What do these stones mean
📖 Joshua Chapter 4 : 6
MONUMENT OR MOVEMENT 🗽 👣
( What do these stones mean? )
Visual aids make great memory joggers , don’t they ? While crossing the river Jordan the twelve men from the twelve tribes of Israel are to carry twelve stones and to place them together in a place where they would put their camps ( v 1-4 ). They were to remain as a memorial to the Israelites forever : CROSSING THE RIVER JORDAN 👣👣
WHAT DO THESE STONES MEAN ❓
🔖 to serve as a SIGN in the future ( v 6 )
🔖 to serve as a SYMBOL of Israel’s unity
🔖 it commemorated God’s mighty act .
📌 A stone monument was commonly used in OT as a memorial to remind the future generations of what had happened at that place.
📝 There are seven events of monuments in the book of Joshua :
1) CROSSING OF RIVER JORDAN 4:4-18
“Joshua set up 12 stones at Gilgal..” ( v 20) . This was to be a reminder of how the Lord had allowed the Israelites to cross the river Jordan on dry ground.
2) CONSEQUENCES OF ACHAN’S SIN 7:1-25
” Over Achan they heaped up a large pile of rocks..( v 26) . The whole nation had to suffer because of Achan’s sin. They stoned him to death .
3) CONQUERING THE CITY OF AI 8:1-29
“..Joshua burned Ai.. they raised a large pile of rocks over it.. ( v 29c). God leads in different ways at different times… and He deliver the city to his people . ⚔
4) RENEWAL OF COVENANT 8:30-35
“Joshua copied on stones the law of Moses..” ( v 32 ) . According to Moses, after crossing the river Jordan ( Deut 27:1-13) , the Israelites were to :
~ set up large stones
~ write the laws on the stones
~ build the altar of the Lord
~ sacrifice the fellowship offerings
~ pronounce the blessings and curses .
Joshua obeyed and read out the laws in the hearing of all( v 34-35 )
5) VICTORY OVER 5 AMORITE KINGS 10:16-26
“At the mouth of the cave they placed large rocks..” ( v 27b ) . Joshua instructed his commanders to put their feet on the necks of these 5 kings. A traditional sign of humiliation and subordination. 💪
📝 Paul writes “..the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. Rom 16:20
6) A MEMORIAL ALTAR 22:1-10 , 24-28
“Let us get ready and build an altar ” ( v 26-27 ) There was conflict over an altar built by Reuben , Gad and half tribe of Manasseh. The altar was a testimony to remain loyal to the Lord and to worship the Lord at the tabernacle. 🛐
7) SERVING THE LORD 24:1-25
“Joshua recorded these things .. he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak..” ( v 26 ) . This stone was in response to the declaration of the Israelites to serve the Lord 🙌
🎯 One thing is good to note here that the Israelites had set up these monuments in their pilgrimage in spite of their ups and down but they continued till they occupied the Promised land .
All these MONUMENTS ( memorials ) celebrates not the people involved in this historic event but the God who enact the miracle.
💕 Beloved Church, CHRISTIANITY IS A MOVEMENT OF FAITH. DON’T MAKE IT A MONUMENT.
Let us not spend our time in the monuments ( church attendances, personal experiences in missions/evangelism ; testimonies) , they are good for encouragement but slowly it will hinder our progress . So press on toward the goal to win the prize 👣
Glory to God 🙏
✍🏽 Mark Boje
Arunachal Pradesh, India