Joshua 4:1-14

When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the LORD said to Joshua, "Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan from right where the priests stood and to carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight."

So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, 5 and said to them, "Go over before the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, 'What do these stones mean?' tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever."

So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the LORD had told Joshua; and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down. Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day.

Now the priests who carried the ark remained standing in the middle of the Jordan until everything the LORD had commanded Joshua was done by the people, just as Moses had directed Joshua. The people hurried over, and as soon as all of them had crossed, the ark of the LORD and the priests came to the other side while the people watched. The men of Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over, armed, in front of the Israelites, as Moses had directed them. About forty thousand armed for battle crossed over before the LORD to the plains of Jericho for war.

That day the LORD exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they revered him all the days of his life, just as they had revered Moses.

Setting up memorials to remind what God has done for Israel, this seems to be a constant theme in the OT. Indeed, the Passover Meal, the Year of Jubilee etc were instituted to commemorate God's goodness to the people, so that people can remember His blessing. In fact, this has been what Psalm 78 is all about. From verse 3 to 8, it says:

what we have heard and known,
what our fathers have told us.

We will not hide them from their children;
we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD,
his power, and the wonders he has done.

He decreed statutes for Jacob
and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our forefathers
to teach their children,

so the next generation would know them,
even the children yet to be born,
and they in turn would tell their children.

Then they would put their trust in God
and would not forget his deeds
but would keep his commands.

They would not be like their forefathers—
a stubborn and rebellious generation,
whose hearts were not loyal to God,
whose spirits were not faithful to him.

God wants us to remember His blessings for us. When we give and tithe, we dun just do so mindlessly but one purpose is really to give thanks to God for all the blessing that He has given us throughout the week and month. We need to count our blessings and stop taking God for granted. The greatest one flaw of man is to take things for granted and our treatment of God is not going to be the exception. It is easy to take Him for granted when things are going well and easy to blame Him when things are going very wrong in our lives. But I remember what Phil Pringles says in a sermon a few years back in Singapore: if we are blaming God for all the bad things in life, then why are we not giving thanks to Him for all the good things?

And we need to tell people how He has blessed us. This I think we sometimes are guilty of not doing so very actively. I myself dun do it very often as well. But should we? I think God wants us to tell other how He has blessed us, so that people will know that He is God. If He blesses us, we need to know they are for a purpose. That's why we keep on asking people to share their testimonies to people.

We really need opportunities to declare God's blessings to our friends. We need to be willing to do so also. It reminds me that I need to pray for myself to be willing to seek these opportunities.


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