Summary: This message deals with the responsibility that we have to the past.
Sermons In Stone
Joshua 4:1-9 KJV And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over Jordan, that the LORD spake unto Joshua, saying,  Take you twelve men out
of the people, out of every tribe a man,  And command ye them, saying, Take you hence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests’ feet stood firm, twelve stones, and ye shall carry them over with you, and leave them in the lodging place, where ye shall lodge this night.  Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, out of every tribe a man:  And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take ye up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel:  That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones?  Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.  And the children of Israel did so as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the midst of Jordan, as the LORD spake unto Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them unto the place where they lodged, and laid them down there.  And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant stood: and they are there unto this day.
I. INTRODUCTION -- MEMORIALS FROM HISTORY
-President Ronald Reagan gave one of the best ‘Memorial Day’ speeches ever given on the 40th anniversary of the D-Day in 1984. D-Day was the invasion of France that led to the destruction and ultimate surrender of Nazi Germany.
“We stand on a lonely, windswept point on the northern shore of France. The air is soft, but 40 years ago at this moment, the air was dense with smoke and the cries of men, and the air was filled with the crack of rifle fire and the roar of cannon. At dawn, on the morning of the 6th of June, 1944, 225 Rangers jumped off the British landing craft and ran to the bottom of these cliffs.”
“Their mission was one of the most difficult and daring of the invasion: to climb these sheer and desolate cliffs and take out the enemy guns. The Allies had been told that some of the mightiest of these guns were here and they would be trained on the beaches to stop the Allied advance.”
“The Rangers looked up and saw the enemy soldiers [at] the edge of the cliffs shooting down at them with machine guns and throwing grenades. And the American Rangers began to climb. They shot rope ladders over the face of these cliffs and began to pull themselves up. When one Ranger fell, another would take his place. When one rope was cut, a Ranger would grab another and begin his climb again. They climbed, shot back, and held their footing.”
“Soon, one by one, the Rangers pulled themselves over the top, and in seizing the firm land at the top of these cliffs, they began to seize back the continent of Europe. Two hundred and twenty-five came here. After two days of fighting, only 90 could still bear arms.”
“Behind me is a memorial that symbolizes the Ranger daggers that were thrust into the top of these cliffs. And before me are the men who put them there.”
“These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war.”
-There are no victories that will ever be won without a fight. When we remember the victories, at that point we remember the heroes.
-So whether it is with a war involving nations or with a spiritual war involved in establishing churches in this world, we can never forget the memorials that have been built.
-Many of the memorials mean that there has been a cost that someone has paid for with sweat, blood, tears, and in some cases life literally has been forsaken to build this apostolic heritage that we enjoy in this generation.
II. THE HISTORY BEHIND THE TEXT
-In Biblical history, this time frame was one of the greatest moments of Israel’s history. After 430 years of slavery, Israel had left Egypt behind in the colossal defeat of the Red Sea. The harsh taskmasters of Egypt had been no match for God. The heavy work loads had not wilted them down it had made them stronger (much can be said about adversity making great men and women). Pharaoh and his armies had been no match for God.