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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

God's Hand is Mighty

So we're still in Joshua, chapter 4, and the Israelites have just crossed the river and set up camp on the other side in Gilgal on the border of Jericho. Each tribe has taken a large stone out of the riverbed, and now Joshua creates a formation with these rocks to serve as a memorial of the miracle that God had just performed.

Knowing God~His Mighty Hand Guides Me

"When your children ask. . ."What do these stones mean?" then you shall let your children know, "Israel crossed over the Jordan here on dry ground." . . .so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, and so that you may fear the LORD your God for ever." Joshua 4: 21-24

God asked them to set up a memorial so that they would be able to tell the story again to their children, and to serve as a notice to everyone on earth that God was a powerful God. I think it's pretty neat that He told them to take stones out of the riverbed. They could have used smaller stones from the side of the river, but using stones from the actual riverbed was like using little pieces of the miracle to make a memorial to remind them of the miracle. The children would look and ask, and then be in awe that those very stones had once been at the bottom of the rushing river. It was a very real picture.

The word "fear" in today's context would imply a stern and vindictive God, but I think it actually means to "revere, worship, honor" God, which would make much more sense. If God had just performed this amazing miracle, why would they be afraid of Him?

As I look at this passage, remembering what I read yesterday about putting my feet in the waters, trusting that God will open up a clear path, I think about the stones and wonder how I can make that a practical reality. As a writer, I am constantly memorializing moments in my life that make an impact on me, whether filled with joy or difficulty. Perhaps as I look at the times when I took that hesitant first step into rushing waters and then saw a dry path miraculously appear, I can symbolically take a stone from the middle of that dry path and create an altar of my own. Perhaps my altar is made up of stones from all the rivers I have crossed so far, and perhaps it is an altar that will continue to be added to. Perhaps my memorial is my testimony, of the miracles that I've seen God do in my life, miracles that leave me in awe and lead me to worship and honor God.

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