Summary: The purpose of this sermon is to motivate the heaers to affirm to others that Joshua’s erecting the pile of Memorial Stones serves as a visual reminder of how God helped His people CROSS THE JORDAN RIVER.
Monday, 25 May 2009
Memorial Day Prayer Breakfast
Soldiers’ Hall Dining Facility
U.S. Army Chaplain (MAJ) Ken Harris
Contingency Operation Site (C.O.S.) Sykes
BIG IDEA: Joshua erecting the pile of Memorial Stones (Ebenezer – stone of help) serves as a visual reminder of how God helped HIS people CROSS THE JORDAN RIVER.
REFERENCES: Proverbs 22:6 (ESV) Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it; Joshua 4:1-24 ESV – The Memorials of the Crossing; Joshua 4:4-12 (ESV); John 10:27 (KJV) My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; Romans 11:29 (KJV) For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. Genesis 27-28 (The Story of Jacob and Esau); Psalms 118:22 (ESV) The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; Eben-ezer, the stone of help. Isaiah 65:24 ESV (Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear); 1 Samuel 6 ESV – (The Philistines decided to return the Ark of The Covenant to Israel); 1 Samuel 7 ESV – The Ark was not returned to Shiloh; It remained at Abinadab’s home for twenty years; 1 Samuel 7:6-13 ESV - The Hebrew Word – Zikkaron is translated “memorial” or “remembrance”; it’s a witness or a visible symbol. For instance a “a commemorative feast”; Genesis 28:10-22 ESV (Jacob’s Vision of the ladder, The Voice, and the Vow); Exodus 12:24-27 ESV – A Memorial of Redemption (The Jews have a religious and a civil calendar, and Passover marks the beginning of their religious year. The death of the lamb makes a new beginning, just as the death of Christ makes a new beginning for the believing sinner); 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 ( The Institution of The Lord’s Supper); Luke 22:14-23 (ESV) – The Institution of The Lord’s Supper; Ecclesiastes 3:1-9 ESV (A Time for Everything); Psalms 24 (The Chief Shepherd Coming for His Sheep) - Jewish tradition says that this psalm was written to commemorate David’s returning the ark to Jerusalem;
I. ANNOUNCE THE PERICOPE: Joshua 4:4-12 (ESV)
II. READ THE PERICOPE: Joshua 4:4-12 (ESV)
III. READ THE TEXT: Joshua 4:6-7 (ESV) that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, What do those stones mean to you? Then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.”
IV. PURPOSE: To motivate the hearers to affirm to others that Joshua’s erecting the pile of Memorial Stones (Ebenezer – stone of help) serves as a visual reminder of how God helped HIS people CROSS THE JORDAN RIVER.
V. SERMONIC THEME: “Memorials of God’s Help”
VI. INTRODUCTION: According to Harper’s Bible Dictionary, “Stone” is any large variety of hardened natural inorganic, often mineral, substances. In Biblical time it was found in Palestine largely as limestone mixed with some chert or sandstone …and it provided amply for everyday construction needs.
The Good Book provides references of the Word STONE from a wide spectrum. For instance, a stone could serve as a Memorial, Shrine, or Pledge. A “stone” could cover wells and doorways to tombs. It could serve as a weapon, whether thrown by hand or used as a catapult or sling as David did in his defeat of Israel’s Giant - trial and enemy - Goliath.
There were in biblical times many usage for “Stone”. Use of stone for tools like axes, knives, scrapers, hammers, and grinders, which began in prehistoric times, has continued in some respects to the present day, here, in Iraq. For it has been said “when boys get into a fight, the first weapon likely is a quickly grabbed rock.
Just as the WORD “stone” was used naturally in biblical times; it was also used figuratively or metaphorically. For who can ever forget what the Psalmist said in Psalms 118:22-24 (ESV) as he attempted to describe “HOW” God’s Steadfast Love Endures Forever – when he said:
“The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day that the Lord has made; let us … rejoice …and be glad in it.”
******* TAKE 5 BEATS *******
MOVE 1: Now, my brothers and sisters, it’s such a tremendous honor to have all of you in attendance to break bread together while we simultaneously commemorate OUR FALLEN COMRADES …
a. And right when you think things couldn’t get any better – we’re bless to have our leaders also in attendance. Please join me in giving our leaders a round of applause!