Joshua 3-4 – Remembering the Faithfulness of God so that the Nations Will Know

“That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord that it is mighty: that ye might fear the Lord your God for ever” (v. 24). God’s miraculous deliverances of His own people have a message for all the world, and when He is pleased to sanctify the same unto the unregenerate, they are deeply impressed thereby (Dan. 3:29; 6:25-27). We must now seek to formulate the various lessons which we should learn from the memorial erected at Gilgal to mark the miraculous passage of the Jordan.
God’s ordering of this memorial is a solemn reminder of how prone our hearts are to forget His past interpositions on our behalf. Of Israel we are told they “forgat His works and His wonders that He showed them “; and again, that “they soon forgat His works” (Ps. 78:11; 106: 13). Alas, is not the same true of us? Even of the apostles Christ asked, “Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves ye took up?” (Matthew 16:9).
Also, because of our proneness to forget, suitable means are to be used in assisting us. We are to make conscience of the fact that God has bidden us to “remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee” (Deut. 8:2), and that precept should be turned into earnest prayer that we may not be negligent therein. We should frequently call to mind our previous experiences of God’s faithfulness and tender care of us. This will strengthen the spirit of thanksgiving and cause us to praise God anew. It will deepen our confidence in Him to count upon Him in present emergencies and trust Him for future deliverances. The more we do so, the less shall we fear the experience of death, assured that God will undertake for us as we are called upon to pass through the valley of the shadows, as certainly as He conducted Israel safely through the Jordan (see 2 Corinthians 1:10)!
But not only God’s past deliverances of us are to be treasured up in our memories, but also His mercies unto His people in times gone by. Faith is to look back to what the arm of the Lord hath done “in the ancient days, in the generations of old,” and say, “Art not Thou He which hath dried the sea . . . that made the depths of the sea, a way for the ransomed to pass over.” And what will be the consequence of such exercise of believing memories? This: “Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion” (Isa. 51:9-11). Why has God recorded the deliverance of Noah from the flood and of Lot from Sodom but to assure us that “the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation” (2 Pet. 2:5-9). Not only is “what was written aforetime written for our learning and comfort” (Rom. 15:4), but what God did aforetime is to teach us what He can and will now do for His own. “I remembered Thy judgments of old, O Lord, and have comforted myself” (Ps. 119:52).
And the monument erected at Gilgal teaches us that we should take thought of and seek to make provision for the rising generation. That cairn of stones was erected with the express desire of evoking inquiry from those who should later behold it. God would have the wonders of His power and mercy preserved for posterity. There was to be a permanent witness of what God had wrought for His people; that no impotency or weakness of theirs prevented them reaching the shores of Canaan. It was meant as a sure pledge that God would continue to show Himself strong in Israel’s behalf and would overthrow those then in occupation of the land. Thus, we rejoice when readers of this magazine purchase the bound volumes with this design before them. At least one is now thankfully reading those volumes which his mother (now in heaven) purchased from us twenty years ago, when he was unconverted. We cherish the hope that the bound volumes will be read by many long
after we are called Home.

A.W. Pink

Read Joshua 3-4, taking particular notice of the purpose of it all in 4:24. All of our remembrance is intended to point us to make his name great among the nations. Where can you grow in this process of remembering and glorifying and going?

Great is Thy Faithfulness by Thomas Chisholm

Posted on: July 4, 2019 - 10:16PM

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