when your children ask
Joshua 4:1-9 (JDV)
Joshua 4:1 This happened when the entire nation had finished crossing the Jordan. Yahveh said to Joshua:
Joshua 4:2 “Bring twelve men from the people, one man for each tribe,
Joshua 4:3 and command them: Take twelve stones from this place in the middle of the Jordan where the priests are standing, carry them with you, and set them down at the place where you spend the night.”
Joshua 4:4 So Joshua summoned the twelve men he had secured from the Israelites, one man for each tribe,
Joshua 4:5 and said to them, “Go across to the ark of Yahveh your God in the middle of the Jordan. Each of you lift a stone onto his shoulder, one for each of the Israelite tribes,
Joshua 4:6 so that this will be a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean to you? ‘
Joshua 4:7 you should tell them, ‘The water of the Jordan was cut off in front of the ark of Yahveh’s covenant. When it crossed the Jordan, the Jordan’s water was cut off.’ Therefore these stones will always be a memorial for the Israelites.”
Joshua 4:8 The Israelites did just like Joshua had commanded them. The twelve men took stones from the middle of the Jordan, one for each of the Israelite tribes, just like Yahveh had told Joshua. They carried them to the camp and set them down there.
Joshua 4:9 Joshua also set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant were standing. The stones are still there today.
when your children ask
This memorial was important because it established a connection between the miracle in the past and the ongoing faith of the Israelites. The future generations would not relive this miracle, but the stones would be a reminder that it had happened. Even the significance of the miracle may be lost in time, but it could be relearned in generations to come because the sign of the event remained.
What signs are you leaving for future generations that God has been at work in your life. It is not too late. Begin leaving breadcrumbs for your children and grandchildren to follow you on your walk. Testify to what he is doing in your life.
LORD, may we leave such evidence of your work in our lives that our descendants know that you have visited us.