Read Joshua 4:1-9. The children of Israel had passed over the Jordan on dry ground. The first thing they were to do was set up a memorial (v 8). A man from each tribe was to gather a large stone to carry to the other side and place it as a memorial to the mercy and power of God. Israel soon forgot the goodness of the Lord. They needed the fear of God back. America is there now. Our next breath is held in God’s hand. There was a day when church doors could remain unlocked. No one would dare steal anything from the house of God. We’ve forgotten to fear God. Every male was to be circumcised. This was part of the covenant with Abraham. Passover was a reminder of the death angel passing over them in Egypt because the blood was applied to their doorposts. I’m glad the blood has been applied to me. It had been 39 years since they had observed Passover. They had begun to eat of the land instead of the manna. I want to talk about the importance of memorials, consecration, and the commander’s Commander.
Memorials are important for several reasons. We tend to forget and they remind us to be thankful. We’re reminded by certain deeds about God. We practice baptism by immersion. This in itself will not save. It’s a signal to the world of dying out to the old self and the old life to start afresh in Jesus Christ. Communion is another. It reminds us of the sacrifice of Jesus’ body and blood for our salvation. We’re even told that the practice of washing the saint’s feet will make us happy. It teaches us humility. Memorials serve as visual aids. They remind us of God’s faithfulness. The rainbow reminds us of the promise to Noah that never again would the earth be destroyed by water. Reminders help those who come later to know their purpose and give opportunity to share the stories of testimonials to victory.
Consecration is to be set apart, holy. We are consecrated by God. We see the instruction to Israel in Joshua 5:1-9. The Bible tells us that God says “be ye holy as I am holy.” The Bible reminds us that in the last times people will be unthankful….unholy….We need it back. Circumcision marked consecration for the males in Israel. It hadn’t been done for 40 years. They did what God instructed and their hearts were right. Only after all this did God allow them to take Jericho.
Joshua was the commander. But he realized he had a Commander. In Joshua 5:13-15 he was reminded that he was on holy ground just as his predecessor Moses was at the burning bush. And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servant? And the captain of the Lord’s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so. Who was this man? I believe it was the Lord. There are other events when the Lord visited with man. Three men came to see Abraham; two were angels; one was the Lord. The Lord? Sure. He may have become a man when he was born in Bethlehem, but he’s always been.
The head of the church is not the pastor but Jesus Christ. If I lift up Jesus he’ll draw all men to himself. God is our Commander. This is God’s church. This house is a place of worship, but the church is made up of born again believers. You and I are the real church. Jesus be Lord of all. Not part, but all! He held nothing back in making our salvation possible. We should in turn give him our all.