When a person steps out in faith at the direction of the Lord, God shows up. For Joshua and Israel, God showed up in a dramatic way, allowing all Israel to pass through the Jordan River on dry ground!
In my experience God isn’t always so dramatic, but He is always there leading, guiding, opening doors, so that the things He has told us to do gets done. Obedience and faithfulness allow us to see God’s hand at work.
One of the features in this account I appreciate is how Joshua builds the altar from stones carried from the middle of the Jordan. Even more than the act itself I love his reasoning.
He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the LORD your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The LORD your God did to the Jordan 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” (21-24).
That altar became a visual aid in Israel of the mighty works of the Lord. That altar was a bookmark in the corporate memory of Israel. It is very easy to forget events that happen in the past. Joshua understood the importance of Israel remembering.
On Christmas, Good Friday and Easter, Christ-followers remember and retell the amazing story of our faith. There might not be an altar of 12 stones, but through these celebrations we pass on to succeeding generations God’s story.
See what God has done; remember what God has done… two thoughts I glean from this chapter. I have seen God work throughout my walk with Jesus, I need to grow in remembering and retelling what He has done!
Lord, help me to do a better job remembering and retelling Your mighty acts. Help me to build into my life the custom of telling others what I have seen You do. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.