Do you leave a marker? Do you write something down? How will you remember and remind those that come after you? Is there anything that you can do so it won’t be forgotten? Is there anything you can do to ensure that others will see it and remember what happened? How can you tell people of how good God has been to you? How can you remind people of good God is? How can you show people how good God is?
Today’s reading starts with such a topic as the people of Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground as they entered the promised land…
Twelve Memorial Stones
1Now when all the nation had finished crossing over the Jordan, Adonai spoke to Joshua saying: 2“Take for yourself twelve men from the people, one man from each tribe, 3and command them saying, ‘Take for yourselves twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the feet of the kohanim are standing firm, and carry them over with you, and deposit them at the place where you will lodge tonight.” 4Then Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from Bnei-Yisrael, one man from each tribe.
5Joshua said to them, “Cross over before the ark of Adonai your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you, lift up a stone on his shoulder, for the number of the tribes of Bnei-Yisrael. 6Let this be a sign among you. When your children ask later saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ 7then you will say to them: ‘Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of Adonai—when it crossed the Jordan—the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ So these stones will be a reminder to Bnei-Yisrael forever.” 8So Bnei-Yisrael did so, as Joshua commanded. They lifted twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, just as Adonai had said to Joshua, for the number of the tribes of Bnei-Yisrael. Then they carried them over with them to the lodging place and put them down there. 9Joshua also set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, at the spot where the feet of the kohanim carrying the ark of the covenant were standing—they are there to this day. 10The kohanim who carried the ark remained standing in the middle of the Jordan until everything that Adonai had commanded Joshua to speak to the people was completed, according to all that Moses had commanded Joshua. The people hurried across, 11and when all the people had finished crossing over, the ark of Adonai and the kohanim crossed over in the presence of the people. 12Also the children of Reuben, the children of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over armed ahead of Bnei-Yisrael, just as Moses had said to them— 13about 40,000 equipped for war crossed over before Adonai for battle to the plains of Jericho. 14On that day Adonai exalted Joshua in the eyes of all Israel. So they revered him, just as they had revered Moses all the days of his life.
15Then Adonai spoke to Joshua saying: 16“Command the kohanim who are carrying the ark of the testimony to come up from the Jordan.” 17Joshua therefore commanded the kohanim saying, “Come up from the Jordan!” 18As soon as the kohanim who were carrying the ark of the covenant of Adonai came up from the middle of the Jordan and the soles of the feet of the kohanim were drawn up to the dry ground, the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and overflowed all its banks as before. 19Now the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month and camped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho. 20Those twelve stones, which they had taken out of the Jordan, Joshua set up in Gilgal. 21Then he said to Bnei-Yisrael saying, “When your children ask their fathers in time to come saying: ‘What are these stones?’ 22then you will inform your children saying, ‘Israel crossed this Jordan on dry ground.’ 23For Adonai your God dried up the waters of Jordan before you until you crossed—just as Adonai your God did to the Sea of Reeds, which He dried up before us until we crossed over— 24so that all the peoples of the earth may know Adonai’s hand is mighty, and so that you may fear Adonai your God forever.”
–from Joshua 4
Will you setup a memorial to help everyone’s memory? Will you help the people be prepared for what is to come? Will you share God’s wisdom and God’s grace with them?
When names and places are remembered, sentences in the old testament end up reminding you of what and where things happened in the new testament. Consider the words “rolled away” or “Gilgal” or “Passover” and what they mean and signify to you.
