“Tell [your children] that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD.”
When our family is on vacation, we often stop at historic sites. Many of these have monuments or statues of famous people to remind us of important events in history.
Our reading today in the book of Joshua relates an important event for the people of Israel. After forty years of wandering through the wilderness, they were ready to cross the Jordan River to enter the promised land. But the river was at flood stage, so it seemed impossible to cross. Of course, this was no obstacle to the Creator God. So, in a way that resembled his parting the waters of the Red Sea on the journey out of Egypt (Exodus 14), the Lord stopped the flow of the Jordan and caused it to “stand up in a heap” (see Joshua 3). At the center of this story is the ark of the covenant, symbolizing God’s presence with his covenant people. God clearly wanted future generations to know what he had done for the people that day. So he also ordered them to set up a monument of stone.
God’s children still need reminders of their place in the bigger story of his redemptive love through his Son, Jesus Christ. So let the Word of God, the Bible, be a monument to remind us all of the Lord’s amazing acts in history. The story of salvation needs to be told again and again so that coming generations may find their place in the ongoing work of the Lord of all the earth.
Forgive us, Lord, for getting wrapped up in our own pursuits. Open our eyes to the work of your kingdom and help us contribute to its coming. Amen.
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