Summary: When God took the children of Israel across the river Jordan he called them to set up memorial stones. The stones caution us to remember, they challenge us to recount, and they call us to respond.
Intro: There was a rumor circulating in Washington some time ago that Osama Bin Laden had died and gone to Heaven. As the story goes, when he arrived in Paradise, Osama was greeted by George Washington who slapped him across the face and yelled, "How dare you attack the nation I helped conceive!" Patrick Henry then punched him in the nose and shouted, "You wanted to end America’s liberty, but you failed!"
James Madison appeared, kicked him and said, "This is why I ordered the government to provide for the common defense." Bin Laden was subjected to similar beatings from James Randolph, James Monroe, Thomas Jefferson, and 66 other early Americans.
As he writhed in pain on the ground, an angel appeared. Bin Laden said to the Angel, "This was not what I was promised." To which the angel replied, "I told you there would be 72 Virginians waiting for you. What did you think I said?"
I. Memorial Stones caution us to remember
“Lest we forget.” Memorials are raised in loving honor of the sacrifice and service of those who died to pay the price for our liberty. The memorials we as US Citizens and other countries have are raised to remember and honor their lives and deaths.
God called the Israelites under to Joshua to raise memorial stones “Lest they forget.” They had finally come to the river Jordan. All that stood between them and the Promised Land was a river. It was a land of freedom, fullness and finally it was going to be realized.
Before they could cross over into the land of promise God had them to raise a memorial. We are not much different than the Israelites, we so easily and quickly forget. We forget we live in the greatest nation in the entire world. We forget the high price of freedom paid for by American blood sweat and tears. We forget that we don’t need a fence to keep Americans in we need a fence to keep others out. Despite the war in Iraq, despite the gas prices, despite the natural disasters we live in a land of freedom, opportunity and liberty. In our constitution it is promised life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That cannot be said in many nations around the world today!!
Let us celebrate our liberty and prosperity. Let us remember the great things God has done and has given to us as individuals and a nation. “Lest we forget”
Think about the tremendous freedoms you have, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom to assemble, freedom to worship.
Let freedom ring form our lips as it fills our hearts!!
You have the freedom to sleep through my sermon; you have the freedom to disagree with congress and the president.
As human beings we are so quick to forget the blessings of God. Mark 8.18-19 Jesus says are you gourd heads? (my translation) Do you not remember? He then reminds them how he fed five thousand with five loaves of bread and there were leftovers.
The memorials are a clear caution to not forget God’s great acts.
The memorials are a clear caution to not forget others sacrifice.
Here is a challenge to forget the barriers that you are facing and remember the great blessings God has given to you. Psalm 103.2 “Bless the Lord oh my soul, and forget none of His benefits.”
There were two sets of stones set up, 3.12, 4.4 they placed stones at Gilgal. 4.9 They set up 12 stones in the middle of the river. How strange this must have been for the Hebrews watching and building this. What might you have asked? How are people going to see this? It is just like Jesus Christ. You must live it out for people to see Him. Paul in Romans 6.1-4 tells us that our old life is buried with Jesus. To the people of God crossing the Jordon was a movement from the old life to the new. The monument was to remind them you old life is dead move forward. Walk in that new life. “Lest we forget.”
II. Memorial Stones challenge us to recount
Joshua 4.6 (Read)
It is not only for us that we have memorials. It is for those that follow us. The memorial stones were placed for the benefit of generations to come. What were the Israelites to tell them when the children and grandchildren asked, “What do these stones mean?”
The waters of the Jordan were cut off. God did something for us that we couldn’t do at the Jordan. He made it possible for us to cross over. It is the blood of Jesus that allows us to cross from death to life. It is Jesus’ sacrifice that sets us free from the chains of sin. The Soldiers that serve this great country do not set us free spiritually as Jesus did, yet their sacrifice is valuable.