“That this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’” – Joshua 4:6
A quick reading of Joshua 4 would have us wonder why a pile of rocks is worthy of our consideration. Why all this fuss about 12 stones? The answer is that because weare all too forgetful concerning spiritual things, we too need “a sign among us,” a memorial testifying of the great and awesome work of Almighty God. Each generation of Israelites, when they walked past this memorial set up along the Jordan River, was to remember how mighty, majestic and merciful their God was. This teaching was to be passed down to each succeeding generation as well, so that all who follow would praise their God aright.
God gives His New Testament Church such memorials as well. Tomorrow, as you attend church services, you will undoubtedly see a baptismal font and a communion table at the front of the sanctuary. Most churches will also have a cross displayed, either inside the sanctuary or outside on the front of your building. These are to be “a sign among you.”
The water of baptism symbolizes the forgiveness of sin. The bread and the wine testify to how that forgiveness was obtained for us in the spent body and shed blood of our Lord. The cross is not just a mere decoration for the front of the church; it is the throne where the Lamb of God absorbed the wrath of God as our substitute. Because our hearts so easily forget, we too need these memorials to be “a sign among us.”
Suggestions for prayer
Think deeply about each of these signs among us. Praise God for giving us each of these “memorial stones.” Ask God to strengthen you that you may always remember and never forget what He has done for you in Jesus Christ your Saviour.
This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Ed Marcusse is the pastor of the Oak Glen United Reformed Church of Lansing, Illinois.