Journal Joshua 3-4 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: (Joshua speaking to the 12 selected men from each tribe) “…that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’, then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord.
When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So, these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.” Josh 3:6-7
Observation: It is hard to pick up anything but the facts of the record sometimes. But there are jewels of Godly principles to be unpacked everywhere the Living Word is recorded.
Analysis: Reading Joshua 3-4, I wondered if the writer was trying to fill up a word count, as if he got paid by the word.
Seriously, look how many times scenarios were repeated in these two chapters: the priests on what they were supposed to do; the congregation on what they were supposed to do; the 12 guys cherry-picked from the Tribes to find and carry rocks for a monument from the bottom of the Jordan, etc.
Then I understood: How do I remember anything? If I want to drill something in the gray matter between my ears, what do I do? Repeat, repeat, and repeat again. Repetition is the mother of knowledge, right?
That is what God is hammering: REMEMBER. And not only remember but remember with purpose: So that in generations to come, I will be faithful to tell of His mighty deeds. David:
- “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.” Ps 77:11
- “We will not hide them from their children but tell the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that He has done…so that they shall set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments and not be like their fathers—a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.” Ps 78:4-8
How faithful am I about telling my children of the mighty works and wonders of God? I can check off the box saying that presented the Gospel (or a semblance thereof) to them once upon a time; but having the daily recognition of His deeds in my mouth? Shucks, I hardly tell them to myself, much less anybody in my family.
It is erecting (figuratively maybe) a monument that I can say; “See? See what the hand of the Lord has done!! Oh, sorry, have I already said this? Too bad: I am going to say it again and again. It deserves to be faithfully repeated all my days.”
Hammer point: Faithfulness comes in remembering and doing what I am supposed to do over and over again.
Prayer: Lord, how can I increase in faithfulness? One way is by remembering Your works and Your ways AND talking about them, starting with the face in the mirror, and extending to my spouse, then to my children, then to the local church, then to strangers unknown. When I meet exasperated opposition, keep on talking, gently and persuasively. AMEN.