August 08, 2012

Stones of Memory

Joshua 4:1-7, 19-24

“Tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan.”
—Joshua 4:3


The stones at the bottom of the Jordan River probably hadn’t seen a dry day till the people of Israel crossed that barrier on dry land. But when taken from the exposed riverbed, twelve of those stones became a monument to God’s mighty works. Standing in a pile beside the river, the stones were to remind all who passed by that the Lord had dried up the Jordan so that his people Israel could cross over into the promised land.

As time went on, Israel had trouble remembering all that God had done for them. Perhaps they were too busy enjoying the milk and honey of the promised land. But the stones at Gilgal were a reminder. Memory was their ministry: to remind everyone of God’s power and of his faithfulness to his promises.

You and I may also have trouble remembering who God is and what he has done for us. Perhaps we’re so busy enjoying the gifts God has given that we overlook his sacrifice of love and care for us through Jesus Christ.

But struggles will come—they always do in this world—and the stones of memory will be there to remind us of the source of all goodness and joy. To this very day God’s Word reminds us of all God has done, especially through Jesus Christ. It’s a great collection of memory stones pointing us to the Savior as our chief cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20).

Thank you, Lord, for your Word. Strengthen me to read it often, that I may remember all your good gifts and faithfulness, through Jesus Christ, the Savior. Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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