“That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones? Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.” Joshua 4:6, 7
God knows how easily we tend to forget things, even matters of vital importance. Sometimes we forget the things God has done for us or the commitments we have made to God. God established certain reminders to help His people remember. The Passover was an annual remembrance of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt just as the Lord’s Supper reminds us of what the cross means to our lives. The Lord instructed Joshua to take twelve large stones from the bed of the River Jordan and use them to erect a memorial. Parents would use this object lesson in future generations to tell their children the story of how God cut off the waters of the river and allowed His people to cross over on dry ground.
We need to remember how good God has been to us. Just as the Lord delivered His people from their Egyptian bondage and then eventually parted the waters of Jordan for them to occupy Canaan, He has made a way for us. From time to time, we need to remember where God delivered us from and where He is taking us. It is good for our children to know that God has brought us to where we are now. It becomes easier to forget with every passing generation. Joshua’s generation could never forget the miracle of crossing the Jordan River, but their children or grandchildren might not have remembered. So it is in our lives.
An example of this can be seen in our nation’s heritage. Younger generations have been restricted from hearing about the Christian heritage of our country. Many of the landmarks that serve to memorialize these facts have been and are being removed. Fewer believers seem to be aware of the great heritage we have as Baptists. As generations come and go, history is muddled; and people forget how faithful God has been to the often despised, but faithful, followers. Churches forget the miracles of God’s grace previous generations have experienced. It is good for us to remember God’s grace that brought us to this place.