Friday, October 10, 2014

Stones of Remebrance

I have come out of my hibernation for this post. The other night at a dinner with some ladies from my church, I was asked what Old Testament event would you choose to witness, if you could? The first thing that popped into my head was the story of the "stones of remembrance". It had been a long time since I had read it. Perhaps it came to mind because of the section of scripture our congregation had been memorizing for the month of September?
Proverbs 3:1-12
My son, do not forget my law,
But let your heart keep my commands;
2     For length of days and long life
And peace they will add to you.
3     Let not mercy and truth forsake you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart,
4     And so find favor and high esteem
In the sight of God and man.
5     Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6     In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
7     Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
8     It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones.
9     Honor the Lord with your possessions,
And with the firstfruits of all your increase;
10     So your barns will be filled with plenty,
And your vats will overflow with new wine.
11     My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor detest His correction;
12     For whom the Lord loves He corrects,
Just as a father the son in whom he delights.
The New King James Version. 1996, c1982 (Pr 3:1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

This had been a section of scripture that Ben had memorized for a school event in the 1st or 2nd grade. I remember helping him memorizing it, using hand motions to give him visual reminders. It seems like forever ago. What a precious thing it is to hide God's word in our hearts.

I guess thinking about that made my mind go to the "stones of remembrance" event as my answer to that question. When I came home, I looked it up, wanting to read it again. I had thought that it had occured after the Red Sea crossing, found out that it was at the crossing of the Jordan river. Here it is, Joshua 4:1-24.

The Memorial Stones
4     And it came to pass, when all the people had completely crossed over the Jordan, that the Lord spoke to Joshua, saying: 2 “Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from every tribe, 3 and command them, saying, ‘Take for yourselves twelve stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet stood firm. You shall carry them over with you and leave them in the lodging place where you lodge tonight.’ ”
4 Then Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the children of Israel, one man from every tribe; 5 and Joshua said to them: “Cross over before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, 6 that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ 7 Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.”
8 And the children of Israel did so, just as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones from the midst of the Jordan, as the Lord had spoken to Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them to the place where they lodged, and laid them down there. 9 Then Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests who bore the ark of the covenant stood; and they are there to this day.
10 So the priests who bore the ark stood in the midst of the Jordan until everything was finished that the Lord had commanded Joshua to speak to the people, according to all that Moses had commanded Joshua; and the people hurried and crossed over. 11 Then it came to pass, when all the people had completely crossed over, that the ark of the Lord and the priests crossed over in the presence of the people. 12 And the men of Reuben, the men of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh crossed over armed before the children of Israel, as Moses had spoken to them. 13 About forty thousand prepared for war crossed over before the Lord for battle, to the plains of Jericho. 14 On that day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they feared him, as they had feared Moses, all the days of his life.
15 Then the Lord spoke to Joshua, saying, 16 “Command the priests who bear the ark of the Testimony to come up from the Jordan.” 17 Joshua therefore commanded the priests, saying, “Come up from the Jordan.” 18 And it came to pass, when the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord had come from the midst of the Jordan, and the soles of the priests’ feet touched the dry land, that the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and overflowed all its banks as before.
19 Now the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and they camped in Gilgal on the east border of Jericho. 20 And those twelve stones which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up in Gilgal. 21 Then he spoke to the children of Israel, saying: “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ 22 then you shall let your children know, saying, ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land’; 23 for the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over, 24 that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”
The New King James Version. Thomas Nelson.

I thought on it all that night, woke up that morning with it on my mind, pondered it on my walk. Sent it to a friend who came to mind. Thought about how important it is for us to share things with our children about the goodness of God, the faithfulness of God, the loving kindness of the Lord, the mercy of God, the refuge that He is, the strong tower of strength, our help in time of trouble, our Shepherd, our light, our salvation, our rock, our fortress..... How when we do, we are placing "stones of remembrance" in their lives.
I turned the pages of the Psalms this morning and was so thankful for the words that David and others had penned. Oh, how they could put into words their love for God, how God delivered them. How blessed we are to be able to read them. How they help me turn to truth, when my heart is so prone to wonder into fear. I am so thankful for God's word.
Psalms 34:8
8     Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
 Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Psalms 73:28
28But it is good for me to draw near unto God: I have made the Lord Jehovah my refuge, That I may tell of all thy works.

Psalms 71:15-19
15My mouth shall tell of thy righteousness, And of thy salvation all the day; For I know not the numbers thereof. 16I will come with the mighty acts of the Lord Jehovah: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only. 17O God, thou hast taught me from my youth; And hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works. 18Yea, even when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not, Until I have declared thy strength unto the next generation, Thy might to every one that is to come. 19Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high; Thou who hast done great things, O God, who is like unto thee? 


Delighted Hands said...

Thank you for this precious and encouraging post on the goodness and faithfulness of God. It was a mercy drop of balm to me.

boo4baby said...

I love that memorial in Scripture, too! So very special! Thanks for the post.