…that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.” Joshua 4:6-7
As the Israelites approach the Jordan River on their way to the promised land another miracle occurs. A flashback to forty years earlier when the generation before them escaped Egypt. The priests carrying the ark of the covenant walked up to the Jordan River… and they kept walking…on dry land. The waters were again parted to allow safe passage of the Israelites to the land God promised them.
A miracle and a reminder…of God’s past provisions and His continued presence.
God instructs them to take twelve large stones (one to represent each of the twelve tribes of Israel) from the dry ground they crossed beneath the Jordan River and lay them down at the place they lodge for the night. The stones are to be a forever memorial and reminder so that whenever their ancestors see the stones and ask about them, they can be told the story of when God allowed them to walk on dry land through the Jordan. To always remember the mighty hand of the Lord.
The people also had the first Passover Celebration in the new land on the plains of Jericho. A party of remembrance to celebrate their ancestors being spared when the angel of death passed over in Egypt. They ate of the produce of the land. From this day forward, the manna that had rained down from heaven every day for 40 years, ceased. What a day full of gratitude, hope, expectation, and good food!
Challenge: Like the stones from the bottom of the Jordan and the Passover ceremony, creating a mark of remembrance is a powerful thing. As time goes by, we tend to forget even big things we are grateful for. Think about a way you can honor and create a remembrance of God’s faithfulness.