BY JOHN L. WILLHOITE
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was built in 1982. This monument to bravery was designed by an American architect named Maya Ying Lin and constructed in Washington, D.C. It is a sloping, V-shaped, 493 ft. black granite wall that descends ten feet below grade level at its vertex. The wall is inscribed with the names of more than 58,000
Americans killed or missing during the Vietnam war. Nearby are sculptures of three soldiers by Frederick E. Hart and three nurses and a wounded soldier by Glenna Goodacre.
These memorials serve to honor and keep alive the memory of men and women who served their country well. It commemorates their unselfish sacrifice of life, which was their most prized possession. Upon viewing the memorial, one has a tendency to think about real people who died for their nation. The past is brought to view and pride fills the hearts of those who understand the meaning of dying for their country.
A memorial can be anything from a gravestone to a small keepsake. Anything can become a source of remembrance of the past. Washington Monument, white marble obelisk in Washington, D.C. honors George Washington. It was completed in 1884 and opened to the public in 1888. It is 555 ft 5 1/8 in. tall.
Flowers pressed between the pages of a Bible serve as a reminder of a diseased mother. Momentos of the past are all about us. What would life be like without memories?
The Bible also speaks about memorials. David said in Psalms 135:13, “Thy name, O LORD, endureth for ever; and thy memorial, O LORD, throughout all generations.” It is so sweet to be remembered. The Lord placed the desire to be remembered in the heart of every man. David set his soul in a permanent direction by saying, “Thy name endures forever and thy memorial.” The name of Jesus is a monument that constantly reminds us of the sovereignty of God. Jesus’ name shall endure forever and it shall be remembered forever. Praise, O praise thy holy name. You, O God, are to be forever remembered for your excellent greatness.
Israel was on it’s way to the promised land. Things were not easy for them. Just think, millions of people were wondering through the desert without a home, at times proper food and water, and-overpowering obstacles before them. They had the Red Sea experience behind them. The beautiful way God opened the sea to permit them to pass was still fresh in their minds. Now they were facing another problem. The Jordan river was overflowing it’s banks. Even in the midst of this difficult situation, God had an answer.
God speaks and man must listen or suffer the consequences. This is proven over and over again in the scriptures. The Bible says in Joshua 4:1, “And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over Jordan, that the LORD spake unto Joshua.” When the Lord God spoke, Joshua could have turned a deaf ear, but he did not do it.
I do not believe that God forced Joshua to listen although the future of an entire nation lay within his hands. God refuses to force us to listen to him. The future of our entire nation lays within our hands. Who will listen to the voice of God?
The importance of listening to the still small voice of God is stressed in the life of Moses. He was brought up in the house of Pharaoh, but he listened when God spoke to him. Hebrews 11:24-27, “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in
Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.” Moses walk by faith is a sure indicator that he listened to God.
God has a way of speaking to each one of us today. However, He will not force us to listen. He will speak but will leave the listening up to us.
Joshua 4:1 continues to enlighten us concerning the will of God for the crossing of the Jordan river. In this verse, the voice of the Lord said to Joshua, “Take you hence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests’ feet stood firm, twelve stones.”
God asked Joshua to have the priests to pick up twelve stones out of the Jordan from the place where the priests feet stood firm. Thank God for strong leadership. God is saying here that the memorial to God’s intervention begins where the priests feet stand firm. A strong ministry must stand firm to encourage the people to follow God.
After the stones were picked up, they were to be carried to Israel’s lodging place. “And ye shall carry them over with you, and leave them in the lodging place, where ye shall lodge this night.” We are required to take our miracles to our house as a reminder of God’s power. Pick up the stones where God performs miracles and take them to your house. The testimony of them will serve as reminders of God’s power that works for us.
Joshua called twelve men, one of every tribe of Israel. He said, “Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take ye up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder.” It was important for the priests to make the miracle of the crossing of the Jordan a personal experience. Take the stones upon your shoulders. This was personal. Priests, you must take the signs of miracles upon yourself and carry them to your lodging place.
