Guidelines devotional blogger, Darlene Sala, tells a story about a family who was involved in a serious automobile accident.
The severity of the wreck completely totaled the car. It was amazing there were no fatalities. In fact, not one family member suffered any long terms injuries or effects from the accident. What they did next was unusual, but ingenious.
So thankful that they lived through this harrowing ordeal that they took the mangled wreckage of the car and formed it into an art collage on their family room wall. When visitors asked about the unusual piece, it provides them an opportunity to express their thankfulness for God’s providential protection.
In today’s Bible reading we read of Joshua leading Israel across the Jordan River into Canaan, the land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Forty years of wilderness wanderings characterized by grumbling, rebellion, disobedience, defection, and death had now come to an end.
603,548 men of war perished in the wilderness. Only Caleb and Joshua of their generation survived. Every man and woman over 20 had died. Babies born during that era are now approaching 40. Now they’ve arrived to claim their God-ordained destiny.
Just like when Israel left Egypt and the Red Sea parted, so did the water of the Jordan River. As the people began marching through on dry land imagine the anticipation. The excitement. The exhilaration. It would be a day they would never forget.
So, to memorialize the occasion, God commanded 12 men, one from every tribe, to pick up a stone from the river bed and carry them across to where they would lodge. Joshua then explained why.
“This may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever” (Josh. 4:6-7).
In a similar way, we do the same thing today. Memorials of Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln in Washington, D.C. call attention to our nation’s founders and its great leaders. Over 160 monuments, memorials, and statues in our nation’s capital remind us of our history. Where we came from. Who we are. And how we arrived here.
Individually, we frame pictures of our family, make scrapbooks of important events, and collect souvenirs on our travels to remind us. When people ask us about them, it offers an opportunity to tell a story or honor a loved one.
After my Mom died, I kept the last Bible she used on my desk as a reminder of who she was, what she taught me, and my spiritual heritage. When we began traveling, I gave it to Norma Jean to use so we would constantly have it before our eyes.
I have in my office a little pocket New Testament that belonged to my Dad. He always liked to carry a Bible with him. I also have a Bible that belonged to my brother, Bill, that I pried out of the wreckage of the car in which he died in 1975. These Bibles, not only remind me of them but speak to my spiritual heritage.
When we traveled to the Bible lands, two years ago, we picked up 5 stones from the little brook in the valley of Elah where David defeated Goliath. What a powerful reminder!
Jesus set up a memorial with which we remember Him each Sunday. Think of the simplicity of unleavened bread and grape juice. And how often we explain why we partake of these elements and what they mean to us.
There are people, events, and occasions, we should never forget.
We possess gifts given to us from churches and brethren through the years where we’ve worked that are a reminder of our ministry and the fellowship we enjoyed. For years, I’ve hung pictures of my office walls of preachers who have mentored, inspired, and encouraged me. I actually have a rock with a message inscribed on it that sits of my desks that my wife gave me years ago which brings a smile to my face.
What are your spiritual rocks?
Do you have something visually that your children can ask, “What does this mean?” Something that you can remind them of God’s goodness. His protection. His providence. And His promises. Something that speaks to your spiritual heritage?
Maybe you ought to slow down, reflect on your legacy and return to your “Jordan.” Get a “rock” that means something really important, so when future generations ask, “What do these stones mean?” You will have a story to tell.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman
4 responses to “A Passage To Ponder: Joshua 4:6-7”
I LOVE THIS! Thank you.
Beautiful analogies, Brother Ken! I have a medium sized copy of the Bible that my father, Oran North, owned from 1972, along with various of his good commentaries, and a notebook binder full of some of his writings. Truly, these are treasures that have helped keep my heart tender over the years. I wished you and Norma Jean could have met him. Dad served as a deacon, then later as an elder, where I was born and raised in St. Louis.
Just catching up on some of the comments to posts in the past week. As always, thanks for reading. And thanks for taking the time to comment, as well as sharing your insights and some personal stories. How wonderful to have some of your Dad’s writings. I know you treasure them. Hope all is well there. God bless.
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