“And Joshua said, ‘Here is how you shall know that the living God is among you and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Hivites, the Perizzites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, and the Jebusites.'”
Imagine you are one of the Israelites. You’ve been roaming around in the desert for 40 years and finally, here you are on the banks of the Jordan River, ready to cross over and into the Promised Land. You’re probably pretty excited — to put it lightly. All of the wandering in the desert and the wilderness has finally come to an end.
However, if you’re looking across the river from the Israli camp you’re seeing settled lands. Different peoples that have settled in “the Promised Land”. You’re remembering the reports from the scouts that went out and came back saying that there were giants living in the Promised Land. Lastly, you’re staring at the tumultuous Jordan River and wondering how in the world all of the Israelites are going to be able to cross it!
It’s right then and there that Joshua speaks to the crowd, as if anticipating all these concerns the Israelites are having, and he refers to God as El-hay, “the living God”. Why? Because this is the answer to all their questions.
As Pastor Bob Coy states, “The Isrealites belong to the God (El) who is living (hay), not some lifeless statue or idol that the other nations bow down to. He is alive unlike all other gods, and will be active unlike all other gods. El-hay is what sets them apart. El-hay will give them the land. El-hay will be the one to drive out the giants. El-hay will even dry up the Jordan River so they can cross over. El-hay, the living God, will make all this possible.”
The fact that God is alive, that He is El-hay, makes all the difference in their situation and in ours. When we’re confronted with something that seems utterly impossible, when the doubts and questions begin to gnaw away at us, we need to stop and call upon the name of El-hay, the One who is alive and active on our behalf.
Think about it …