Joshua 4: 21-22 “And Joshua spoke to the children of Israel, saying, ‘When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What do these stones mean? Then you will let your children know, saying, ‘Israel came over the Jordan River on dry land.’”
J oshua and the children of Israel were instructed by God to take the Ark of the Covenant and cross over the Jordan River. Without any means of water transport and no visible way of getting across the flooding river, Joshua and the priests had to obey the voice of the Lord and step out into the water. Once the feet of the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant hit the water, it parted and gave way to the riverbed underneath. The children of Israel were given access to the roadway to the other side. In the midst of the miracle, God required the children of Israel to gather twelve stones of remembrance. These stones, which were once buried in the deepest part of the middle of the river, were now accessible and could be collected from the dry ground and brought to the campsite. Joshua took second set of twelve stones and left them on the dry riverbed as his own personal memorial. Those stones could only be seen when the water was at its lowest point. When the Jordan river rose to its normal flooding point, the twelve stones piled at the bottom of the river could no longer be seen.
Those stones served as a teaching tool for parents to teach their children and grandchildren about the one true God who is a source of help, supply, protection and promise. The stones also served as a memorial of gratitude so that those who experienced God’s grace and mercy would never forget what God did for them.
What stones of remembrance are we stockpiling as a memorial to God’s faithfulness and goodness to us? The same God who parted the Jordan River thousands of years ago is the same God who stands ready to do the impossible for us today. As we look back over this past year, let us always be mindful of the difficult situations God has brought us through. As we embark upon 2014, let us also gather two groups of twelve stones of remembrance: two stones for each month of the year. Twelve stones to be left in the middle of our crisis which symbolize the hard place from which we’ve come and twelve stones to mark the glorious place to which God will bring us through to victory on the other side of our crisis. May this be a landmark year for you as you gather your stones.
Pastors Ben and Wanda Anderson