“When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordon, the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Choose twelve men from among the people, on from each tribe, and tell then to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan from right where the priests stood and to carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight’.”Joshua 4:1-3
Forty years after the nation of Israel left the bondage of slavery in Egypt they continued to wander in the desert. They endured many hardships and were not allowed entrance into the Promised Land under Moses because they were disobedient. Even with God’s physical presence going before them and the miracles they witnessed on the journey, they still could not follow God where he led them. Finally after Moses the day had come and Joshua was chosen to lead them across a rain swollen Jordan River. God again would part the waters and the thousands of freed slaves walked across as the former generation did at the Red Sea.
God ordered them to take up 12 stones from the river bottom to build an altar commemorating the event. But, why did God want another altar? He knew our nature. He knew the generation before had failed to pass on the miracles they saw God perform in front of Pharaoh, the parting of the Red Sea, the cloud of God’s presence the Jews followed across the vast expanse of desert. God knew their memories too would fade over time and the altar would serve as a memorial of the time when the mighty Jordan River was dried up by God when the Levite priests stepped into the water.
Our memories of how God has brought us from the depths of despair or the bondage of drugs and alcohol often fade when times are good. When life is going well, we are living in harmony and our past has faded from us, we are hesitant to tell our children of our failures. The very depths from which God redeemed us, which are the very testimony of God’s goodness and mercy, are often erased from our conversation by our own embarrassment and pride. Rather than using our past failures as monuments to remind future generations of God’s glory, we remain silent robbing non-believers of an authentic witness of God’s power.
Brothers and sisters, we must become monuments to the saving power of God and of his Son Jesus Christ. We must share our testimony with the next generation and encourage them to do the same with their children. We can no longer hide our faults and struggles from our neighbors and our families. We must share how Jesus redeemed us and from what depths we have been drawn into our “Promised land”. Don’t be afraid to share your miracle with someone. Be one of the 12 stones in this generation!
My prayer: Father, thank you for your greatness and mercy. Thank you for being a miracle working God. Thank you for saving me from the depths of my sin and leading us into your salvation. Let us not be too proud or too embarrassed to share the testimony that you have created in our lives. Help us Lord to be monuments of your great love in this generation and in the next. In Jesus name I pray, Amen!