In Genesis 1, the Spirit of God hovered over the waters, preceding the acts of creation. Among those acts were the division of waters (day 2) and the appearance of land (day 3). In the days of Noah, God’s judgment on mankind was a reversal of creation: the waters above and below the earth came together, covering the land. The receding of the waters after the flood, then, was a new creation, marked by a new creation mandate to Noah (Genesis 9:1).
During the conquest of Canaan, the children of Israel came to the Jordan river at flood stage (Joshua 3:15). The ark of the Lord was to precede the people of Israel, carried on the shoulders of the priests. The ark being carried into the Jordan smacks of the Spirit hovering over the waters at creation, which would indicate that the next act is to be a creative one, a dividing of waters and an appearance of land. Further, the appearance of land confirms God’s promises to Israel, just as it had confirmed God’s promises to Noah.
Israel’s crossing the Jordan was an end to judgment and a new creation. And just as God had put the fear of Noah into all creatures, so he would put the fear of Israel into the inhabitants of the land. New creation is an act of war on the old and corrupt order.