Stones of Remembrance
“What do these stones mean?” Joshua 4:6 (NIV)
Yesterday we talked about how God opens up hidden pathways no one knows are there as we follow Him in our journey of faith. The paradox of faith is that the path remains hidden until we start the journey. Israel experienced that at the Jordan River just as their previous generation did at the Red Sea. God opened up a hidden pathway for Joshua through the river just as He did for Moses at the sea. That experience was an adventure in faith that would leave an eternal footprint for countless generations to come!
When God works in your life, never consider His activity exclusively for your benefit. His desire is to make Himself known through His activity in your life. This is what He did for Joshua and the children of Israel when He made a pathway for them through the Jordan River, even when it was at flood stage. The story doesn’t end there. In the next chapter, Joshua records what God instructed him to do so that generations to come may know of His mighty works.
God told Joshua to choose 12 men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to pick up 12 stones from the middle of the Jordan from right where the priests stood and to carry them to the place where they would stay the night. Why? “… to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.’ (Joshua 4:6 NIV) I call these “Stones of Remembrance.”
“He said to the Israelites, ‘In the future when your descendants ask their fathers, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the LORD your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The LORD your God did to the Jordan just what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God.” Joshua 4:21-24 (NIV)
When you take a stand, stepping out in faith, God will give you a stone of remembrance. You will have a story to tell of God’s activity in your life for which only He may get the credit. What are your stones of remembrance? What in your life has no other possible explanation but God acting in your behalf? These stones of remembrance provide both encouragement and a model for future generations to live by faith. They demonstrate God’s faithfulness to His promises! They also become great evidences of God’s power and presence to skeptics and unbelievers. Imagine the response of those living in the land around the Jordan when they heard what happened! It was a miracle! Only God could have led them through the river! There was simply no other explanation but God! Who would want to live any other way?