Wednesday, Holy Week: Stones of Remembrance
“And Joshua said to them, ‘Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of Israel, that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.’” – Joshua 4:5-7 (ESV)
This Lesson is four of eight compiled for Holy Week 2019. Eight individual stories where God used inanimate rocks or stones to further His Kingdom for His Glory. Inanimate Objects. Rocks, water, bread. All things which are dead or at least NOT living. All things that without action upon it by something living remain sedentary, unchanged, lifeless. Enter Jesus.
Pictures, trophies, framed degrees, and art are all things we place in our homes and offices to celebrate memories, our accomplishments, or the people we love. We are good at archiving what is most important to us. For curious visitors, we love to recount the stories behind the different memorabilia that we have staged around the places where we live and work. Some of these things encourage or inspire us and we hope that they might do the same for someone else.
God knows this about us and that’s why He gave Joshua such unique instructions. Crossing the Jordan River was a significant historical moment for Him and His people. After 40 years of wandering in the wilderness He was about to bring His people into the Promised Land. Crossing this river was going to be a miracle, a symbol, and a historical fact worth celebrating forever. This is why He told them to gather 12 large stones – one for each tribe of Israel. He wanted the next generation to learn something amazing about Him, His people, and His provision whenever they saw those large stones stacked together.
This begs the question – how well do we archive and symbolize the faithfulness of God in our own live
An old college football championship trophy tells anyone who sees it a lot about us and our days as a player. In similar fashion do we regularly draw people into the amazing ways that God saved us, saves us, and continues to provide for us on a daily basis? Do we have “stones of remembrance” in place so that our children and grandchildren can hear and learn about our amazing God?
Many of us are already outsourcing our pictures and our memories to our phones and technology. We hustle and bustle so quickly that we often forget to celebrate what the Lord has done and what He’s doing. This is why simple prayers of thanksgiving and public gratitude are so important. Recounting the ways that God provides for us displays to others that He is good, trustworthy, and merciful. When we do this, we reveal the benevolence of God to those around us, but we also reaffirm His goodness to our own hearts and minds.