Memorial: “Something, especially a structure, established to remind people of a person or event.”
Not all days in our lives are of equal significance. Some days are not that memorable, others are worthy of reflection. On the day God’s people finally cross over the Jordan river to enter the Promised Land, with a miraculous show of God’s sovereign power over nature, God instructs them to make a memorial of stones (vs5-7) for their own sake and for the sake of passing on their faith to future generations.
We learn about God, grow in our knowledge and relationship with God experientially. So, the Psalmist urges us to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8).
This is what God is urging His people to do, to “bank” what they learnt about God in this moment, and to remember it when they face other challenges, when they doubt to remember who God is and what He did for them on this day.
We also can learn about God from the testimony of others. God tells them to establish this memorial and then when their children ask; “What do these stones mean to you?” (vs6&21) then tell them what God did, what you learnt about God and faith…
The bible as a whole is like a memorial of the testimony of others to us of who God is, what He is like and what He has done for us. So when we read it, we are like those children asking their parents; “what do these stones mean to you?” as we learn about God from the testimony of others.
God wants to be known, wants us to learn from the testimonies of others and wants us to pass on what we have learnt experientally in our own lives to others. I encourage you to make memorials of faith, to pause so as to reflect so that you can “bank” what you’ve learnt through various life experiences about God. A great set of questions to ask is this:
What did I learn about God, myself & others?
Lastly, I urge you to not keep quiet when you have your own little or large Jordan river moments. I urge you to share with others what you’ve learnt about God, yourself & others regarding faith – so that they can grow in their faith and be encouraged by your experience of God, just as God wanted the next generation to learn from those who passed over into the Promised Land on dry ground because of a miracle of God.