion of languages at Babel and were able to keep their “Hebrew” language.
Who are the Hebrews today? Certainly they are the descendants of Eber through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob-Israel. Hebrews are also a spiritual people. They are “separated” from the world of men who follow or submit to other powerful men. They have left the comfort and familiarity of where they were (places like Babel) to live for God. They are pilgrims, or sojourners on this earth, looking for the city of God.
Like Eber, those who believe in God through his only begotten son Jesus separate themselves from the world, meaning from the normal pattern of living in the world. We look to Jesus as the one who can lead us, not to men. Spiritually we have “crossed over” to a new land, heaven is our home. We are living on earth, but it is not our home. We, like Abraham are looking for the home that God has provided for us through Jesus. We live in a way that pleases God, not ourselves. That is how Jesus lived.
The motto of Hebrews is, “Come out of her (Babylon) my people!” Do not partake of her sins, that you do not receive of her plagues. (Revelation 18:4) This is the reason we are told to memorize and meditate on the word of God. To live in the world but not of it.
How about you? Have you crossed over? Will you?
Mrs. Hagerty, September 21, 2015