ODJ: Memorials

May 31, 2016 

READ: Joshua 3:14-16 

Your children will ask, “What do these stones mean?” Then you can tell them (4:21-22).

Early in our marriage, my wife, Kristen, and I hiked a mountain trail. The day was full of colour, with a hot, yellow sun overhead, lush evergreens on each side and copper-coloured soil beneath our feet. We came upon a tree on which numerous hikers had carved their initials. Filled with the joy of our new life together and the beauty of the natural world, we felt like leaving a memorial too. Using the teeth of my car key, I scratched “A + K” into the bark.

Memorials are used in the Bible as a way to thank and worship God. One such memorial was built in Joshua 4:19-22. God had miraculously held back the Jordan River from flowing so the Israelites could enter the land He had promised them (3:14-16). It must have been an amazing and powerful experience to see the water “stand up like a wall” (v.13). It demonstrated God’s love and provision for the Israelites, while reminding them of His faithful protection when they had fled Egypt (Exodus 14:15-31).

Each one of us has unique stories of God’s goodness and provision in our lives. You may have a miraculous account like that of the Israelites. Or you may be struck by God’s goodness in everyday activities—working, playing or even while you’re out hiking. Regardless, take the time to memorialise God’s blessings. Write them down, tell your loved ones or carve your name in a tree trunk if you need to. It doesn’t need to be formal. It just needs to be recorded so that you’ll remember.

Joshua 4:24 tells us that God wanted a memorial to be built “so all the nations of the earth might know that the Lord’s hand is powerful, and so you might fear the Lord your God forever“. The memorial God helps you build can do the same thing.

—Andy Rogers

365-day plan: Daniel 3:1-10

Consider the urgency to remember God as it’s expressed in Ecclesiastes 12:5-7 
How could you memorialise something God has done for you this week? What could you create that would help you and others remember God’s power and goodness?