Memorial Day Joshua 4 1 9
1. ILL: History of Memorial Day: Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. After World War I the holiday changed to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war.
2. Today, Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer. It is the first big summertime travel weekend. People around the country will barbeque, cook out, travel, and visit with family and friends.
3. Often, the importance of this holiday is forgotten.
4. ILL: Tradition: Since the late 50's on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing.
5. Memorial day is a time to reflect on those whose bravery and dedication caused them to give the final sacrifice.
6. Read passage.
7. In our passage, Joshua calls the people to build two memorials to remind their children about what God had done in the past.
8. He knew that as time passes, memories fade. There would be a time when people, even the nation would need to remember God’s provision.
9. We’re like that still today. Without memorials, we quickly forget about our past.
10. In almost every village and town in America, you can find a memorial to fallen warriors.
11. Personally, we may come to a time when we need to find a memorial and remember the work that God has done in our lives.
12. Discouraged, lost focus, cold, prayerless.
13. You’ve lost sight of God in your life.
14. Every Person Must Establish Memorials.
I. Memorials Link Us to the Past.
1. Every person has a past.
2. There is a movement today raising money to build a national WWII monument to remember the people who have been called, “The Greatest Generation”.
3. These monuments take us back so that we can remember our past.
4. Look at verses 1-3.
5. They’ve taken stones from the river to build a monument, representing the day they crossed over.
6. What could God want us to remember about our past?
7. Remember: We Were Children of Satan.
8. John 8:44 (KJV)44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
9. Matthew 13:38 (KJV)38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
10. 1 John 3:10 (KJV)10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
11. The salvation of a man’s soul sets up a monument. This was when Jesus made a u-turn in my life, when I changed direction.
12. As children of Satan, we were following him. Salvation caused us to turn away from him to God. We changed sides in the conflict.
13. We Were Clueless About God.
14. During the years in the wilderness, Israel learned many things about God.
15. They learned of His provision and His judgment. They learned that He meant business with them and with all who would oppose them.
16. Is there a monument this year that God setup after He brought you through a trial, a stressful period?
17. God uses the hardships of life to teach us about Him.
18. What I knew about God the day I was saved was very small. What He’s taught me as He’s held my hand through the dark days of my life has been more than any book lesson.
19. Israel could take you back to the monument and tell you about what they experienced in the desert. They could tell you about the days when it seemed hopeless and there was nothing left to do but die.
20. Job could take you to monuments in his life when God took care of his needs. He could take you to the monuments of the graves of his children and tell you that through it all, God was with him.
21. Look back. What monument to God’s work do you need to see?
II. Memorials Link Us to the Future.
1. Verses 4-5 and 8 tell us of the twelve stones placed in the midst of the camp, where everyone could see them.
2. This pillar not only reminded them of where they had been, but also where they were headed.
3. ILL: Six months after the terrorist attacks on America, there were two brilliants sets of lights illuminating the night sky of New York. Two focused beams shooting straight into the heavens. This tribute was built to remind us that we had suffered a great loss that day, but also served as a look ahead to our resolve to do whatever it takes to ensure that it never happens again.
4. Israel knew that ahead of them would be war to claim the land of promise from occupiers.
5. Monuments remind us that: We Are Winning a War.
6. God had promised them victory in this war.
7. Joshua 3:10 (KJV)10 And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites.
8. God has also promised us victory
9. 1 John 5:4 (KJV)4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
10. Revelation 3:21 (KJV)21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
11. Romans 8:35-37 (KJV)35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
12. We are not called to an easy life, but one of combat against the darkness.
13. Each battle has its monument.
14. Be vigilant, be obedient. Stay away from sin and follow the path God has laid out. That is where we meet the battle.
15. God has already won the war. It is our responsibility to fight our daily battles.
16. Also, We Are Headed for Heaven.
17. The nation of Israel was promised peace and fruitful living if they would obey God and conquer the land.
18. If they had obeyed God, they would not have fallen into idolatry as easily, they would not have had to battle countless enemies repeatedly, and they would have had peace in the land of promise.
19. Aren’t you glad that your land of promise comes with total peace? Aren’t you glad that God has promised heaven to His children and we do not have to rely on our faithfulness to get there?
20. Just as Israel had a land of promise, so do we.
21. Our promised land has nothing to do with conquest, warfare, or strife. Our Promised Land is heaven.
22. Remember that this wilderness we live in is temporary. We have a permanent home in heaven waiting for us.
III. Memorials Last Forever.
1. Verse 9
2. Joshua built that memorial in the middle of Jordan and the end of this verse is more telling than anything else, “…and they are there until this day.”
3. A memorial isn’t setup for last a day, a week, a month, etc. A memorial is built to last forever.
4. ILL: Mount Rushmore, Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower, etc.
5. Remember back in verse 6…
6. Joshua 4:6-7 (KJV) 6 That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones? 7 Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.
7. The monuments are there for when we need to look at them.
8. There are even some memorials that God has established.
9. Genesis 9:13-16 (KJV) 13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. 14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: 15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.
10. Exodus 12:11-14 (KJV) 11 And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S passover. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. 13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. 14 And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.
11. Exodus 16:32 (KJV) 32 And Moses said, This is the thing which the LORD commandeth, Fill an omer of it to be kept for your generations; that they may see the bread wherewith I have fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you forth from the land of Egypt.
12. Matthew 26:6-13 (KJV) 6 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, 7 There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. 8 But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? 9 For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. 10 When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. 11 For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. 12 For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. 13 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.
13. These monuments were established by God to remind us of what He does and how He works in our lives. He wants us to remember Him and take that memory with us and drive on in our good fight.
14. ILL: The memorials is your life are permanent. Salvation, baptism, marriage, births, deliverances, etc.
15. We should look back at some of those times and say to ourselves that if God was willing to … for me then, what is He willing to do for me now?