Joshua [also] set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the covenant had stood; and they are there to this day. ~ Joshua 4:9
The Word of God was originally intended to be read aloud. It is born out of an traditionally oral culture. The people of both the Old and New Testaments would gather together and read the scriptures aloud. And they used symbols and signs to help tell the story.
As I was listening to this passage the other day, I heard something profound. Joshua set up a memorial to remind people to tell the story. God had him set up 12 stones in their camp the night they crossed over into the promised land. And He commanded Joshua and the people to use the stones as a reminder to tell the story. They were to tell the next generation of God’s faithfulness.
We need to lay down memorial stones in our own lives; markers that remind us to tell the next generation of God’s faithfulness. It was more than a reminder. It was a testament that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever!
But God also told Joshua to set up 12 stones in the MIDDLE of the Jordan River. He placed 12 stones in the very place where the priests had stood with the Ark of the Covenant. 12 stones placed where no one would ever see them. Once the priests touched the shore, the waters returned and rushed over the stones covering their testimony.
Sometimes we set up memorial stones, markers of God’s faithfulness, that will never be seen by the next generation. The world will go one as if that miracle or answered prayer or movement of God never happened. Those stones have a difference purpose. They are not a testament to the world. They are a testament between God and His people. They are a reminder that God is faithful even when we cannot see it. They are a reminder that God always remembers.
Are we more concerned that others remember? Or are we more concerned that God remembers? It seems from this story in Joshua that both are important to God. Let’s set up memorial stones that will remind us to tell the story. But let’s also set up memorial stones that tell us the story!
Keep fighting the good fight of faith!