Read Joshua 4:5-7
…”Go over before the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, 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.”
Why do you think it was important to God that the Israelites make a memorial commemorating this event? How do you remember what God has done in your life? How do you pass that testimony down to the next generation?
When we read the Old Testament, we find this command over and over. “Remember the LORD!” Moses reminded the Israelites to remember. Joshua reminded them to remember. Prophets throughout Israel’s history sounded the alarm that the people had forgotten who they were and Whose they were. The LORD himself commanded them not to forget! Why was it so important that they remember the LORD?
In today’s passage, Moses had recently died and Joshua had taken command of Israel. He was preparing to lead the people into the Promised Land. With the ark of the covenant ahead of them, the people followed to cross the Jordan. As soon as the priests carrying the ark reached the river, the water stopped flowing. Just as their ancestors had crossed the Red Sea on dry land, so they crossed the Jordan on dry land. Even in the miracle that was occurring before their very eyes, the LORD was calling to mind a miracle of old.
God wanted them to know without a shadow of a doubt that it was He who sustained them. It was He who led them. It was He who provided for them. Without the LORD, the Israelites would be nothing. The Promised Land was only theirs because the LORD gave it into their hands.
The LORD commanded Joshua to have the people choose 12 stones and set up a memorial so that the people would always remember the miracle and thus, remember the LORD. God was worthy of their obedience because He was the One who held their lives in His hand.
It’s important that we remember this as well. Do you ever forget that you are a child of God? Do you ever forget that you belong to Him and your life is in His hand? If you need help remembering, post up reminders around your home. Use Scripture, photographs, journaling, hymns, etc. and share what God is doing and has done in your life with others. He is the One who has redeemed you and sustains you. Don’t forget!
LORD, help me to always remember the wonders You have done. You are mighty and worthy of my obedience and my devotion. Apart from you, I am nothing. Amen.