Scripture Focus: Joshua 4.1-9
1 When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, 2 “Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, 3 and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from right where the priests are standing, and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.” 
4 So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, 5 and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, 6 to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 7 tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.” 
8 So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the Lord had told Joshua; and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down. 9 Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day.

Student Writers Month:
This month, The Park Forum welcomes college and seminary student writers pursuing ministry careers. For more info about our yearly Student Writer program, see our website.

Reflection: Rocks of Remembrance

By Carolyn M. Soto Jackson

Lake McDonald, in the heart of Montana, is known for its remarkably clear water and for the striking multi-colored rocks below its surface. However, when they are removed from the water, these vibrant rocks are no longer as red, green, or blue as they once seemed. 

This reminds us of the importance of being submerged in the living water of God’s presence and of how God kept His promise to the children of Israel. You may be thinking, how? 

These aged rocks formed from clay under extreme heat and pressure caused by the weight of glaciers. The vivid colors come from their iron content and the presence or absence of water. Red rocks indicate oxidation from the air after they formed. Green rocks indicate they were formed in deep water, an environment preventing oxidation. Pressure and heat over numerous years resulted in beauty decades later. If God does this for rocks (Matthew 6.28-30), can you imagine what He does for his children? 

Just as God brought them through the Red Sea, He also guided His children as they crossed the Jordan river. God gave Joshua instructions for twelve men to pick up twelve stones, while crossing. These twelve stones were used to construct a memorial as a sign of God’s fulfilled promise.  

Like Aaron’s breastplate (Exodus 28.15-21), these twelve stones were a constant reminder of perseverance, deliverance, and redemption. These stones from the river allowed God’s glory to shine, not only below water, but above. 

We know obeying God’s commands enhances his kingdom. When we obey, miracles happen, waters part, and walls come crumbling down. But it takes our steadfast love, obedience and faithfulness while we are in the waiting, especially under the pressure and heat of the world. We can be confident in this, if we are firm in the waiting, God will create beauty not only in heaven but here on earth.

Photo Credit: Today’s photo was also taken by Carolyn on a recent trip to Lake McDonald. Melissa and I have traveled there (Glacier National Park) as well and highly recommend making a trip.

Divine Hours Prayer: The Morning Psalm

I waited patiently upon the Lord; he stooped to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the desolate pit, out of the mire and the clay; he set my feet upon a high cliff and made my footing sure.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many shall see, and stand in awe.
And put their trust in the Lord. — Psalm 40.1-3

– Divine Hours prayers from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle

Today’s Readings
Joshua 4 (Listen – 3:31)
Psalm 129-131 (Listen – 2:02)

This Weekend’s Readings
Joshua 5-6:5 (Listen – 7:25), Psalm 132-234 (Listen – 2:42)
Joshua 6:6-27 (Listen – 4:47), Psalm 135-136 (Listen – 4:23)

Read more about Readers’ Choice 2021
Tell us about posts from the past eleven months (September 2020 through July 2021) that challenged you, comforted you, or helped you find new meaning in the scriptures.

Read more about Jericho’s Wall :: Readers’ Choice
We don’t deserve what God has given us…if we are unfaithful, we too will face God’s wrath and no wall will stand in its way.