Summary: move toward your victories by remember what God has done for you in the past
Intro: studying math with Bradley we learned the law of common denominators. You take several numbers and find one common denominator for all the numbers. In the church we may be different in many ways, but trials, battles, struggles in life are common to all. Some people try to get God in their life to make the troubles go away only to find that the struggles sometimes intensify. God isn’t interested in taking away the struggle, but proving Himself through the tests in our lives. The good news is that when we are in battles, God doesn’t just go with us, but He goes before us.
Today, we will look at a story found in Joshua chapter 4. It is the crossing of the Jordan. It is the moving toward the promise, but there will be rivers to cross, walls to fall, and giants to slay before the victory is won.
I want to concentrate on the twelve stones that God commanded to be placed in the midst of the Jordan as a memorial.
Remember Your Stones
I. Remember Your Victories--v.3 they were to take stones from the place where the priest stood firm in the middle of the Jordan. Why was this such an important thing to do? They would go into many battles to possess the land. There would be times of discouragement, times they would feel like giving up. But no matter what happened they could always refer back to the beginning when God supernaturally brought them through the Jordan. If a million can walk through the Jordan, surely walls could fall, giants could fall, mountains could be moved. God speaks to us today to remember our beginning. Remember the miracles God did so that we could even be here today.
II. Stones Out of the Jordan--v.3 He didn’t asked them to just get some stones for a memorial from anywhere. He told them to get them out of where the river was raging. In our life we need to take up the stones from where we won the greatest battles. We need to see how great is our God. Where the priest stood firm, these stones aren’t about what we did, but what God did for us by His mighty presence. The river stopped where the presence started. No weapon formed against you will prosper.
III. Take Them To The Camp--v.3c God wanted them to leave the stones on the promise side land of Jordan for the night. This is so symbolic to me. God doesn’t want you to have stones of what He use to do in your life, but stones of the victories that are ahead. I imagine that everyone inspected those stones that were in the camp. I imagine that the people gained confidence for the battles, because of spending some time with the stones. You need to examine the things that God has done for you, so that you will have the faith for the things still ahead.
IV. Twelve Stones--v.4 one man from every tribe--God gave orders that one man would represent one of the tribes of Israel. One stone for each tribe. This is a wonderful part of the story. They didn’t set up a Joshua stone, they didn’t set up a Caleb stone, they set up an everybody stone. This shows that God did this miracle not for just the greatest among them, but the least. The same God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is the God of the weak, the God of the outcast, the God of the hurting, the God of the bound. What He has done for others, He will do for you, what He has done before, He will do again.
V. What Do These Stones Mean? v.6- God had placed these stones here as a memorial place. It wasn’t just for those who crossed over, but for every generation to come. These were reminder stones, so that the children of the future would be able to remember the great things God did for their fathers. Every parent needs to leave an inheritance that is greater than education, finance or property. Parents need to leave a spiritual heritage to their children of the things God has brought them through. Young people need to see your stones of victory, so they can have the faith for victories to come.
VI. Stones That Won’t Be Moved--4:9 they are there unto this day. God is God for every generation. Heaven and Earth will pass away, but His Word will never pass away. The world may change, people may change, but God will not change. Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever. The stone that the builder rejected has become the chief cornerstone. Lives built on the rock will stand when the wind blows, when the waves come. Having done all to stand, stand.