“His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. He rebukes the sea and makes it dry; he dries up all the rivers; Bashan and Carmel wither; the bloom of Lebanon withers.” (Nahum 1:3b-4 ESV)
Just as an army stirs up dust while it moves, and as a bigger dust cloud would indicate a more massive army, so the power of the Lord in coming judgment is manifested by this – If God actually stirred up a dust cloud as he approached you to attack you, his dust cloud would blanket the sky over you from horizon to horizon!
When God moves in his own perfect predetermined time, the world is changed. If he wants the sea itself to become dry ground, it is so! If he decides to dry up great rivers, they are dry.
The LORD said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you… Command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, ‘When you come to the brink of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.’…
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, etc… And when the soles of the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off from flowing, and the waters coming down from above shall stand in one heap…. and as soon as those bearing the ark had come as far as the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the brink of the water (now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest), the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap very far away, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, and those flowing down toward the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. And the people passed over opposite Jericho.
Now the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firmly on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, and all Israel was passing over on dry ground until all the nation finished passing over the Jordan. (Joshua 3:7-10, 13, 15-17 ESV)
Do you really believe that happened, pastor?
Without a doubt!
“Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but see not, who have ears, but hear not. “Do you not fear me?” declares the LORD. “Do you not tremble before me? I placed the sand as the boundary for the sea, a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass; though the waves toss, they cannot prevail; though they roar, they cannot pass over it.”
But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart; they have turned aside and gone away. They do not say in their hearts, ‘Let us fear the LORD our God, who gives the rain in its season, the autumn rain and the spring rain, and keeps for us the weeks appointed for the harvest.’ Your iniquities have turned these away, and your sins have kept good from you. For wicked men are found among my people; they lurk like fowlers (hunters or trappers) lying in wait. They set a trap; they catch men.
Like a cage full of birds, their houses are full of deceit; therefore they have become great and rich; they have grown fat and sleek. They know no bounds in deeds of evil; they do not judge with justice in the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy.
“Shall I not punish them for these things?” declares the LORD, “and shall I not avenge myself on a nation such as this?”
An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their own discretion; and my people love to have it so! but what will you do when the end comes? (Jeremiah 5:21-31 ESV)
Our God is The Almighty…
“His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds themselves are merely the dust of his feet. He rebukes the sea and makes it dry; he dries up all the rivers…” (Nahum 1:3b-4 ESV)
This is not figurative. It is a warning.