Joshua 4 Part 1–The Memorial

This is just a little ironic.  As we enter the Memorial Day weekend, we are looking at God’s command for Israel to build a memorial for their crossing over the Jordan to claim their inheritance.  God knew that this event would be burned into the memories of all that were a part–but, he also knew that as generations passed; the people would soon forget the importance of crossing the Jordan, and claiming the land.The tribes set up a nice memorial at the place that they camped the first night in “Israel”.

In generations to come, when asked what the memorial represented, people would recount the stories of Egypt, manna, marching in the Desert and the taking of the land. They would explain that this memorial represented the day the children of Israel truly gained their covenanted lands.  It was critical that each tribe picked a stone.  that stone was probably unique, and was probably adorned in a way that made clear the tribe it represented.  As the people thrived and as generations passed, one could probably point out his tribes ancesteral stone and know the story of crossing the Jordan on dry land.

In our lives, we too must have memorials to remind us of God’s love for us, and of the gifts that He provided.  We are one nation under God. We must never forget the reason for this nation’s beginnings.  We must never forget the sacrifices made for our freedom. On our currency, in our founding documents, and across the world are memorials of the freedom we enjoy as one nation under God.  Like Israel, We must never forget that all that we are and all that we have–we have received as a gift from God. 

This Memorial Day weekend, let’s remember all that have sacrificed to keep our nation free and safe.  However, as we remember, let us also remember that the freedom we enjoy is truly a gift from God, and we must also be grateful that His hand has guided and protected this nation.

God Bless You


When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, “Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from right where the priests are standing, and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.”

So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”

So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the Lord had told Joshua; and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down. Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been[a] in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day.

Numbers 28-30, Daily Living and Keeping Vows

As God was wrapping His time with Moses, He took the people through some basic life rules.  He told the Israelites about the various offerings and festivals they were to be apart of and that they were to present. God next turned His attention to the importance of keeping one’s vows to the Lord.  God was clear, If one makes a vow to the Lord, he must keep it. God takes vows seriously, and He would rather His people not make a vow; than He would have them make it lightly and then break it.

The people of Israel needed to hear that message.  They had not been faithful. From the moment of their deliverance from Egypt, they did nothing but complain and continuously dishonor their commitment to trust and follow God. Literally thousands lost their lives due to their sin and unbelief. They marched through the desert for years because they failed to trust God. Now, as they approached the promised land for the second time, God was preparing them to live a life as His chosen people.  Critical to that, was their integrity for keeping vows.

In our lives, we are similarly situated. God does not require that we make a plethora of vows. He only asks that we have a relationship with Him.  In that relationship, however, we need to take vows seriously. As with Israel, God would rather us not make a vow, than to make and then disregard it.  He loves us and has a incredible capacity for grace and mercy–but, as with any parent, He expects us to keep our word and honor our vows.  It is not too much to ask and we should be glad to honor him in it.God Bless You

Moses said to the heads of the tribes of Israel: “This is what the Lord commands:When a man makes a vow to the Lord or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said.

“When a young woman still living in her father’s household makes a vow to the Lord or obligates herself by a pledge and her father hears about her vow or pledge but says nothing to her, then all her vows and every pledge by which she obligated herself will stand. But if her father forbids her when he hears about it, none of her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand; the Lord will release her because her father has forbidden her.

“If she marries after she makes a vow or after her lips utter a rash promise by which she obligates herself and her husband hears about it but says nothing to her, then her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand. But if her husband forbids her when he hears about it, he nullifies the vow that obligates her or the rash promise by which she obligates herself, and the Lord will release her.

Numbers 1 Part 1–Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!!!

God is methodical. From the beginning of time, He has had all knowledge of what was to come.  After liberating the children of Israel from captivity in Egypt, He brought them together in the desert, He gave them the law and prepared them to be a nation. Now 2 years after their release from captivity, it was time to ready them to take the land.  The book of Numbers is not an accounting guide. It is the story of God aligning the people of Israel to be a nation of free people.  

Ironically, the first thing God requires in the book, is for Moses to take a census.  He is to number the people of Israel, He is also to number the fighting men. God appoints leaders from each of the tribes named for Jacob’s sons and the two half tribes named for Joseph’s sons.  God was ready to have these people organized and prepared to enter the promised land.

In our lives, God is equally prepared.  He begins a work in us that He promises to carry on until we join Him.  It is methodical, just like the preparation of Israel. We have to trust that even though we cannot see the end; God has and does. We have to trust and simply follow Him there.  There is no promise that the journey will be easy–it took God two (2) years to get this group organized and prepared to be a nation! While we trust God to lead us, He will work in our lives to make us ready for what He has planned.  It has been, is and will always be a matter of trusting God to take the lead and then humbly following Him to victory! Welcome to the book of Numbers!

God Bless You 

 The Lord spoke to Moses in the tent of meeting in the Desert of Sinai on the first day of the second month of the second year after the Israelites came out of Egypt. He said: “Take a census of the whole Israelite community by their clans and families, listing every man by name, one by one. You and Aaron are to count according to their divisions all the men in Israel who are twenty years old or more and able to serve in the army. One man from each tribe, each of them the head of his family, is to help you. These are the names of the men who are to assist you:

from Reuben, Elizur son of Shedeur;

from Simeon, Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai;

from Judah, Nahshon son of Amminadab;

from Issachar, Nethanel son of Zuar;

from Zebulun, Eliab son of Helon;

10 from the sons of Joseph:

from Ephraim, Elishama son of Ammihud;

from Manasseh, Gamaliel son of Pedahzur;

11 from Benjamin, Abidan son of Gideoni;

12 from Dan, Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai;

13 from Asher, Pagiel son of Okran;

14 from Gad, Eliasaph son of Deuel;

15 from Naphtali, Ahira son of Enan.”

16 These were the men appointed from the community, the leaders of their ancestral tribes. They were the heads of the clans of Israel.