Joshua 4:20-24 and Monuments to God

pile_of_rocksPeople forget.  This is why we write things down, and I am told it gets worse with age.  Our collective societies forget, as well.  This is why we create memorials and monuments and museums so we will not forget.  Sometimes these are celebratory monuments, such as the World War II memorial in Washington D.C.  Sometimes these are mournful monuments, such as the Holocaust Memorial in Israel.

Joshua is told to make a memorial, a monument, after the Israelites cross the Jordan River:

Joshua set up at Gilgal those twelve stones they had taken from the Jordan.  He said to the Israelites, “In the future your children will ask their parents, ‘What about these stones?’   Then you will let your children know: ‘Israel crossed over the Jordan here on dry ground.’   This was because the Lord your God dried up the water of the Jordan before you until you crossed over. This was exactly what the Lord your God did to the Reed Sea (Red Sea).  He dried it up before us until we crossed over.   This happened so that all the earth’s peoples might know that the Lord’s power is great and that you may always revere the Lord your God.”

This monument was to remind the Israelites of how the Lord had worked in their lives in the past.  It was also to signal to the world that the Lord is God, the Lord alone.

As Christians, we are the monument to the Lord.  As Peter writes, “You yourselves are being built like living stones into a spiritual temple” (1 Peter 2:5).  People are to see the glory of the Lord in us, and we remind others of what mighty acts God has done in the past through who we are now.  Can people look at you and see what great power the Lord has to transform us?  Are you a monument to the Lord?

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