It is time to take the signs of miracles; the makings of a world-wide revival upon our shoulders. We must make them personal. To do this, it demands action. The stones are in the river bed. We must march across the difficult situations of life and in the midst of them we must establish memorials of God’s delivering power.
The stones were to be a sign among them. “And Joshua said unto them, That this may be a sign among you.” They were to serve as reminders of past victory. It is marvelous to have victories that we can remember. Healings, deliverance’s, miracles, and special moves of the Holy Ghost come to mind when we are faced with the impossible. How many memorials do you have in your heart? Do not forget that if God could perform miracles in the past, he can still do the same today. Hebrews 13:8, ”Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.”
The Lord told Joshua “that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones? 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.” The memorials that we have in our lives influence others. Your children know what you face daily. They know that God works with you and assists you in every situation. Tell your children of God’s miracle working power. Embed the truth in their hearts by giving God the glory in front of them.
“And the children of Israel did so as Joshua commanded.” Obedience to the command of God is of utmost importance. If you are to have living memorials in your life, you must learn to obey God. Israel did so as Joshua commanded. Listen to the ministry and the voice of God and the Lord will carry you through any situation.
The Bible says, “And took up twelve stones out of the midst of Jordan, as the LORD spake unto Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them unto the place where they lodged, and laid them down there.” They took the stones to their homes and laid them down there.
The victories live on in our homes. God’s Spirit anoints us to witness of his power. This in turn places faith in the hearts of all concerned. What do these stones mean? They are indicators of what God can do over and above what we could think or ask.
David said in Psalms 77:6, “I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.” David faced trials. There were times that he had to remember the song that he had written before. He had to commune with his own heart and soul. He had to search for hope. There are times when we must remember our past happiness and joy. Sad times come, but as we commune with ourselves and remember the past, we can press on to other victories.
John 4:7-29, “There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a few, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria?” Meeting Jesus Christ is an unforgettable experience. The woman of Samaria met him at Jacob’s well and he told her many things about her life. He also gave her the revelation that God is a Spirit and told her how to worship God. “God is a Spirit,” he said, “and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?” No doubt each time she went to the well after that, she thought about her encounter with the master and the change it made in her life. The experience became her memorial to remind her of what it was like to meet someone that could give her living water.
The Bible says In Hebrews 12:14, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” A seed of holiness is placed in the heart of every new Christian. This is where true holiness begins. It is only a small seed, however, the entire life of a person is changed because of the influence of this seed. The seed must grow and bring perfection.
In 2 Corinthians 7:1 Paul said, “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” How can holiness be perfected? Since holiness is an attribute of a Christian’s heart, it cannot affect the life of a Christian without holiness appearing on the outside.
Giving up lying, fornication, adultery, hatred, evil speaking, cursing, illicit sex, ungodly dress, smoking, drinking of strong drink, illicit drugs and such like is the act of allowing holiness to be perfected.
Remember! The neighbors are watching. How can they see Jesus in the world. “Without holiness no man can see the Lord” in you. Therefore holiness is manifested on the outward appearance as well as being an inward attribute.
Christians must be the light of the world. A city that cannot be hid. They stand as living testimonies of the saving grace of God. God has placed his “stares” in the world as memorials. John 1:42, “And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.” Peter was not only a foundational stone, he was a testimony of God’s grace. He had a notable past. He was a liar, but Jesus saved him. He cut the ear off of a soldier, however, the winds of God changed him on the day of Pentecost. Peter was a fixed inscribed marker on the Christian road. Psalms 112:6, “Surely he shall
not be moved forever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.”
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS TAKEN FROM THE BOOKLET, “AND THE DIRT CAME OUT”, AND PUBLISHED BY JOHN L. WILLHOITE, 1996, PAGES 13-20. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.