W.I.S.H. – Weekly Insights for Spiritual Health 09-22-2021
Read: Joshua 4
When the chosen people entered the promised land the first thing God instructed them to do was to raise twelve stones. That’s what people did in those days to signify that God did something great at that location. God wanted there to be a raised stone for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. God had worked profoundly in each of those twelve tribes, and had done great things among them.
Let’s recap: God promised Abraham and Sarah that God would make them into a great nation of God’s people. That their ancestors would be as numerous than the stars in the sky if they learned to walk by faith. That promise continued with Isaac and Rebecca in the next generation. That promise was reaffirmed in Jacob, Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah, and their 12 sons (and daughters). Jacob was renamed “Israel” by God. So the 12 tribes of Israel are descended from the 12 sons of Israel.
A prolonged draught reunited the family in Egypt, where Joseph had risen to power after having been sold as a slave by his brothers. In time the “Israelites” became enslaved in Egypt for more than 400 years. God heard their cries and raised up Moses as a uniquely qualified leader to set God’s people free. God promised to be with Moses and the people and proved faithful in securing their freedom. The Israelites left Egypt thru the Red Sea and God gave Moses the 10 commandments. It wasn’t all “milk and honey” in the wilderness and the people grow tired of manna. They tested God’s patience and they doubted God’s word that they are ready to enter the promised land. God kept them in the wilderness for 40 years until that generation had passed away. It was Joshua whom God raised up to be the new leader after Moses died at age 120. It was Joshua that led the people into the promised land. There is plenty in this saga to remember and celebrate.
It has become popular to stack stones, called “Cairns”. They are like the ebenezers in the Old Testament. Are there times in your life that God has acted remarkably, faithfully, miraculously? Has the Lord led your through danger or adversity? What events in your past would you make a cairn or ebenezer to remember and celebrate what God has done in your life? God’s people remember what God has done, and it gives them courage to walk by faith, to trust God’s promises for the path ahead.
Pastor Rob Nystrom