Today’s Scripture: And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take ye up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel: That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones? Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever. Joshua 4:5-7
Several years ago, my family took a trip out to the east coast. One of the things we did was visit several memorials around the country. One of the memorials we saw was the National September 11 Memorial in New York City. As you approach the memorial, one thing that sticks out is the level of reverence at the memorial. It’s hard to imagine that you are standing in one of the busiest and noisiest cities in the world.
As you look at the names of those that died from that horrible attack on our country, you are brought to a remembrance of what happened that terrible day. The uncertainty of what was happening, the shock as the news reports started to break, the fear of similar attacks in other places, and the grieving for the victims. Throughout the recovery, one of the phrases that was repeated was “Never Forget.” The memorial is there to make sure that never happens.
Like the 9/11 Memorial, other memorials around our country are there to help us remember other important times in our country’s history: the USS Arizona Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, the Gulf War Memorial, the Defenders of the Alamo Memorial, the Liberty Memorial, and Mount Rushmore National Memorial to name a few.
Just as we need memorials to ensure that we don’t forget what has happened in our country, we need to have memorials to help us remember what God has done for us. These memorials are both to help us remember as well as to help us instruct our children and others who see them. Joshua understood this when he crossed the Jordan River. He commanded the Israelites to gather 12 stones to create a memorial to remember their journey across on dry ground. He also realized that this would be an important training tool for the children who didn’t know what had happened.
God has done many wonderful things in our lives. Can people see something in you that causes them to wonder, “Why do you act that way? Why do you have hope and peace? Why are you so joyful?” These are opportunities you can use to teach others what God has done for you.
Devotional by Jim Scudder Jr.