A Memorial Forever
Today’s Text: Joshua 4:1-8, 19-24
MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND
God knows how easily man forgets. People may even forget miraculous events like God drying up of the Jordan River so the children of Israel could cross on dry ground. Consequently, God commanded Joshua to set up a memorial as a reminder for future generations:
JOSHUA 4:1-8, 19-24
“And it came to pass, when all the people had completely crossed over the Jordan, that the Lord spoke to Joshua, saying:
‘Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from every tribe,‘and command them, saying, ‘Take for yourselves twelve stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet stood firm. You shall carry them over with you and leave them in the lodging place where you lodge tonight.’”
Then Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the children of Israel, one man from every tribe; and Joshua said to them:
‘Cross over before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, “What do these stones mean to you?”
Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.
And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.’
And the children of Israel did so, just as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones from the midst of the Jordan, as the Lord had spoken to Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them to the place where they lodged, and laid them down there. Then Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests who bore the Ark of the Covenant stood; and they are there to this day.
Now the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and they camped in Gilgal on the east border of Jericho. And those twelve stones which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up in Gilgal.
Then he spoke to the children of Israel, saying: “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ then you shall let your children know, saying, ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land’; for the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over, that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”
While Memorial Day is a reminder of the brave soldiers who gave their lives to defend freedom in the United States, the founding principles that made this modern nation great have their basis in the Judeo-Christian worldview. It is imperative that we not only remember, but also pass on to each successive generation that it is the Judeo-Christian worldview that makes the freedoms we enjoy possible.
Like the memorial monuments Joshua installed at the Jordan River crossing, you can use Memorial Day weekend as an opportunity to talk about our godly heritage.
Charles E. McCracken is an international Bible teacher, long-time friend of Israel and advocate for the Jewish people. With 40 plus years of ministry experience, Rev. McCracken is known for authenticity in communicating biblical truth that makes his presentations relevant for those seeking to understand the significance of Israel and the church in Bible prophecy. He staunchly supports the nation of Israel and the Jewish people’s right to exist and live in peace.
© Charles E. McCracken 2016, devotional comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author via contact form under the ABOUT heading. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (Emphasis added.)
1) Joshua crossing the River Jordan with the Ark of the Covenant, c. 1800. By Benjamin West [PD-US, PD-Art], via Wikimedia Commons- Enhancement: MKM Portfolios