Sunday, June 28th
Introduction to the Devotionals for the week of June 28, 2015
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
I am away this week and so the Devotionals are being done prior to Pastor Ben's 6-28-15 message. Of course, his message will be given by the time you read this and you will know that Pastor Ben preached on the Joshua passage above. By God's mighty hand the people of Israel under the leadership of Joshua are at long last in the promised land. There is much that lies ahead for them in taking possession of the land, but "God's people in his promised land" is truly a memorial occasion in their history. This is what the 12 stones are all about. The 12 stones are a symbol of the memorial occasion of what God has done and the experience God's people have entered into.
So, there is just one simple connection this week to our Joshua passage and that is the 12 memorial stones. As Christians we have many memorial occasions as God works in our lives. This week's devotions will give us one verse each day, one memorial occasion, and one memorial symbol. The symbol of the memorial occasion is not the primary focus but rather it is what the symbol represents. Each symbol reminds us of our connection to one special way God worked on our behalf and it beckons us to be renewed in that experience and to go further and deeper. For some the symbol presents to them the opportunity to respond to the special way God wants to work in their lives that up to now they have not experienced.
Posted on Sun, June 28, 2015
by Alan Porter