Summary: This sermon was used for Memorial Day to show how we need to set some places and things as a Memorial for our own lives to remind us about the Lord and what He has done for us.
Establishing A Personal Memorial
A. In April 1863, in Columbus, Miss. After decorating graves of her two sons who died in the Civil War as Confederate Soldiers – an elderly woman also decorated two mounds at the corner of the cemetery.
An observer asked, “What are you doing? Those are the graves of two Union Soldiers.” The Reply; “I know. I also know that somewhere in the North, a mother or a young wife mourns for them as we do for ours.”
That conversation was the beginning of Memorial Day. It would become a Day set aside each year to remember those who gave their lives in the Armed Forces.
We remember those who died on far away battle fields to bring freedom and democracy to oppressed peoples. We commemorate their actions by honoring them in ceremonies this weekend across the country, as well as by decorating the graves of fallen heroes with flags and flowers.
Memorial Day and Memorial emblems (like Flags, flowers) help us to remember our Freedom and the cost of freedom!.
B. Memorials are nothing new. The Lord called different people in the OT and NT to set up Memorials to REMEMBER.
In our Passage today we learn of such a Memorial.
• God used Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, even by parting the Red Sea.
• Joshua takes over from Moses to lead God’s people to the Promised land as the Lord promised.
• Joshua 1 – the Lord speaks and builds up Joshua for the task.
• Joshua 2 – Joshua surveys the needs to lead the people into the promised land.
• Joshua 3 – Joshua leads the people across the Jordan as the Priests carrying the Ark go into the raging Jordan and then the people follow to go into the Promised land. – even through dry land.
• READ Joshua 4
- The Lord tells Joshua to get 12 men, one from each tribe to get a stone from the middle of the River and put them down where you stay, vs. 1-3
- Joshua obeys and appoints 12 men, one from each tribe to take up a stone, vs. 4-5
- Vs. 6 these stones will be a sign among you as well as for the future when your children ask you what they mean? You will tell them what the Lord did for you on this day by leading you to the promised land on Dry ground across the Jordan, vs. 7.
- VS. 8-9, the people obeyed the Lord as Joshua told them to do and so chose the stones and carried them with them to camp. Joshua then placed the stones down as the Lord commanded and so they are there as a Memorial!
C. God often used Stones in the OT as a Memorial.
* Gen. 28:18; Jacob used a stone for a memorial and called the place where he seen angels going up and coming down from heaven, Bethel, which means house of God.
* 1Sam. 7:12, Samuel used a stone and placed at the place of victory over the Philistines because God helped them. He called it an Ebenezer saying; “Thus far the Lord helped us.”
* Joshua 24:25-27; After Joshua made a covenant with the Lord for the people, he took a large stone as a Witness to the people of their promise to God’s word in the covenant.
So why are Memorials Important and why should we make Memorials in our relationship with the Lord?
A. Memorials Remind us of God’s Presence when we go through Defining Moments in life.
* God was with His People thru the wilderness, and even as they faced the danger of crossing the raging Jordan.
* Defining Moments in life: great changes (graduations, marriage, children, deaths, relocations, etc.); Temptations, etc.
B. Memorials Remind us of God’s Promises to us.
* God promised His people to lead them to the promised land.
* God promises to be with us trough all things, to have a great plan for our lives, to work all things together for good as we love Him and are called according to His purposes, to grow us and use for His kingdom, etc.
C. Memorials Remind us of God’s Provisions for us.
* God provided for His people by leading them across the raging Jordan by cutting off the water flow.
* God will provide for us as we face difficulties, challenges, complications – as we follow Him and His will.
D. Memorials Present opportunities to share the Lord with others.
* vs. 6-7; when your children ask you what do these stones mean? Tell them the Jordan was cut off before the Ark and all the people crossed the Jordan.
* Vs. 21-24; for all the peoples of the earth.