Summary: Learning from the memorial that Joshua built after the Israelites crossed the Jordan River.

School of Rock


I take more pictures that capture a moment than I take that capture the faces of loved ones. I collect random things that have sentimental value to them. I have realized that I am the type of person who has a tendency to memorialize things. I want to remember times and events in my life. To me, having a physical, tangible object which encapsulates a special event helps me to relive it. If you looked at the pictures and videos on my phone, you would probably have no clue what some of them are, and you would likely wonder why on earth I have them. I have videos of me at Fenway Park during a ceremony celebrating Big Papi last year. I have video of me walking with the Kinney’s (who started their quest of walking around the world 6 years ago). I have photos from a trivia game I won the other day. The reality is that I like to have something to look at that will bring me back to that moment.

The Israelites also had this desire to memorialize things and today we are going to learn from one of their memorials - a pile of rocks. If you have ever been told that you’re about as smart as a pile of rocks, then you already know what I’ll have to say, so bear with me for everyone else’s sake.

This pile of rocks we are going to learn from today is found in Joshua 4:1-9.


I. The Rocks Were a Sign of Obedience

A. Joshua 4:1-3

1. “the LORD said to Joshua”

a. This phrase occurs 12 times in Joshua

i. Jos. 3:7; 4:1, 15; 5:2, 9; 6:2; 7:10; 8:1, 18; 10:8; 11:6; 20:1

b. The repetition of this phrase emphasizes how everything was done in obedience to God

2. The LORD tells Joshua exactly what is to be done

B. Joshua 4:4-9

1. This is the fulfillment of the command of God

2. You can see that they did exactly as the LORD had commanded them

C. Application

1. The Israelites would have never crossed the Jordan and entered the Promised Land if they hadn’t lived in obedience to God

2. If you are wondering why God isn’t answering a prayer you have or blessing you, maybe you need to ask yourself if you are being obedient to Him

3. Don’t call Him LORD if you’re not willing to let Him be, which means your complete obedience to Him

4. We need to be faithful in the little things if we want the bigger things

5. Illustration of sports’ team rules

6. We shouldn’t expect God to bless us if we are not living in obedience to Him

II. The Rocks Were an Evidence of the Supernatural

A. Joshua 4:3

1. Rocks taken from the middle of a river would certainly have been a proof that the river had actually dried up

2. Let’s remember that they didn’t have scuba equipment back then, so the idea of having rocks from the middle of a river would certainly be pretty impressive

3. Anyone who saw this pile of rocks would have to give weight to the story surrounding it

4. Let’s keep in mind that almost everyone believed in gods back in this time

B. This would have been a good proof that Israel’s God Yahweh was legitimate

C. Application

1. In the same way, the miracles that God performs in our lives, the most basic of which is our salvation, gives us a testimony

2. We must be willing to share what God has done in our lives that others may know that God is real

3. God does not perform miracles just because, but instead performs them that people may see the power of the True, Living God

4. Do not be ashamed of your testimony

5. Instead, let it be a pile of rocks that when people see it they will know that God must be real

6. Describe the YouTube clip of the man on the L.A. freeway trapped under the truck and how the reporter instantly uses the word “miracle”

7. Let your life testify to the power of God

III. The Rocks Were a Reminder of God’s Faithfulness

A. Joshua 4:6b-9

1. This practice of raising stones as a memorial is common in the O.T.

a. Jacob - Gen. 28:18-22; 31:45-47

b. Samuel - 1 Sam. 7:12

c. Joshua - Jos. 7:26; 24:26, 27

2. Whenever this act is done, it is with the intent of setting a memorial that would provoke questioning so that God’s miracles would be remembered

3. Since these miracles would not necessarily reoccur, it was God’s way of allowing the future generations participation in these supernatural act

4. They served as a reminder of God’s faithfulness to the children of God

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