Joshua 4 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“The Israelites did just a Joshua commanded them. The 12 men took stones from the middle of the Jordan, one for each of the Israelite tribes, just as the L_rd had told Joshua. They carried them to the camp and set them down there. Joshua also set up 12 stones in the middle of the Jordan where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant were standing. The stones are there to this day.” Joshua 4:8-9
Israel is a very rocky place. There is a story they tell children in Israel: During creation, Adonai told two of His angels to fly around the world, scattering the rocks. One was to fly to the west, and the other eastward. When they flew over Israel, they collided, spilling them all!
Whenever you see “rocks” in the Bible, the term communicates “remembrance”. Rocks were here before us, and they’ll be here long after we’re gone. All the memorials in Israel are covered in small stones. It sends a clear message: You are not forgotten.
It makes sense then, that Joshua would command the Israelites to gather stones from the bottom of the Jordan. He wanted future generations to see the rocks and ask, “Why are these stacked here?” The rocks are evidence of the miracle. In every re-telling of the miracle story, God’s deliverance is remembered.
Joshua’s stone memorial reminds me of when Yochanan the Immerser (John the Baptist) rebuked the skeptics who came out to see him immersing people in the Jordan.
“And don’t presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that G_d is able to raise up children for Abraham from these stones!” Matt 3: 9
Could it be that Jochanan the Immerser was pointing to that very stack of rocks that Joshua had set up? He was certainly in the same area where Israel crossed over.
More intriguing than the stack of rocks on the bank of the Jordan, was the stack of rocks Joshua placed at the bottom of the Jordan.
The prophet Jeremiah describes a highway, in the last days, on which the exiles of Israel, accompanied by people from all nations, will walk home. The riverbeds will dry up. Could it be that on their march home, this group of Jew & Gentile believers will cross Jordan’s riverbed and see those stones Joshua arranged…and remember Him who miraculously fulfills His Word?
From time-to-time, when the L_rd brings me through a difficult season, I’ll find a special rock and place it in a visible place. Whenever I see it, I’m reminded of G_d’s deliverance. Take a moment and remember G_d’s grace in your life.
Daily Devotional, Sunday, July 20, 2014