Summary: Memorial Day is an important day to our Nation, but every Christian should have a “memorial stone” to go back to that reminds them of a certain time and place they experienced the power of God.
‘WHAT MEAN THESE STONES?” Joshua 4:6-7
In April 1863, in Columbus, Mississippi after decorating graves of her two sons, an elderly woman walked to two mounds at the corner of the cemetery. "What are you doing? Those are the graves of two Union soldiers." The reply, "I know. I also know that somewhere in the North, a mother or a young wife mourns for them as we do for ours." That little band of ladies set in motion what became Memorial Day.
Some time ago, President Carter was on a tour that took him to several nations. The men who went with him said that the most touching and moving part of the whole trip was when President Carter stopped at Normandy Beach. He stood there looking at those markers, those monuments, signifying that tremendous battle, that change of the tide of human affairs which switched the victory to our side. It said that he was moved to tears as he looked at that monument and thought of the great price that was paid for freedom.
Perhaps the most intriguing memorial was erected when Joshua led the people of Israel across the River Jordan. Remember, the water stopped flowing just as the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant stepped into the water at the river’s edge. They stood in the middle of the riverbed until the people had crossed safely into the Promised Land.
While they were crossing, Joshua told 12 men, one from each of the 12 tribes, to go into the middle of the riverbed & select 12 large stones. They brought those stones up onto the riverbank & made a monument out of them there.
Notice as they passed over the Jordan, according to verses 12 and 13, they were armed. The promise land was a place of blessing but it was also a place of battle. If you put Jesus Christ in your life, you can expect blessings too but also battles, conflicts.
Billy Sunday said, “I’m against sin, “I’ll kick it as long as I’ve got a foot, and I’ll fight it as long as I have a fist, I’ll butt it as long as I got a head, I’ll bite it as long as I got a tooth, and when I am old and toothless, I gum it till I go home to glory.”
I-NOTICE THE PROCUREMENT OF THESE STONES: (GATHERING)
A-NOTICE THE COMMAND THAT WAS INVOLVED:
Joshua 4:1-3-And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over Jordan, that the LORD spake unto Joshua, saying,2 Take you twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man,3 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.
Joshua commanded 12 men, one from each tribe to go back into the Jordan and each one get a stone. They must have been pretty good size, for in verse five, it says “take you up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder.”
So these men were not only spiritual men but they were strong men
But I tell you something else, these men were men of courage and boldness. For they were commanded to go back into the Jordan River. I am sure they must have wondered when the water would roll back into the dry riverbed.
When God commands us to something, we can be sure, He will supply the needs to carry out his command plus His presence is with us.
When William Carey began thinking of going to India as a pioneer missionary, his father pointed out to him that he possessed no academic qualifications that would fit him for such a task. But Carey answered, "I can plod." How true it is that God accomplishes mighty things for his kingdom through those who are willing to persevere, who are willing to plod faithfully through one difficulty after another in the power of the Spirit.
When a hurricane devastated the South Carolina coast one time a group of Christian huddled together in a small-frame church. In the midst of the violent storm, an old preacher prayed, “Most omnipotent, gracious, Heavenly Father, send us the spirit of the children of Moses. Send us the spirit of the children of Israel. Send us the spirit of the children of the Promised Land.” Just then the wind howled even louder and the preacher was interrupted by another old man who had less eloquence in his prayer. He prayed, “LORD, DON’T SEND NOBODY! COME YOURSELF! THIS AIN’T NO TIME FOR CHILDREN!”
B-NOTICE THE COMPLAINCE THAT WAS INVOLVED:
Joshua 4:8 - 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.