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Seeds of the Kingdom

Memorial Stones

by Anne Lawrence

22 January 2013

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And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan.
Joshua 4: 20, NIV

Are you a forgetful person, or do you have a very good memory? Did you make any New Year’s resolutions, and are you keeping them, or have you already forgotten them? Have you ever made promises to God which over time you forget about? Have you had an experience with the Lord which you thought you would never forget and gradually the memory and the impact on your life have faded?

As people we are forgetful, and the Lord knows that. We make enthusiastic promises and commitments at times, and then sometimes the memory fades, and we don’t continue in the strength of what we intended at the time. We then come to a similar situation to the one we faced before, and we worry and panic all over again because we’ve forgotten the faithfulness of the Lord the last time this happened.

This was the case with the Israelites. We can see throughout the accounts of their lives and journeys how the Lord did amazing things for them: parting the seas, providing water out of rocks, providing manna, providing a pillar of cloud for the day and a pillar of fire at night to follow. And yet they still grumbled and didn’t follow His ways. They forgot the awesome things He did.

So when the Israelites came to the crossing of the Jordan into the Promised Land, the Lord told them to put memorial stones in the Jordan, and also on the shore of the Jordan. Joshua explained that this was so that ‘In the future when your descendants ask their fathers, ‘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 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.’

The Lord was asking them now to put down a solid reminder of what He’d done. This was not only for the benefit of the group of Israelites who passed through the water, but for all their descendants who were to come.

The Lord had performed this kind of miracle before (when He parted the Red Sea), but the group who experienced it had all died in the desert. This was now the next generation embarking on the promised entry into the land. They needed a revelation of God’s awesome power before they started, and they would also need to remember His awesome power as they fought the battles to take possession of the land.

Take a moment to reflect on the ‘memorial stone’ moments in your own life. Ask the Lord to remind you of any that you’ve forgotten. Perhaps you could write them down in a journal or your Bible so you can remember them and thank the Lord for them again. The God who met you in those circumstances is the same Lord who’s with you today. Whatever troubles or difficulties you face, He is faithful and mighty to save.

Prayer: Dear Lord, Thank You that You are a faithful God. Thank You for those special moments and experiences in my life where You met with me and delivered me. Help me to remember Your character and faithfulness and to walk in the knowledge of Your saving hand in my life today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Anne Lawrence joined the team at Ellel Grange in 2010 and is the Deputy Centre Director. She is married to Paul, Centre Director. Anne previously worked in education. Her last post was CEO of a College in Dublin. She has written courses, syllabi and a book for the English for Work series published by Longman. She has a heart for the broken and a passion to see people set free and released into more of what the Lord has for them. She loves to teach, listen, worship and create things.


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