Circumcision at Gilgal
1Now it came about when all the Amorite kings beyond the Jordan westward and all the Canaanite kings by the sea heard how Adonai had dried up the waters of the Jordan before Bnei-Yisrael until they had crossed, their heart melted, nor was there any spirit in them anymore, because of Bnei-Yisrael. 2At that time Adonai said to Joshua, “Make yourself flint knives and circumcise again Bnei-Yisrael a second time.” 3So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised Bnei-Yisrael at Gibeath-ha-araloth. 4Now this is the reason why Joshua circumcised: all the people that came out of Egypt who were males—all the men of war—had died in the wilderness along the way after they came out of Egypt. 5Though all the people that came out were circumcised, none of the people who were born in the wilderness along the way as they came out of Egypt had been circumcised. 6For Bnei-Yisrael walked 40 years in the wilderness, until all the nation’s men of war who came out of Egypt died out, because they had not listened to the voice of Adonai. To them Adonai had sworn that He would never let them see the land which Adonai had sworn to their fathers that He would give us, a land flowing with milk and honey. 7But He raised up their children in their place. Joshua circumcised them, for they were uncircumcised, since they had not been circumcised along the way. 8Now it came to pass after they had finished circumcising the entire nation, they remained in their places in the camp until they recovered. 9Then Adonai said to Joshua, “This day I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” Therefore the name of that place has been called Gilgal to this day. 10While Bnei-Yisrael camped at Gilgal, they observed Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month in the plains of Jericho. 11On the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate of the produce of the land, matzot and roasted grain. 12Then the manna ceased on the day after they had eaten of the produce of the land. Bnei-Yisrael had manna no longer, but ate some of the yield of the land of Canaan that year.
Commander of Adonai’s Army
13Now it came to pass when Joshua was near Jericho that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, there was a man standing in front of him with his sword drawn in his hand. Joshua approached him and said to him: “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” 14“Neither,” he said. “Rather, I have now come as commander of Adonai’s army.” Then Joshua fell on his face to the ground and worshipped. Then he asked him, “What is my lord saying to his servant?” 15Then the commander of Adonai’s army replied to Joshua, “Take your sandal off of your foot, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.
–from Joshua 5
God is so good! Let’s pray that He will prepare in advance the good work He has for us to do and that He will give us obedient spirits to get it done! Without doubt and without fear, but with complete hope and trust in Him being obedient to the call!
Let’s put all our hope and trust in Him! Let’s spend time with Him throughout the day! Let’s stay under the protection of His wing! Let’s praise Him for what He has done! Let’s praise Him for what He is doing! Let’s praise Him for what He is preparing and working out for our future!
My Hope When I Am Gray
1In You, Adonai, have I taken refuge. Let me never be ashamed. 2Deliver me and rescue me in Your justice. Turn Your ear to me and save me. 3Be to me a sheltering rock where I may always go. Give the command to save me— for You are my rock and my fortress. 4My God, rescue me out of the hand of the wicked, out of the grasp of an evil, ruthless man. 5For You are my hope, Adonai my Lord— my trust from my youth. 6From my birth I have leaned on You. You took me out of my mother’s womb. My praise is always about You. 7I am like an ominous sign to many, but You are my strong refuge. 8My mouth is filled with Your praise and with Your glory all day. 9Do not cast me away in the time of old age. When my strength fails, do not forsake me. 10For my enemies speak against me. Those who watch for my soul conspire together, 11saying: “God has forsaken him— Pursue and take him, for no one will deliver.” 12O God, be not far from me! My God, come quickly to help me. 13Let the accusers of my soul be disgraced and destroyed. Let those who seek to harm me be covered with scorn and confusion. 14But I—I will hope continually and will praise You more and more. 15My mouth will recount Your justice and Your salvation all day, though I do not know the sum of them. 16I come because of the mighty deeds of Adonai my Lord. I will remember Your righteousness —Yours alone. 17God, You taught me from my youth, and I still keep declaring Your wonders. 18So even until I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, till I tell of Your strong arm to the next generation, Your might to all who are to come. 19For Your righteousness, O God, reaches to high heaven. You have done great things— O God, who is like You? 20You made me see many troubles and evils —You will revive me again— from the depths of the earth You will bring me up again. 21You will increase my greatness, and comfort me once again. 22So I will praise You with the harp for your truth, O my God. I will sing praises to You with the lyre O Holy One of Israel. 23My lips will shout for joy —when I sing praises to You— and my soul, which You have redeemed. 24Also my tongue will tell of Your righteousness all day. For those who seek my hurt have been put to shame and confusion.
