Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Remember


I've been doing a lot of thinking this weekend about Memorial Day. Those thoughts expanded into "memorials" in general, so I looked up the word in the dictionary:

Memorial
noun
1.
something designed to preserve the memory of a person, event, etc., as a monument or a holiday.
2.
a written statement of facts presented to a sovereign, a legislative body, etc., as the ground of, or expressed in the form of, a petition or remonstrance.


My thoughts traveled back to the Sunday School story about the Israelites placing the twelve stones in Joshua 4:


Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, out of every tribe a man: And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of Jordan, and take you up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel: 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. And the children of Israel did so as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the midst of Jordan, as the Lord spake unto Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them unto the place where they lodged, and laid them down there. And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant stood: and they are there unto this day.

The Lord told Joshua to have the children of Israel prepare a memorial. This memorial was "designed to preserve the memory." I think it is important that we as believers set up memorials in our lives that remind us of spiritual victories and lessons of our lives. It's important that we, like the Israelites, remember the faithfulness of our God. There are a few truths I notice in this passage regarding this memorial that I think can instruct us on constructing memorials in our own lives.

1. It was purposeful. Memorials don't just "appear." They are created by the person who participated in the event or the person who knew the person being memorialized. The many memorials in Washington DC didn't just pop up. They were built with the sole purpose of reminding future generations of the great victories and hard work of our forefathers. Memorials in our spiritual walk are the same way, we must create them with the purpose of remembering all that God did in that specific situation.

2. It was public. Joshua, per God's command, had the men place their stones in a place that could be seen by all. This wasn't a hidden memorial. It was viewable by both the Israelites as well as the heathen enemies of Israel. This memorial spoke to God's faithfulness and deliverance of the people, and His promise was never something the Israelites hid. I'm not saying we need to create massive memorials to God in our front yard :), but what I am saying is that I believe we shouldn't worry about hiding away the things that God has done for us.

3. It was prominent. I don't think the men of Israel were picking up pebbles! I picture a decent size pile of rocks. The memorial was prominent. It was something that God indicated would be seen by generations to come. It would be a talking point for all those that passed by in the future. Again, thinking about Washington DC memorials, they are huge! They are noticeable, and they are conversation starters. Our spiritual memorials need to be prominent in our lives so that they cannot be easily forgotten or removed. Place the reminder in a place that you see often so that you can effortlessly be reminded of God's faithfulness and goodness.

4. It was permanent. Joshua indicates that this would be a permanent structure because the Bible says in verse 9, "and they (the stones) are there unto this day. God's faithfulness will never end, so let's create memorials that will remind us for years to come of how God moved in our life.

I want to do a better job at creating memorials of all that God has done in my life, don't you? What practical ways can we do this? I would love to hear your ideas!




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