Sunday, November 27, 2011

Manufacturing Monuments (Joshua Study Post 11)

Manufacturing Monuments

Read Joshua 4:1-9

We all face obstacles to overcome, battles to win and enemies to defeat. Like he Israel, victory comes to those who trust and obey. When God prevails, we should give Him glory by remembering His work in our midst and erecting a monument to His holy name. Whether it be an actual "monument" or whether it be through our telling and retelling the story of our victory through Him to anyone who will listen or even through our lives being changed because of the victory through His name. However we choose to remember, it is of utmost importance that we DO remember. Not only for ourselves and to remind us of what He has done, but also to reveal to others what God and His power can do. Remember Rahab, she learned through hearing and seeing what He did for others and that was her saving grace!!

In Chapter 4, we pick up just as all of the tribes of Israel have crossed over the dry bed of the river Jordan. The Lord gives Joshua specific instructions to build a memorial of what He has done for them so that they can remember it forever, as well as tell their children and their children's children about what He did for them. We often fail in our trust of God because we forget the great things He has done, and often the faith of our children is weak because they have never been told how great God is and how real His working is in our lives.

If we really think about it, these stones will not just be a visual reminder, but also a tangible reminder of their victory through God, for years and years to come. Getting the stones wasn't hard for the 12 men, I'm sure, but that was because the river bed was dried up! In the years to come when their children and grandchildren are asking about the memorial there will be a raging river in front of them. The task of retrieving 12 stones from the river bed looks like an almost unconquerable task to them! But there they are, standing right in front of them as tangible proof....God's power, in their minds, is radically enlarged!

The next verse is probably my favorite part of this reading;

9 Joshua set up the twelve stones that 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.

Now, if we aren't careful, we will read this and understand that Joshua was setting up the stones that the 12 men collected....that's what I had read and understood it to say in the past. I didn't realize the truth until I studied it out tonight! Joshua collected 12 stones of his own. We know this because the verse before says this;

8 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.

So they had already put their stones down by the camp. Verse 9 tells us that before the river went back to flowing as normal, Joshua took 12 stones and erected a memorial in the middle where the priest had stood. When the river started flowing again normally, the stones would probably not be visible. However, Do you know when they would be visible?? During a time of drought!! I don't know about you, but that speaks to me! Joshua set up a memorial in the very bed of the river Jordan, so that when it was lowered in a season of drought, those stones could be seen and would testify of the time that God had completely dried up the Jordan! During our "seasons of drought" are the most important times that we need to remember all of the wonderful things that God has done for us. When the enemy is whispering in our ear that we aren't good enough...we need to be able to look back at those memorials and call him a liar. When life is weighing us down until we feel like there's no use trying....we need to be able to look at those memorials and see that there is. When we are convinced that God does not have a purpose or a GOOD plan for our lives....we need to be able to see those memorials and remember that He does and He has been working in us all along. Ladies, Let's build memorials. If you need to write it down, write it down. If you need to take a picture, do it. If you need to tell someone so that they can remind you when you forget, tell someone..or tell 10 someones! It doesn't matter how we do it, just that we do.

How do you plan to build memorials of God's goodness in your life?

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