“Each of you lift a stone onto his shoulder, one for each of the Israelite tribes, so that this will be a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ you should tell them, ‘The waters of the Jordan were cut off in front of the arm of the Lord’s covenant.” Joshua 4:6-7
As the Israelites were preparing to cross the Jordan River on dry land, even as their fathers had cross the red sea, God gave them the above command. They were to build an alter. As their children saw this alter and asked about it’s meaning they would have an opportunity to tell the children about the mighty works that God ha performed. As I read this recently I found myself thinking, what “alters” have I erected that remind me of What God has done and give me an opportunity to tell my children and the children in the church about it.
Why is this important? Moses generation saw God send plagues to free them from Egypt. They saw God part the Red Sea. They saw Him bring water from a rock. They received manna when they got hungry and quale when they demanded meat. They saw God work and followed Him. Not perfectly, but they followed.
Joshua’s generation saw God part the Jordan River. They saw the mighty walls of Jericho come tumbling down. They saw God work and followed Him. Not perfectly, but they followed.
Judges 2:10-11 says, “That whole generation was also gathered to their ancestors. After them another generation rose up who did not know the Lord or the works He had done for Israel. The Israelites did what was evil in the Lord’s sight.”
This is speaking of the generation that came immediately after Joshua. They quickly forgot the amazing things that God had done in the previous generations. This is why it is important because we are always only a single generation away from he death of Christianity. I understand that God is much bigger than this kind of thing, but in our church and in our country we really are just one generation away from Christianity dying. We must remind our children of the things that God has done.
Setting up stones. In the same way that the Israelites set up stones as a reminder of what God did for them, setting something in our home as a reminder to our own children can really help them know and remember what God has done. Be creative. Make it something that stands out. Make it something that your kids will be curious about when you first put it. Try to make it something that your kids will ask you about again and again.
Keep it real. When you talk about what God has done it is great to talk about the many things God did in the Bible. However, do more than just talk about it. Get out your Bible. Take them to the passages that talk about it. Read it to them. Read it with them. Help them to understand that these are more than just stories. These things really happened. God did these things for these real people and He still works in people’s live today.
Make it personal. In addition to telling the stories from the Bible, tell your kids what God has done in YOUR life. This will help them to see that God is still at work in the world today.
So, what? If I’m honest I haven’t figured out what this will look line in my family or my ministry. But, it is something I am actively working on. So, how will you do this? What are you already doing to help ensure that your kids know what God has done in your lives? What ideas do you have to do this?Matt Norman
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