I love the story in the Old Testament book of Joshua about the Israelites crossing the Jordan River. The children of Israel are waiting to cross the Jordan. However, this story takes place during the flood stage, which made it near impossible for anyone to cross the river during that time. God instructs the leaders to take the Ark of the Covenant in the river and tells them that the waters will cease so the Israelites can cross. Pretty cool God moment, if you ask me. Something you probably wouldn’t forget. Then God does something interesting. He commands the leaders to place 12 stones as a reminder to their children of how God had provided for the Israelites in a desperate moment.
Faced with a problem that they couldn’t solve, God stepped in and made a way. Because God understands the way we are wired, He told the Israelites to make a marker, a physical reminder that they could see and touch that would trigger their memory of God’s faithfulness. I imagine that there were a few Israelites that felt this act was unnecessary. Overkill, if you will. They must have thought, “Surely, we won’t forget this moment. Surely our faith in God will always remain strong.” If you haven’t read the story or you possibly forgot, let me fast-forward for you: the Israelites forgot.
A quick glance at Israel, and you realize they were prone to forget how God had delivered them from trouble. It’s so easy for us to judge Israel and to assume we would be different, we would be better, we wouldn’t forget.
But we will. God knew Israel would forget, so he told them to put up a marker. God knows we will forget, so he tells us to do the same.
Think about this. The final instruction by Jesus to his disciples was this: Do this in remembrance of me. Translation: Do this (communion), so you won’t forget how I delivered you.
We are prone to forget the faithfulness of God and, because of that, in our darkest moments, we question God. I don’t know your situation, and I don’t know the future outcome, but I do know that God is faithful and he calls us to remember. So, this morning or whenever you are reading this, here is what I want you to do: remember.
Take a few minutes and remember all the times that God came through. Write it down, say it out loud, do whatever it takes. Just don’t forget!