Hi, welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host for the Daily Challenges. Yesterday we read the story of
Does this sound familiar? 40 years earlier, the Israelites crossed the Red Sea in a similar manner. The waters parted, and they walked through on dry ground. That story was their founding narrative as a nation – it would have been told over and over. It still is today. And in this story, we see it happening once again.
Except for Joshua and Caleb, none of these people were older than children last time. Imagine the excitement of this group as they experienced something so familiar, so foundational to their families and national identity.
I can imagine they experience an overwhelming sense of God’s goodness. He really was out to protect them. He really was faithful. He really had their best interests at heart.
This was something they should never forget. A relationship with this good, loving God was meant to be the center of their life as a nation forever. So, God told them to build this stone monument on the banks of that river as a reminder of his goodness.
Why 12 stones? Because there were 12 tribes of Israel. They, as a nation, were built by God. There was no way they’d have escaped slavery in Egypt without him parting the waters of the Red Sea, and there was no way they’d have entered the Promised Land had God not divided the waters of the Jordan River.
The stones came from the river, also quite intentionally. People had to go back in harm’s way, trusting God would hold the waters back until they were done. They had to bring out stones they could never have retrieved without God’s direct intervention, and now those stones were on display as a reminder of what they could do when they obeyed a loving, good God.
But – there’s a wrinkle. Joshua 4:24 says why he did all this, and it doesn’t use the word “good.” The Bible says God did this “so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.”
Now, this week is about God being good. But this story itself claims to be about fearing God.