Joshua 4

Twelve Stones

History is replete with stories that define nations as they rise and fall. Individual events shape the way people understand their origin and their purpose. Israel was finally entering the land that God had promised their ancestors so long ago. When they reached the other side, the Lord told Joshua to take a man from each tribe and have them choose twelve stones from the place where the priests stood in the river. The stones were to be carried to the place where they would lodge that evening. Joshua called the twelve men and relayed God's instructions for gathering the stones. He explained that these stones would be a sign for Israel and in the future when children asked about the stones' importance, they would tell God's story of faithfulness at the river Jordan. These stones would be a memorial forever. The people did as Joshua commanded and after they had laid them down in the camp, Joshua built the monument to the Lord. 

Obedience And Unity

The priests waited until everything was complete and then at Joshua's command they came out of the Jordan. As soon as the priests reached land, the water came rushing back, returning to flood stage. Imagine the sound of the waters rushing and the expressions on the peoples' faces as they witnessed the waters returning to their place. The priests passed before the people where the ark took its rightful place in the lead. The army of forty thousand which included the two and a half tribes who would make their home elsewhere made their way to the plains of Jericho. The people held Joshua in high esteem for his many years of faithfulness and because the Lord and Moses commissioned him in the sight of the people. However, on this day the Lord exalted Joshua, and the people's confidence grew because they feared the Lord and trusted his servant Joshua. The date and the place were recorded for future generations and the monument was set up as a memorial. Israel's God who had brought his people through the Red Sea and the Jordan river so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is mighty and he is to be feared. 

Thins To Consider:

  • Why is it helpful to celebrate significant events?
  • Why should children be taught what the Lord has done?
  • What steps can you take to teach children about what God has done?
  • What sort of memorials do we remember as churches?
  • How should we honor God's appointed leaders?
  • What stories of faith are told in your family?
  • What stories of faith will you tell your children and grandchildren?
  • What do we remember at the Lord's table?
  • What mighty things has Christ done?
  • What other things do we observe as memorials?
  • Think about the mighty things that God has done for you and tell someone else of his power and his goodness.