Thursday, April 11, 2013

Stones of Remembrance...

Joshua 4:4-9; 19-24
New International Version (NIV)

"When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, 'Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from right where the priests are standing, and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.'
So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, '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.'
So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the Lord had told Joshua; and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down. Joshua set up the twelve stonesthat had been in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day....On the tenth day of the first month the people went up from the Jordan and camped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho. And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. He said to the Israelites, 'In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over.  He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.”

This was a new chapter in the Israelite's journey. Father God was establishing a new leader in Joshua and, in the process, bringing the Israelite nation from the old into the new -the beginning of the fulfillment of His promise to them. They were leaving the years of wondering -crossing over the Jordan- into the land Father God had established as theirs. Interesting, that He marked it with a miraculous display of His power... establishing Himself, yet again, as ELOHIYM - God Almighty, full of power, great judge - exceedingly more -one to be feared, reverenced and obeyed!
In this process, he commanded them to remember and not only to remember but, to set up a memorial to mark the occasion. So that in the future, they could always go back to what Father God had accomplished on their behalf to fulfill His promise to them -a reminder of His complete provision, love and faithfulness to them and their children for generations to come!

It is the same with us. Father operates for us today as He did for the children of Israel long ago. He moves miraculously in our lives and desires for us to set up "stones of remembrance" to continuously remind us of His constant abiding presence... He is ever-present; displaying His mighty power for our good and His glory. Not only is it intended to be a reminder for us but, a display of His splendor for all those He places in our sphere of influence. Our "memorials" should stand to be His introduction to the lost and hurting- those in desperate need of His saving grace. As we remember and live in the life of His constant presence, we influence the very atmosphere of every place we go- imparting His Spirit and drawing others to Him! 

Start erecting those stones and raising those remembrances and watch ELOHIYM show off! He delights in us and he is a God who is exceedingly more!


"Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him." ~Isaiah 64:4