And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? ~Joshua 4:21
Memorials are established as reminders to future generations. God commanded Joshua to have the men of Israel take twelve stones out of the Jordan River and place them on the other side of the river after they had crossed it. The other side was named Gilgal. The shoreline at Gilgal would have twelve stones arrayed in such a manner that the children of those who crossed over would ask, “What mean these stones?” What do these stones mean? What are we to learn from this?
These stones speak of an act.
“For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over.” Those stones were a constant reminder of how the Lord dried up the waters of the overflowing Jordan River and made it possible for the large Hebrew nation to pass over to the other side. It was a testimonial that God brought them safely to the other side to claim the promised inheritance. God wants us to have faith in His promises and divine will for our lives. He wants us to know that He leads us every step of the way. He wants us to never forget that He makes a way for us where there is no way. He did it once, and He will do it again.
These stones speak about an ability.
“The hand of the LORD, that it is mighty.” God referred to His hand and His arm to describe His power: power that is unlimited. Power that is uninhibited. Power that is matchless. Power that makes, and power that breaks. Power that opens, and power that closes. Human hands are weak, but God’s hand is mighty. First, no one can take a child of God out of His hand. “Neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” Second, the hand of the Lord demonstrates His favor. It is said of Ezra the scribe, “and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him.” Third, the hand of the Lord gives us strength. Ezra said, “And I was strengthened as the hand of the LORD my God was upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me.” The hand of the Lord is mighty.
These stones speak about an awareness.
“That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty….” God wanted this miraculous demonstration of His mighty hand to be a testimony to the world of Who He is. God wants men to know the gospel message. He wants everyone to know that He is God, that all men are sinners and in need of salvation, and that God provided the only way men can be saved when He sent His only begotten Son into the world to die for our sins and rise again from the dead. God wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. No man can be saved apart from hearing the gospel and placing his faith in the death of Christ and His resurrection. We accomplish this through our personal witness to family, friends, and people God places in our lives. We accomplish this through our participation in worldwide missions by helping missionaries start churches and preach the gospel on foreign soil. People need the Lord: we must enthusiastically tell them the good news.
These stones speak about an awe.
“That ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.” These stones were to invoke a sense of awe and godly fear about God. This awe is to compel us to worship God. This awe is to compel us in our walk with God: that we have a sincere and close fellowship with Him. There is one Stone that we stand upon that brings all this together. That Stone is the chief Cornerstone of every believer, the Lord Jesus Christ! Let the people of the earth know Who He is.
Have a witness-filled God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Exodus 10-12