God instructs Joshua to have the heads of each tribe take a stone from the middle of the river to make a monument with when they camp that night.
It's a reminder.
The Israelites had crossed the Red Sea and had gone back to whining.
This time they were crossing the flooded Jordan River, and they were going to remember the miracle. They were going to use stones to build a monument.
A monument that would be there as long as it would stand.
When they forgot, when the story of crossing on dry land started to fade and seem more like a fairytale, it'd still be there.
|Here lies a reminder.|
My first summer of camp, my staff did that.
We took rocks from the river behind the camp in Colorado and built a monument on the other side. It was to remind us of the amazing things our God did that summer.
It was to remind us that we worked hard and struggled, but we survived.
It was to remind us that this was real.
My pastor in Orlando once told us a story about his wife.
She struggled for a long time as a young adult with that quintessential question of "am I saved? Was this conversion experience real for me?"
Her husband (who wasn't her husband at the time) suggested she make her decision and carve the date into a tree. It wasn't going anywhere. It was a testament. Even if she doubted later, she could see the carving and remember that this was real, this happened.
Sometimes the biggest enemy to the God-apparent work happening in our lives is that we forget.
It starts to seem like a dream.
I don't think it was an accident that God asked the Israelites to make a monument.
We're humans and we need that.
Maybe you need to build.
That promise you keep forgetting.
That thing you keep doubting.
That thing you can't believe is real.
It's time to build.
When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan, the LORD said to Joshua, "Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, and command them, saying, 'Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests’ feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.'" Then Joshua called the twelve men from the people of Israel, whom he had appointed, a man from each tribe. And Joshua said to them, "Pass on before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, 'What do those stones mean to you?' then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever."