Joshua 4: Out of the River

Confession: I was wrong.

I take back what I said yesterday about the limited amount of space given to the crossing of the Jordan. Joshua 4 actually gives a lot of airtime to the ceremony following the crossing. My bad. I spoke too soon.

The New Moses

Remember what Moses’ name meant? “Out of the River.”

Joshua and Israel have now come “out of the river,” but that is not where the comparison stops.

  • Whenever God would give Moses a command, he would execute it almost immediately. Joshua is doing the same thing. Looks like Moses was a good teacher.
  • Joshua, like Moses, commands people to tell their story. Future generations will not understand those piles of rocks by the river. Tell them what they mean.
  • People stood in awe of Moses. Now they stand in awe of Joshua.
  • Moses led the people through the Red Sea. Joshua just led them through the Jordan River.

There is sometime so right about Israel’s leadership structure. Moses managed to pass some of his best qualities on to Joshua. There was clear communication to the people about who was in charge when Moses was gone. And the people have hardly seemed to notice that the man who led them for 40 years is gone.

Seamless. Synergy. Integration. Other business terms!

Learning Something New

So I remember from past readings that Israel built an altar near the river to remember God’s power as he helped them cross the it. What I didn’t remember is what Joshua did.

Joshua set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the covenant had stood; and they are there to this day.

There is an altar in the river. Smack-dab in the middle. Never saw that before.

And no wonder it is there when the book was written. Who wants to wade into the flooded Jordan river to move some rocks around?

Actually, I might want to give that a shot. Anyone want in? I have a thing for moving and throwing rocks when I am near water. I think it’s a guy thing.

But the point here is that there are things that are worth remembering. What is it going to take for us to remember what God has done in our lives and tell the story to those that come later?

We forget our stories too easily.

God didn’t want Joshua to forget. So he had Joshua build not one, but two altars to this event. One on the shore, another in the river.

I may have asked this in a previous post, but is there something God has done in your life that you are tempted to forget? What do you need to “build” to make sure you remember it?

3 responses

  1. We have a memorial box, based on these stones in Joshua 4, where we write the stories of Gods faithfulness to us and we put them in there with symbolic items to remind us. When we need reminding we open the box… when friends or family come here and they are struggling to believe ‘God can’ in whatever situation… we take out the box!

    Actively trying to combat our human trait of forgetting almost immediately, I think we have to be proactive!

    This last christmas we set one up with my immediate family and we all wrote a piece of Gods faithfulness to us in that last year and we have determined to have a meal every year – end Dec, take communion, add a new letter each and take a look at the old ones and share our stories 🙂

  2. I love the idea of building memorials to remind us what God has done. The problem is that too often they become memorials to our glory, not His.

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