Bible Reference: Joshua 4:5-7
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)
Bible Text: Go back into the Jordan riverbed to the covenant chest of the Eternal your God, and each carry a stone upon your shoulder, (twelve stones for the twelve tribes of the Israelites) 6 so that we may build a memorial of this day. Someday when your children ask you, “Why are these stones piled up here?” 7 you will tell them how the waters of the Jordan parted as the covenant chest of the Eternal One crossed the river, and these stones will fix that memory for the Israelites forever.
OBSERVATION: Most children will hear the word ‘Memorial’ used more in connection with a ‘Memorial’ service for a relative or family friend who died, and yes, we could glorify God in services like that. But how often do we build a memorial when there is a miraculous move of God in our community, or in the life of our church, so that we might be reminded of the power of God at a point in time? A few years ago our church celebrated a milestone – it’s 45th anniversary, and we learned from our founding pastor how miraculous God worked in providing for the beginnings of what is now an awesome church that is reaching hundreds of people every week. Meditate with me today as we consider God’s awesome work in our midst, and how we might erect a memorial to remind us and our future generations of the power of God!
APPLICATION: It is challenging to erect a memorial without giving a person praise for accomplishing, leading or directing the work we recognize as an awesome achievement. However, our Scripture today displays the awesome work of God, and God alone. Yes, individuals were a part of the work, but only as humble, obedient servants of the great High Priest. But I believe that God is drawing us to consider the awesome works He has done in our own lives, and in the life of our church and our community. Without a doubt, you are probably digging deeply into the archives of your memory trying to evaluate what sorts of things I might be talking about. Friends, when something occurred that you prayed for, and felt compelled by God to participate in, and it overcame multiple worldly obstacles, then I believe it is time to recognize that as God’s almighty hand at work. Did you ever feel so compelled somewhere along in the project to take your shoes off, because you knew that you must be walking on holy ground, for the power of God was so evident? A spot in time, a location, where you could only attribute the moment and/or the location to the miraculous works of God? A time where you felt so overwhelmed by the presence of God, and His direction to move forward, that you knew without a doubt that you were standing in His presence and experiencing His mighty works? May I suggest that God surely did not do that just for you, even though I believe that each of us are very special in God’s eyes and heart, but I want to suggest that you follow the story of Moses and Joshua and be reminded of how God was glorified because of His great works. Friends, it’s all about God and nothing to be accredited to self. However, notice that Joshua did not stand and beat on his chest about all that he had done, instead he built a memorial at the point where the miraculous hand of God shone forth, and at the point where the Israelites were able to look back in awesome wonder at all God had done for them – yes, a humble people who didn’t leave Egypt as princes and princesses, but as slaves. The memorials were erected so that future generations that would ask about them, would hear about the awesome work of God Almighty. What type of memorials do we have to go back on and celebrate God’s awesome work? What might cause our children to question our faith, or how God moved in our day?
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for working miraculously in my life each and every day! Thank You for touching the hearts and lives of my readers! Lord, we are thankful for Your mighty works in the lives of our ancestors – how you brought them through floods, and through rivers of waters, and won battles for them against armies multiple times their size. You brought the dead back to life, the blind to see and the deaf to hear. Why, in my life I have seen You work miraculously and I love to share of those experiences. Please help us to be sure and pass these miraculous works along to our future generations, for while they would appreciate hearing about Moses, Joshua, Noah, Peter and others, I believe their hearts would be renewed in You, if they could hear of how you worked, and are working, in the lives of believers today. Perhaps a memorial erected as a reminded of Your great works, might invoke others to ask, and give us more opportunities to share of Your goodness! Oh Lord, You are so good! AMEN!