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Stones of Remembrance
Remembering God's Mercies

A Commentary by Constance Vanides

    "And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.”
    (Joshua 4:7b)

    “Galloping” through the Bible in 90 days is not my idea of easy reading! I have taken on that task with a group from our church. The goal is to read through the entire Bible, Old and New Testaments in 90 days! It forces me to read scripture daily, albeit quicker than I normally would read. Today, one month after my commitment, I am encouraged with having read one third of the Bible already!

    What have I discovered or learned reading at such breakneck speed? A few things stand out: 1) I needn’t understand everything at first glance, as I read; 2) It is exciting to suddenly discover something I somehow missed before; 3) I can apply the same principles to my life today.

    As I read again about God’s desire to have His children follow Him in every detail of His commands, I realize how difficult it is for me to fully obey and trust Him in every aspect of daily living. The story of the Hebrews is my illustration.

    God chose Moses to lead the Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt into their promised land. God was faithful and Moses followed Him, directing the people each step of the way, only to find the often self-directed Hebrews murmuring and rebelling. Moses did indeed have his hands full! Does that sound like us today, making decisions without consulting God?

    Moses himself was often “fed-up” and, rather than relying on God completely, added his own way, enough to incur God’s ultimatum for him. Though he was allowed to see the Promised Land, he was not allowed to enter in himself!

    Joshua, the next leader learned some basics in keeping the Hebrews in remembrance of God’s covenant and laws. Crossing the Jordan River into the Promised Land is the example we could follow.

    Unable to cross the sizeable Jordan River under their own power must surely have been a reminder to these second generation Hebrews of God’s miraculous action, which led their fathers before them on dry land through the Red Sea in their escape from Egypt. Pharaoh followed close behind with horses and chariots only to be drowned as the Sea returned to its normal flow.

    This time, God gave Joshua further instructions to help the Hebrews remember the wonders God did for them so they might continue trusting Him.

      “Take for yourselves twelve stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet stood firm You shall carry them over with you and leave them in the lodging place where you lodge tonight.” (Joshua 4:3)

      “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ then you shall let your children know, saying, ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land; for the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over, that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever.’” (Joshua 4:21-24)

    God continues to pour miracles into our own lives. I am reminded of how God showed me His miracle working power for the first time. His healing of a nephew opened my eyes to reveal a compassionate God and I was driven to find out more. You may want to read of this miracle in an earleir Contemplation Page, titled “More Miracle Stories”. That event would be my first stone, on which other stones would soon be placed as a reminder of God’s presence with me.

    You may want to read more of how God showed Himself to me during times of great physical need. See archived pages, “God’s Mercy Endures Forever” and “Lessons From the Barn Swallow.” The more I devote myself to Him, reading the Bible daily, whether quickly or more deliberately, the more He reveals His desire of how I am to live and encourage others in the Way. My “stones” have piled up, each a reminder of what miraculous things God has done in my life.

    My stones are special rock reminders set apart in a special corner outdoors. I wear other reminders in a semi precious bead necklace or another of a pendant around my neck. Both serve to remind me of God’s faithfulness and my dependence on Him alone.

    O, Lord God, I look and touch those stones set to honor You. I am reminded of how great You are! How can I ever forget You?

    (If you are interested, you can see an alphabetical listing of most of this website's Contemplation Pages at Contemplation Pages Archive)

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    © Constance Vanides