Social Distancing

“Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand 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."

Joshua 3:4  

I don’t know who is leading you through this COVID-19 pandemic but I pray with all my heart you are following the leading of the Lord and putting your hope and trust in Him. An old saying came to mind today as I read different news accounts and then listened to conflicting reports, “An army of sheep led by a lion is better than an army of lions led by a sheep.” That pretty much sums it up. We do well to follow the Lion of the tribe of Judah and trust in Him. If there is anything we all know for certain today from all the scientific evidence that we have been given this past month is, “there is no such thing as exact science.”  

Fear and anxiety still grip the hearts of many and though “Social Distancing” is a relatively new term for you and me, you might be surprised to know that the children of Israel were practicing it thousands of years ago but for totally different reasons. In Joshua chapter 3 we read as the children of Israel were preparing to enter the Promised Land Joshua instructed the them to maintain a certain amount of space between them and their brethren for two reasons.

First, out of reverence for the Lord. The ark of the Covenant was the visible representation of the presence of God among His people and Joshua wanted to make sure the nation understood it was the Lord who had brought them this far and it would be the Lord who would lead them into their tomorrows. God is still leading His children by His Word and by His Spirit. Revere the Lord in your life, and unlike the children of Israel who kept their distance, take God at His Word and draw close to Him as He invites us to do in Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” 

Second, Joshua wanted there to be enough spacing between the people so that the view of the ark was no blocked. He wanted every Israelite to be able to see and keep their eyes on the Lord as they moved forward. That’s still God’s plan for you and me. Hebrews 12:2 reminds us, “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith...” Practice social distancing for sure but do it Gods way, “Keep Jesus between you and everything else!”

A great question to ask ourselves today is, what is the source of our information, where do we get our marching orders each day? The answer to that will be evidenced in how we are doing in the midst of this pandemic. Is the peace of God ruling your heart as He desires, or is the fear of the unknown got your feet stuck in the mud so you can’t cross over? The solution is simple, yet easier said than done. Walk with Him, keep your eyes on Him and heed His Word. The children of Israel were led by the priests not politicians, men of faith who were not afraid to get their feet wet carrying the ark of the covenant for as they carried the ark, God was going first. God will never call you to go where He is not leading the way! Rest in Him.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you…”

Isaiah 43:2(a)


Michael Osthimer





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