Remember God’s Power
Dear Father, let the word of joy and truth in the Gospel resonate in my heart with new fervor today.
Read Joshua 4:1-9
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
Imagine life without God. What would it be like? How thankful we should be for his reality, existence, power and love!
Like Moses’ Song of the Sea (Exod. 15:1-18), the stone memorial declares God’s faithfulness. In times of doubt and difficulty, Israel will need to remind herself of what God has done for them. Joshua’s leadership and authority are similarly emphasized; he is now well in charge, hears directly from God, and commands the people. How do you remind yourself of the times when God steps into your life?
In Jewish life it is traditional to leave a pebble or small stone when visiting the grave of a loved one. This is done to honor their memory by adding a small reminder to the larger memorial stone that is put up one year after a funeral. The stones put up at the Jordan are not commemorating death, but transition into the new life promised in the land of Canaan. An Israeli folk song says, “There are men with hearts of stone, and stones with the hearts of men.” Such stones speak from the heart of God’s love and power, his protection and guidance. We, too, need such reminders in our life journeys.
For Joshua, the priests, and all of Israel there is no going back. Just as the crossing of the Red Sea sealed the fate of the Egyptians and opened a new era in the history of the people of God, now the conquest and settlement of the Promised Land has begun. For Christians, baptism and the Lord’s Supper are signs by which we declare our faith in the risen Messiah and commit ourselves to following him as disciples. Such signs strengthen our faith. Whenever Martin Luther felt his energy flagging, his doubt growing, or his fear strengthening, he would cry out, “I am baptized!” In that cry would be the renewal of strength to go forward on whatever journey he faced.
How do you strengthen your faith, and those of others, with reminders of who God is and what he has done? Which Christian life-stories and writings would you use?
Sovereign Lord, as I look back on my life, I see signposts on my spiritual journey. Your hand has been upon me, and I give You thanks and praise.