–from Psalms 71
Do you realize the road you are on without Jesus? Do you realize the gift that is offered up through Jesus? Do you realize you have a choice of wrath vs grace? Do you realize it’s up to you? Do you realize we all have the choice of obedience vs disobedience? It’s part of having freewill – so choose wisely! There is nothing we can do to be saved, it’s a gift from God by choosing Jesus! When we ask Jesus into our hearts, we become new creations! When we ask Jesus into our hearts, we are saved by grace through faith! Not by works so that we can’t boast about how good we are and that is why we are saved! We are His creation to be doing good deeds! It’s a matter of the heart! It’s an inside thing that puts us in the right or wrong spot! Have you asked Jesus into your heart? If not, what is holding you back from asking Him in today?
Destined for Wrath, Saved by Grace
1You were dead in your trespasses and sins. 2At that time, you walked in the way of this world, in conformity to the ruler of the domain of the air—the ruler of the spirit who is now operating in the sons of disobedience. 3We too all lived among them in the cravings of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and the mind. By nature we were children of wrath, just like the others. 4But God was rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us. 5Even when we were dead in our trespasses, He made us alive together with Messiah. (By grace you have been saved!) 6And He raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Messiah Yeshua— 7to show in the olam ha-ba the measureless richness of His grace in kindness toward us in Messiah Yeshua. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not from yourselves—it is the gift of God. 9It is not based on deeds, so that no one may boast. 10For we are His workmanship—created in Messiah Yeshua for good deeds, which God prepared beforehand so we might walk in them.
Jew and Gentile, One in Messiah
11Therefore, keep in mind that once you—Gentiles in the flesh—were called “uncircumcision” by those called “circumcision” (which is performed on flesh by hand). 12At that time you were separate from Messiah, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Messiah Yeshua, you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah. 14For He is our shalom, the One who made the two into one and broke down the middle wall of separation. Within His flesh He made powerless the hostility— 15the law code of mitzvot contained in regulations. He did this in order to create within Himself one new man from the two groups, making shalom, 16and to reconcile both to God in one body through the cross—by which He put the hostility to death. 17And He came and proclaimed shalom to you who were far away and shalom to those who were near— 18for through Him we both have access to the Father by the same Ruach. 19So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household. 20You have been built on the foundation made up of the emissaries and prophets, with Messiah Yeshua Himself being the cornerstone. 21In Him the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple for the Lord. 22In Him, you also are being built together into God’s dwelling place in the Ruach.
–from Ephesians 2
Remember those words from the start of my blog? Gilgal – where Jesus was crucified. Rolled away – from the entrance of the tomb which was empty because Jesus was risen. Passover – which was the timing of when they took Jesus. So let’s tell the world around us of Jesus’ great love and sacrifice and victory so that they can celebrate, remember, and receive the gift by grace from God too!
Our New Testament reading from today’s reading concludes as follows from Mark 16…
The Empty Tomb
1When Shabbat was over, Miriam of Magdala, Miriam the mother of Jacob, and Salome bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Yeshua’s body. 2Very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they come to the tomb. 3They were saying to each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” 4Looking up, they see that the stone (it was really huge) had been rolled away. 5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were startled. 6But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You are looking for Yeshua of Natzeret, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here! See the place where they put Him. 7But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going before you to the Galilee. There you will see Him, just as He told you.’” 8And going outside, they fled from the tomb, gripped by trembling and amazement. They didn’t say anything to anybody, for they were afraid.
He Is Risen
9After He had risen early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Miriam of Magdala, from whom He had driven out seven demons. 10She went and brought word to those who had been with Him, while they were mourning and weeping. 11When they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they refused to believe. 12After that, He appeared in a different form to two of them as they were walking on their way to the country. 13They went and reported it to the rest, but they did not believe them either. 14Later He appeared to them, the eleven, as they were reclining at the table. He rebuked them for their unbelief and hardheartedness, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had been raised.
Tell the World!
15He told them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the Good News to every creature. 16He who believes and is immersed shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned. 17These signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will drive out demons; they will speak new languages; 18they will handle snakes; and if they drink anything deadly, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will get well.” 19Then the Lord Yeshua, after He had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20And they went out and proclaimed everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word by the signs that follow.
–from Mark 16