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He said to the sons of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ then you shall inform your children, saying, ‘Israel crossed this Jordan on dry ground.’ …that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, so that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” (Joshua 4:21, 22, 24 NASB)
Read Joshua 4
It’s an amazing story! God instructs the Israelites to set up a memorial of stones to remind the themselves of the amazing thing that had just happened. The Lord had parted the waters of the river Jordan so that they could pass through to the Promised land! He tells them that this memorial will serve as a reminder to them and to future generations of His provision and power.
In the Bible, stones of remembrance, commemoration, or memorial are used several times in this way. In another example (Genesis 28), Jacob sets up his stone pillow as a holy memorial of the vision of the heavenly stairway and God’s promises to him. It becomes a pivotal event and location in Jacob’s life. For the Israelites, stone memorials marked out an event that showed God’s faithfulness so that when they would look upon them, they would remember.
We need these memorials in our lives today. We forget too easily and live blind to the truth that God sees and goes ahead of us, preparing and providing. We do not trust because we do not remember. Our lives are so often lived weakly, worrying and fretting over who/what/when/how. No wonder our days can become so powerless! No wonder so many of our children live powerless lives as well.
Read more about family projects for creating a memorial to God’s faithfulness at Coffee for the Soul.
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This Post Has One Comment
Amy4 Dec 2013
Belatedly managing to get a comment in here, I went looking for this post because I really loved it, what a fabulous way to incorporate the use of the ‘memorial’ stones into your own family. I wish I’d done this with my kids when they were small, I love it! I suppose an adult keeping a journal is the same use, but there’s something cool about it actually being small objects, very tactile – I have some lapel pins that my grandmother purchased on her travels, for instance, tiny ‘stones’ that tell me about what she experienced. How much greater it would be if I had items relating to what God was doing in her life instead. Good food for thought.