Sermon on Sunday march 19, 2017 by Pastor Larry Neufeld
Piling Stones – Joshua 3:14-17; 4:1-9, 19-24
Sermon by Larry Neufeld
I. Crossing the Jordan
14 So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them.
15 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge,
16 the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho.
17 The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.
II. Twelve Stones
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.
19 If any of them go outside your house into the street, their blood will be on their own heads; we will not be responsible. As for those who are in the house with you, their blood will be on our head if a hand is laid on them.
20 But if you tell what we are doing, we will be released from the oath you made us swear.”
21 He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’
22 tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’
23 For the LORD your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The LORD your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over.
24 He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God.”
III. Christian Symbols
IV. Our Pile