Joshua 4:5-7 – Christian Thanksgiving: God’s Faithfulness

Daily Devotional Bible Verse

And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.” (Joshua 4:5-7 ESV)

The Israelites had seen God do amazing things: delivering them from Egyptian captivity, splitting the Red Sea, providing manna in the desert, and giving them the ten commandments. Now, after forty years of wandering in the wilderness, they were finally arriving in the land of Canaan. God did not want them to forget this moment, so He commanded them to make a “memorial” out of twelve stones taken from the midst of the Jordan River.

The word “memorial” is translated from the Hebrew word “zikkaron” which means a “sign, symbol, or marker that evokes remembrance.” Zikkaron is a memorial or act of remembrance is about remembering the past in such a way that it impacts our present and even our expectation of the future.

Often, in our fast paced world we can easily forget moments when God has revealed Himself, His faithfulness, His will, or His calling to us in a significant manner. It’s important for us to make time to establish spiritual markers in our hearts, minds, and even more concrete ways such as pictures, journaling, or blogging, so that we will not forget these divine moments. Remembering past spiritual markers often gives us a better perspective on what God wants to do in the present and His direction for the future; it also helps prevent us from moving backwards, and can serve as inspiration for others during difficult times.

Most importantly, these markers remind us and others of who God is.

And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their fathers, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed over the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God did to Jordan just what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.” (Joshua 4:20-24 ESV)

What are some examples in your own life of where God has done a mighty work and how have you “memorialized it and used it in your relationship with God?

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