by Steve Jones

This content is part of a series.

Unity of Direction (1 of 5)
Series: The Crossing
Steve Jones
Joshua 3

INTRODUCTION: George Washington's Christmas Eve crossing of the Delaware River was a catalyst for unity and solidarity - some believe the hand of God was involved. It was intended as a surprise attack against the Hessian mercenaries on the other side in the town of Trenton. However it was just as hard to keep secrets then as it is now. From their spies the Hessians knew the approximate time of the attack and their forces awaited. Historians speculate that had the Hessian soldiers remained, Washington's fledgling army would have been slaughtered and the revolutionary war would have met a premature end. But a mysterious occurrence took place at just this time. About a dozen farmers rushed out of the woods on the Hessian side of the river and fired their muskets at point blank range, killing six of the German mercenaries. They then turned around and disappeared back into the woods. They were never heard from again, and no one ever stepped forward to take credit for the attack. When the Hessian general heard this news he concluded that Washington's army had landed and done their worst. He recalled his troops to spend Christmas Eve and day in the warmth and comfort of their tents or the houses in which they were quartered in town. Two hours later Washington's army landed and surprised the Hessians, captured their supplies, and the rest is history. One historian wrote: ''The victory had a marked effect on the troops' morale. Soldiers celebrated the victory, Washington's role as a leader was secured, and Congress gained renewed enthusiasm for the war.''

Today I want to begin to look at another river crossing that had the effect, if not the express purpose, of unifying and solidifying a commander and his fledgling army - the crossing of the Jordan River by the Israelites under general Joshua. That river crossing is recorded in Joshua chapter three. In Joshua 3:7 ''The Lord said to Joshua, 'Tod ...

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