Joshua 4:21-24 “And he spake unto the children of Israel saying, when your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over: 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.”
Hebrews 11:32-34 “And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.”
In my previous post, I shared the importance of Christians looking forward and upward instead of down and backwards. There is a notable exception, however.
God would have us to look backwards when doing so would successfully and faithfully drive us forward. Letting our gaze drift backwards to recognize God’s persistent faithfulness will help us successfully tackle the challenges we will face serving Him in the future. The enduring memorial of stones taken from the midst of the Jordan River played this role for the Israelites. It was done so 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.” Relatedly, allowing our vision to linger on the past faithfulness of our forefathers will help provide the inspiration we need to carry on their powerful legacy into an uncertain future. Sections of the Bible like Hebrews 11 provide such a powerful memorial of faithfulness for us today.
Memorial Day was established as a widespread commemoration in the United States of America on May 30, 1868. Yet, four and a half years earlier President Abraham Lincoln gave some of the most powerful words of memorial ever spoken at what is now known as the Gettysburg Address. It included the following:
“We can not dedicate – we can not consecrate – we can not hollow – this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
PLEASE PRAY THAT AMERICAN CHRISTIANS WOULD LOOK TO OUR PAST TO REMEMBER THE POWER OF GOD AND THE FAITHFULNESS OF OUR FOREFATHERS. May we today be dedicated to further the unfinished work in our land!
Please see the following for related posts: