104-105-Joshua Chapter 4
Life in the Promised Land was not a life of leisure. For the nation of Israel is was a time of battle. Most of all it was a time of trust. They knew that they would have to trust God in everything. The challenges that they would have to face would not only get bigger in the Promised Land but also would the blessings that they received. It may have been the tendency of the Israelite people to want to rush on and take Jericho. The time was ripe as the Canaanite people were afraid of the Israelites. But things must be done in God’s time and not our own. God knows what is beyond us and at times we must wait upon the Lord when doing something for Him. It was now time for God to conquer Israel spiritually so that they could conquer Jericho under His guidance.
First the people must take twelve stones out of the Jordan River from where the priest were standing with the Ark of the Covenant. One stone for each tribe of Israel. They were undoubtedly large stones weighing up to 100 pounds each. These stones were to be set up as a memorial. These stones would be a teaching tool to remind their children the work that God had done. The Lord wanted His people to remember His great work for many generations to come. We often fail to remember the great things that God has done for us. This can cause the faith of our children to be weak because they do not know the great things that God has down. It is important to let the children know how God has worked in our lives.
Joshua also set up a pile of stones in the midst of the river bed so that when the river was in its low season of drought they could be seen. This would be a testimony of when God had completely dried up the river so the Israelite nation could cross over on dry land.
The priest stood with the Ark in the midst of the Jordan River bed until everything was finished. The Ark of the Covenant had to remain the entire time that it took the nation of Israel to cross over.
The tribes of Israel who were content to remain on the east side of the Jordan River and send their armies over to fight on behalf of the rest of the Israelite nation. This was a promise they had made. (Joshua 1:12-16) God now fulfilled His promise to Joshua (Joshua 3:7) and raised him up as the great leader of the Israelite nation, even as he had done for Moses.
Once all had crossed over the Jordan the river returned to its normal flow. This shows that this event was a supernatural event arranged by God.
The Israelites camped at Gilgal. Gilgal became the base of operations for the conquest of Canaan. It was appropriate that this is where the memorial was set up to commemorate the great works of God.
There is a great value in memorial stories. The obvious is that the Israelite people would never forget this work of God on their behalf. It is also so that the rest of the world will not forget the hand of God and His great miracles on behalf of His people.
We don’t remember the great works and miracles of God so that we can live in a dreamland thinking of the best days of our Christian life. They are remembered as a point of faith, so that we can trust our God in the greater works that He will accomplish in the future. If we remember the great work that God has done then we will have the justification to trust Him in the greater work of the future.
Letting the children know of the work of God in the past cannot be over expressed in its importance. The history that we have had forges the future that our children will live in. If they do not know the victories of the past they will not know how to seek the victories of the future.
Remembering the past and making it known is important for our testimony before the world community. How else will they know that there is a God in heaven, who can work the miraculous, that they will know to seek Him and His Kingdom.