The Israelites had journeyed through the Judean desert forty years. They crossed the Red Sea on dry ground (Exodus 14). They complained about no water and no food. Even though God heard their cries and provided for them, they rebelled against Him, the One who rescued them from slavery in Egypt.
They crossed the Jordan River at flood stage on dry ground (Joshua 3) and came to the city of Jericho, a well fortified city. Its stone walls were 13 feet high. Its guard tower was 28 feet tall (John F. Guilmartin). The wall was wide enough at the top for chariots to travel over. Palm, balsam and fruit trees grew in this natural hot house, which was/is the lowest place on earth, more than 800 feet below sea level.
God said He would give the Israelites victory over Jericho with these instructions: The men of war were to march around the city every day for six days. On the seventh day they were to march around the city seven times. Then they were to give a loud shout. These people did not complain. They did not hesitate to do as God told them. They carried out His plan, and when they shouted, the walls of Jericho fell down. The Israelite army defeated Jericho.
THINK ABOUT IT
What trouble do you face today? Have you complained and rebelled against God? Are you ready to surrender your will into God’s plan? Children might get bullied at school. Know that you are the apple of God’s eye. Adults might be tempted to cheat on tax returns in order to avoid a higher tax bill. Even in hard times, it is better to be honest. The world has many challenges and temptations. As followers of God, we are to be set apart to do good, to shine God’s light into the darkness, to show love and compassion instead of hate or anxiety.
PRAY ABOUT IT
Lord God, help us to remember stories in the Bible how you went before your people to avert defeat. Help us to rise above temptation to do the right things, to live for you and to bring you glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Monuments have reminded us of events that happened in history down through the ages. Washington D. C., the capital of the United States of America, has the Washington monument and the Lincoln monument to mention only two. Each state in the union is dotted with monuments that tell more of humanity’s story.
Israel is also dotted with monuments. When the Israelites crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land, Joshua directed men from every tribe to carry stones from the river to the camp where they stayed, and they erected a monument there (Joshua 4:8-9), so they could tell their children and grandchildren what God had done. The first place in the Promised Land that the Israelites settled was Shechem. Joshua erected another monument there to remind the people for ages to come how God rescued His people from slavery in Egypt and led them to the Promised Land (Joshua 24:25-26).
Sometimes Israel piled stones on top of each other. Other times they found standing stones like the ones in the picture above. The stones came right out of the ground like trees. Standing stones can weigh as much as 25 tones and stand 20 feet tall and go into the ground as far as 20 feet (Living the Master’s Plan by Ray Vander Laan, page 5). It was the work of an army of men to rope, drag and mount these stones–all to keep the miracles of God alive in the hearts of men.
THINK ABOUT IT
Did you know you are a monument? God wants you to tell his story, not by standing still like the stones, but by telling others what He has done in Bible times and in your life. As you grow and gain experience, you will have more things to share with people, things that can help avert fear or anxiety. When I was a young mother, I always worried that we may not have enough money to pay the rent and buy food. But we always did. Today when I catch myself worrying about money, I am reminded how God has provided for us in the past, and I don’t worry anymore.
PRAY ABOUT IT
Thank you, Lord, for the memories of all you have done to help your people. Thank you for creating us and our families. Thank you for saving us from sin that so easily entangles our lives and causes problems. Help us to live in light of all you do to love, protect us and provide for us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.