January 22, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“When all the people had crossed the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Now choose twelve men, one from each tribe. Tell them, “Take twelve stones from the very place where the priests are standing in the middle of the Jordan. Carry them out and pile them up at the place where you will camp tonight.’” So Joshua called together the twelve men he had chosen—one from each of the tribes of Israel. He told them, ‘Go into the middle of the Jordan, in front of the Ark of the Lord your God. Each of you must pick up one stone and carry it out on your shoulder—twelve stones in all, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, “What do these stones mean?” Then you can tell them, “They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant went across.” These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.’”—Joshua 4:1–7 (NLT)
Why do people make scrapbooks, keep tickets from movies, and collect other special mementos? Because these things serve as reminders of wonderful memories and milestones in our lives. They allow us to look back and remember some of our happiest moments and even share the stories with our friends, children, and even grandchildren. I call these types of objects “memory markers.”
Here in Joshua 4, we see a beautiful example of this. Once the people had crossed the Jordan as they prepared to take the city of Jericho and enter the Promised Land, the Lord instructed them to take 12 stones and build a memorial to serve as a reminder of God’s faithfulness and power. And the Israelites would be able to share the amazing story with their children and pass it on from generation to generation.
We see this practice on several other occasions in the Old Testament and each time the idea was the same: to remember what God had done. Friends, I highly recommend you do the following two things to help you remember all God has done in your life:
Pause: What mementos or memory markers do you have for significant moments in your life? Why did the Lord instruct the people to make the memorial?
Practice: If you haven’t done so already, take up the practice of journaling. Start today!
Pray: Father, thank You for all You have done. Help me to remember Your great works and faithfulness and trust that You are the same yesterday, today, and forever. Help me to remember what You did yesterday so I may always have hope for tomorrow. Amen.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.