The people came up out of the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and they encamped at Gilgal on the east border of Jericho. And those twelve stones, which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal. And he said to the people of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever” (Joshua 4:19–24, esv).
“Remember.” It is one of the most often repeated commands in the Old Testament. Maybe that’s because the number one mistake parents made in the Old Testament was not passing along their faith to their kids. When the children weren’t told of His miraculous works, they lost their wonder for God.
Of these “silent” parents, among the worst offenders were the ones rescued out of Egypt. These people had seen a lot. They had seen the raising up of Moses as a leader. They had seen the ten plagues. They had seen the release of two million slaves. They had seen the parting of the Red Sea. They had seen the fire by night and the cloud by day leading and guiding them. They had seen manna fall down from heaven. Wouldn’t you think the family dinner times would be filled with stories that began, “Remember the time when God…”?
Why did the miracles slide from their memories? Psalm 78:40–42 recounts their lack of faith in one long, frustrating list. “How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved him in the desert! They tested God again and again and provoked the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember his power or the day when he redeemed them from the foe.” Verse 32 sums it up, “despite his wonders, they did not believe.” That’s the problem, right there. They didn’t trust God because they didn’t remember His faithfulness.
Yet someone turned the trend. After that entire, forgetful, unbelieving generation had dropped dead in the wilderness, a new generation stood on the riverbank that bordered the Promised Land. Once again, God parted the waters and provided a miraculous crossing, yet this time the new generation made a plan to remember. They believed God. Read the Scripture passage above to get the story.
Now, maybe God hasn’t won any military battles for us or led us by fire or fed us with mystery bread—but He’s done some amazing things for you and me, beginning with our great salvation. Don’t forget these miracles. More importantly, tell your stories to the next generation so they’ll know how faithful God is and that He can be trusted.
Remember God’s faithfulness so your faithfulness will endure.
Lord, I remember all You’ve done for me! How amazing You are. Truly You are a faithful God! Help me to live gratefully in awe of Your wonders. Please help me to honor You and encourage younger generations by sharing these stories of Your enduring goodness. Guide my steps and give me an obedient heart. I pray these things with thanksgiving. In Jesus’ name, amen.