Summary: Looks at the past and how it is important to remember God’s work and hand in the founding of America
Remembering the Past for Freedom in the Future
Memorial Day 2011
Opening video – Memorial Day – Beamer Films
It is Memorial day weekend, a time when we remember those who have fought to protect our country.
I would like to recognize those here who have served our country in the military this morning.
I believe it is important that we honor people and events from the past to help us remember those events.
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to forget things?
A little American History
For the kids –
Who is the Current president? (Barak Obama)
Who was the first president? (George Washington)
By a show of hands, how may can tell me
Who was the President after Jimmy Carter (Reagan)
Who was the President before Jimmy Carter? (Ford)
What years did we fight the first Iraq war under the first president Bush? 1990 to 1991 What was the main cause of that war? – Iraq invaded Kuwait.
Just over 20 years ago and we really have to think about the reason we went to war with another nation.
It does not take long to forget.
This is why it is so important that take time to remember and why it is important that we establish days like this to be a memorial to events and people from the past.
That is what we do on Memorial Day. We remember. And while Memorial Day is an American holiday, and not particularly a Christian holiday, the act of remembering is an important one throughout the Bible because God knows we are a forgetful people.
I want you to turn to Joshua 3:9-4:7
We are going to read the account of Israel preparing to go into the Promised Land after 40 years in the wilderness, and what God has them do to help them remember this event and what God has done.
9 Joshua said to the Israelites, "Come here and listen to the words of the Lord your God. 10 This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites. 11 See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you. 12 Now then, choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. 13 And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the Lord-the Lord of all the earth — set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap."
14 So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. 15 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, 16 the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17 The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.
4:1 When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, 2 "Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, 3 and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan from right where the priests stood and to carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight."
4 So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, 5 and said to them, "Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, 6 to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ’What do these stones mean?’ 7 tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever."
After finally bringing Israel to the brink of entering the Promised Land, he has them set up a memorial to the occasion to help the people of Israel remember this event and to help them keep focused on what God had done to bring them to this place.