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Thanks to Joshua’s Godly leadership (i.e. listening to and obeying God), the nation passed through the Jordan River and made camp near Jericho. The similarities between the crossing of the Red Sea under Moses’ leadership and crossing of the Jordan River under Joshua’s leadership are too many to ignore. God gave Moses clear instructions (Exodus 14/15-18) and He gave clear instructions to Joshua (Joshua

[1] THE SIGNIFICANCE OF MEMORIES

a. Memory can be a very precious gift - but memories often needs stimulation/prompts to be activated

 Anzac Day, memorial plaques, foundation stones, etc. are all prompts: “Lest we forget”.

b. Communion service is stimulant to remind us “Do this in remembrance of Me”. In the O.T. people built altars as a way of thanking God and dedicating one’s life to love and serve Him (Read Genesis 12/8) God now provides such a reminder for His people- present & future.

 

[2) THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STONES

a. The purpose of t0his activity is spelt out in vs.6 & 7 - sign, memorial, a tangible expression of intangible reality. The placement of stones was to arrest attention - to provoke questions from others

c. This sign or memorial was also a testimony to…….

*God's faithfulness - v.23 - from generation to generation - He keeps leading them

*God's power - v.24 - meant to produce appropriate response of reverence and awe

d. Stones = visible reminder of new life/new beginning through God's power/faithfulness

 

[3]  THE QUESTION OF THE CHILDREN

a. Twice we hear the question (v.6, 21) - "What do these stones mean?"

b. The stones  were a sign that was for future generations who never saw the event at the river

c. Here was a provision for communicating the truth - a tangible talking point.

d. These stones were evidently different from others round about –

Maybe the way they were stacked created curiosity? Having been in river maybe they were more rounded?  

e. There were lots of bushes on Mt. Horeb - only one attracted Moses' attention – the one that was different (Exodus 3)

f. Whatever, their presence caught the attention of onlookers and generated questions.

 

[4] THE CONFIRMATION OF LEADERSHIP

a. As promised in 3/7, God establishes Joshua's credentials in the eyes of the people

b. Moses was "a hard act to follow" - Joshua could have lived in Moses' shadow – How crippling !?

c. Authority/Respect come through obedience & faithfulness - not title & position

 

[4] THE NEW TESTAMENT TRUTHS/PRINCIPLES

a. In the New Testament Peter talks about believers being like 'living stones' (1 Peter 2/5)

b. There is the expectation that somehow our lives will be different, prompting questions

*Acts 2/12 - Presence & Power of the Holy Spirit = Prompts question "What does this mean?"

*1 Peter 3/15 - When Christ is Lord, our lives prompt others to seek an explanation

c. Because of God's presence in our lives, we ought to be different in 2 ways:

*Individually - we ought to be different in character – the life of Jesus breaking through

*Corporately - we ought to be different in relationships - Christ's love prevailing

d. There is a sense in which we are the 'sign' of God in the world - reminder of His reality

e. The greatest testimony/sign we can give the world is a walk with God that is genuine & authentic - a living testimony as God shapes us & places us in His purposes.

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