Joshua 4:6-7 6 that this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones? 7 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.
Memorial Day has been a national holiday for many years. It was said to have begun in 1891 in New York where General Logan first covered the graves of the Union Soldiers, and so it has been ever since.
On Monday we will place a wreath over the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. The purpose of this holiday is to remind us of those men and women that have died in defense of our country. It is a holiday for us to remember the price that was paid for our freedom.
Every parent owes it to those men and women that gave their lives for our country, to teach our children and grandchildren of their sacrifice for our freedom. What is a memorial? Webster’s dictionary defines a memorial as, that which keeps a memory. All throughout the bible there are memorials commanded by God. You know how fast you forget stuff don’t you? A memorial helps us to keep something significant that has happened, alive in our hearts and minds.
God has commanded memorials to keep memories alive in our hearts and minds to show things that God has done for us. Memorials like baptism, Lord’s supper and even the cross itself. The Israelites first memorial was the Passover the new testament’s Lord’s supper. Now, here in Joshua, we read God had them to set-up two-sets of memorial stones there at the Jordan River in verses 21-24. Read them. Is there something in your life that you need to build a memorial to God for, something He’s done for you? Have we been negligent in remembering who’s we are and what we are? This Memorial Day, I’d invite you to remember some things God has done for you, personally.
First, remember some of your past decisions. Moses could have been a pharaoh, but chose to be a servant to people. Solomon could have asked for more money than any person on earth. Instead he asked for wisdom and God gave him both. Are there some past decisions that you made that were foolish? Aren’t you glad God forgives? Maybe you’ve made some wise decisions. Then build a memorial and count it a great joy that God blesses.
After we remember our past decisions, we need to remember our doctrines. Aren’t you glad God has forgiven you through his son Jesus? Then whom should you forgive? Has God ever made any personal promises to you in the word of God? Do you know any of them? As a result, we should be willing to share them with others. How about the doctrine of prayer? Do we just pray for sick people to get better? Don’t you think we need to remember prayer as a greater tool than just the sick getting better? Pray for the lost, pray for one another to be bold for Christ, pray for courage to do things for the cause of Christ, pray for souls to be saved, pray for a personal revival, pray to know God’s will, pray to have a great spiritual awakening, pray Lord, here am I, use me, send me.
We enjoy this holiday at the expense and loss of other American lives. We are reminded by the cemeteries decorated with flowers and flags. When you drive down a street and see a church, does it strike you as Joshua’s memorial stones were suppose to do for the Israelites and their children. Do you remember you’re a Christian and should act like one at all times. We should take the time to teach our children about Jesus, The church ought to be a vivid, living example of God’s love and God’s coming wrath, there is a judgement day coming! We enjoy Memorial Day because of the death of those who defended this country. We need to share that with our children.
But more important than the Kingdom of America is the Kingdom of God. We need to thank God for those that gave their lives for the cause of Christ and be willing to do so ourselves. Remember this well, we must all appear at the judgement seat of Christ and give an account of our lives. Be ready and willing. Thank God for our country. Thank God for those who made the great sacrifice for our freedoms and while you’re at it, thank a veteran for their service to our country. And remember this, Jesus and our U.S. Military are the only ones to ever die to set us free! Remember that this Memorial Day!