«That all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever» (Joshua 4:24).
God instructed Joshua to choose twelve men, one from each tribe, to erect a commemorative monument of the crossing of the river, as a reminder from generation to generation of God’s power and of His care for His faithful children.
Two monuments are registered. The first was erected in the middle of the river. A pile of rocks was made in such a way that the top could be seen when the river flowed at its normal rate and could be seen entirely when the water ran clear. One could hear the sound of the water passing among the rocks, so that boatmen could avoid it when traveling by, and this sound would intrigue the inhabitants of the country and any foreigners passing through. They would ask why those rocks were standing in the middle of the river. Then the story would be told of the powerful protection of God, adding that there the priests stopped with the ark on their shoulders while the multitude crossed over to the other side, safe and dry. Perhaps some even traveled there to see the monument.
Another monument was erected in Gilgal, the place where the Israelites camped after crossing the stormy river. It was a duplicate memorial, as a reminder of the happy ending of the wandering in the desert. No one could stand in the way of God’s victory. The Israelites would remember and thank God for His divine protection, and they would respect His name. That monument was to be like an open book for the children of future generations. The rocks served as a stimulus for parents to explain the wonders of God, the respect and obedience to His precepts. If the Israelites failed in their mission, the rocks would speak of their victorious past. We need mothers and fathers who will do the same today. It is God’s desire that families develop traditions, special days or places that will help their children to remember God’s working in their lives.
Tell your children about what God has done in your life, how He has answered your prayers, and how He has met your needs. A visual help will maintain the memory of God’s protection in the past, motivate to face the present with courage, and the future without fear.
«We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history.”- Life Sketches, ch. 31, p. 196.