WHAT MEAN THESE STONES

INTRODUCTION
A. Joshua 4:19-24
1. God’s people, under the leadership of Joshua, have just entered the land promised to their forefathers
2. Notice the events of the past:
a. 400 plus years of bondage in Egypt
b. Moses had led Israel for some 40 years prior to his death in the land of Moab
c. The law of God had been given:
1) To the people of the exile from Egypt to Mt. Sinai – Exodus
2) To the people of the inheritance of Moab – Deuteronomy
d. The Jordan River was crossed via dry land
e. The children of Israel are now in the Promise Land – but what do they do first?
3. Under the Lord’s instruction, Joshua establishes a “memorial” by having each of the twelve men he had chosen to remove a stone from Jordan. These 12 stones were then placed as a memorial of their passing through the Jordan River.
B. Memorials are for the purpose of reminding us of certain events. They serve as valuable lessons to succeeding generations.
1. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
2. The Lincoln Memorial
3. The Washington Monument
4. Memorial Day
5. A spiritual memorial – The Lord’s Supper
C. Later when those who saw the stones would as, “What mean these stones?”
1. In asking, an important question will have been raised
2. In answering, some valuable lessons will be taught
D. What might have been some of the possible answers that were given?
DISCUSSION
A. What did these stones mean? – These stones meant that God is a God of Providence.
1. He cares for His people
2. He provides for His people
3. God made provisions for His people in the past:
a. Examples:
1) Joseph to prepare the grain to preserve the Hebrew nation
2) Moses rose up to be God’s deliverer
3) Manna & quail provided in the wilderness
4) A law to live by
5) Protection from their enemies
6) His presence to guide them – Cloud and Pillar of Fire
7) A new leader to succeed Moses
8) Miraculous parting of the Jordan River
b. Even though time and time again the Lord provided for them, it was important that they be reminded of God’s graciousness and God’s provision for them
4. God continues to provide for His people under the Christian dispensation
a. Romans 8:28
b. 1 Peter 2:9
c. Romans 8:35-38
5. God’s providence is abundant today!
B. What did these stones mean? – These stones meant that each succeeding generation must be taught about God.
1. Joshua 4:21-22
a. Why? Note Joshua 4:24
b. Some things should not be forgotten
c. Some things should always be remembered
2. Deuteronomy 6:1-9
a. Moses charged the people to teach their children and grandchildren
b. They must be taught God’s law
c. And that which is taught is to be taught they way God would want it taught – no addition or subtraction
3. The obligation to teach our children is enjoined on us today
a. Ephesians 6:4
b. If we do not teach our children the world will – but:
1) The world will teach them wrong things
2) The world will not teach them about eternal things
3) The world will not teach them about spiritual matters
4) The world will not teach them about the sacredness of life
5) The world will not teach them about God
4. Friends, one untaught generation could very well take the church into apostasy. Consider some things about Ephesus
a. Acts 20:29-31
b. 1 Timothy 1:3
c. Revelation 2:4
5. These stones mean that each generation must be taught
C. What did these stones mean? – These stones meant that conviction is more important than convenience.
1. The Lord desire these people to remember Him
a. To keep themselves away from the gods of the land
b. God wanted their allegiance and service out of the conviction of their hearts
c. They were entering a land that had many false gods
1) It would be easy for them to mix and mingle with these false religions
2) They could be easily led astray
3) They could easily embrace these false religions
4) In fact, the biblical records shows they continually had a problem with false gods
2. The child of God today is faced with a similar dilemma
a. False doctrine is a problem in our day
b. It is easy to worship a god of convenience instead of worshipping in truth out of conviction
3. 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
a. Paul is saying do not mix with unbelievers in any compromising relationships
b. Does this mean that we cannot be around unbelievers? No! How else would we be able to teach them?
c. It does mean that we cannot enter into any relationship with an unbeliever that would cause us to be guilty of sin
4. These stones mean that we must serve God out of conviction rather than out of convenience
D. What did these stones mean? – These stones meant that God’s people not only had a past – they also had a future
1. There was no need for a memorial if this was the end
a. Israel had a glorious past…
1) They have been delivered from bondage
2) They had been cared for time and time again (manna, quail, water, guidance, etc.)
b. Not only did they have a glorious past, they also had a future
1) Joshua 4:21
2) “In the time to come” is future
c. They needed to prepare each generation to tell the world about their God. If they didn’t who would?
2. Let us consider the Lord’s church
a. The church has a glorious past
1) Its place in Old Testament
2) Its establishment
3) It growth throughout Acts
4) It survived persecution and the Dark Ages
5) The fact that it still exists at all is a credit to the mighty providence of God
b. Colossians 1:23
1) There was a time when the Gospel was preached to the whole world
2) Those people are dead and gone, and we must be concerned about reaching the lost in our lifetime
3) Who will tell the world if we don’t?
4) Ephesians 3:10
c. We must continue the work the Lord has assigned to the church
1) We cannot rest on our laurels
a) Certainly it is fine to remember them
b) Sure we should give thanks for past efforts
c) There is nothing wrong with feeling proud
2) But, we must constantly carry and defend the banner of truth
d. Truly we have a past, but we also have a future
1) There is a new generation yet unborn that shall depend upon what we are now – today!
2) What a glorious past … What a glorious future
3. These stones meant that while we have a past, we also have a future
CONCLUSION
A. Our part in what is now past history may have varied
1. Some are too young to remember
2. Some may have been young converts and thus were not deeply involved at that time
3. But now we must put our shoulders to the harness and work for the future
B. What are these stone? They are a memorial for God’s people.
1. They meant that God is a God of Providence
2. They meant that each succeeding generation must be taught about God
3. They meant that conviction is more important than convenience
4. They meant that God’s people not only had a past, but they also had a futrue

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About from the Preachers PC

Gospel Preacher for the Park Heights church of Christ in Hamilton, TX. I stand for and defend the truth of God's word. All other degrees and diplomas mean very little in comparison.
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