Monday, May 8, 2023

The Importance of Passing On The Faithfulness of God

 Monday, May 8, 2023

And those twelve stones, which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal. And he said to the people of Israel, When your children ask their fathers in times to come, What do these stones mean?’ then you shall let your children know, Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground. For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever. Joshua 4: 20-24 

The Importance of Passing On The Faithfulness of God

It is said by some that each generation must discover God for themselves.  And yet, we only know God by His revelation of Himself in relationship with man. If every generation had to start from zero, our knowledge of God would be greatly limited. God has overcome this by requiring that each generation pass their accumulated knowledge on to the next generation. Our knowledge of God is more than data, but the sum of man’s experiences with Him.

The Israelites were across the river now and they had the twelve stones that Joshua had instructed them to get and now he had set up a memorial to God’s faithfulness so they could be reminded and so that the generations to come would know what God had done in their lives – revealing His power and faithfulness. 

These Stones Mean God Has Helped Us

The stones were to be represent a spiritual marker. A spiritual marker is a time in your life when you know God has revealed His presence and power in your life. God had very clearly revealed His presence in their lives in a greater way than this generation had ever seen. He rewarded their obedience with a revelation of His power and faithfulness in stopping the water and seeing them safely across the river. It was a moment they would never forget, and they wanted their children to know it too. Also, this was the moment that their parents had hoped they would see. They had seen God part the waters of the Red Sea as they were delivered from slavery, but they had not lived to see the Jordan River parted. This generation, born in the wilderness, had heard that story and was now seeing the fulfillment of the promise God made to their parents. This spiritual marker, the stones, represented two generations that had experienced God’s power and presence in their lives. 

We have a tendency to forget God's faithfulness when we are in the wilderness. We feel the pressing weight of circumstances and tend to focus on what God is not doing in our lives at that moment, instead of how faithful He has always been to us. We remember the losses in our lives far better than the blessings.

These Stones Mean That Each Generation Must Be Taught About God

Our dependence on God is less and less theoretical and more and more practical as we age. Before we pass on, we must pass on the torch, particularly the flame of faith. The flame we pass on is our living faith burning in our hearts and shining through our lives. Children learn how to handle life by watching others live it. As Christians we have not equipped our children to handle life until we have demonstrated how to properly handle the negative emotions and difficult circumstances of life. It is so important to teach them about how God has been faithful in our lives and that memory of His faithfulness is what gets us through the hard times. 

The passing on of faith is the passing on of responsibility. The next generation will not “catch” our faith. That is why it is so important to be intentional with teaching them about God’s faithfulness early. They will believe something, so we want to be sure they believe in the right thing. If we don’t teach them about the right things, the world will teach them all the wrong things. If they have no foundation, they will easily be deceived. God is faithful and His word is truth. This truth stands the test of time and is as applicable today as it was the day it was written. The truth the world offers will not stand the test of time. 

Light the torches and fan the flames. The next generation needs to know the faithfulness of our God. 

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