Summary: Memorial Day is to remember those who have given their lives in the military service of our country. Memorials are needed! Are we a memorial for Jesus or against Him?
Memorial Day 2019
Please stand as we read our newest memory Scripture together …
“The time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
“They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
And our memory refresher verse(s) for today is(are) …
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom.”
Please open your Bibles to: Joshua 4:1-9
Tomorrow is Memorial Day. The day set aside to remember and honor those who lost their lives serving the country in battle. In all of the wars in which the United States has been involved there have been well over 1,000,000 deaths in battle, there have also been other deaths in the theater of battle and even more who died serving the country during war but not directly in the theater of battle.
There are 136 United States national military cemeteries around the world and many State sponsored military cemeteries as well.
Monuments abound in the nation’s capital and around the country dedicated to remembering those who gave their lives in the service of our country.
It is with honor that we remember those who gave their lives for the freedom we enjoy today.
Monuments are important. They help us to remember.
Today we will be reading about a monument set up by the Israelites in the Old Testament.
(Outline account of Joshua chapter 3)
Finally the time had come for Israel to enter the Promised Land …
The assembly camped just across the Jordan river from Jericho …
The Priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant were to go ahead of the assembly …
The people were to stay back 3,000 ft (10 football fields / over ½ mile) from the Ark …
They were crossing the Jordan at harvest time …
The Jordan river floods at harvest time …
(Show picture of Jordan river as it usually looks and Jordan river at flood stage …)
When the priests entered the Jordan the water flowing downstream continued on and the water upstream piled up “in a heap” a great distance …
The priests stood in the middle until the entire nation had crossed …
Let’s continue the story by reading from Joshua chapter 4: Joshua 4:1-9
(Prayer for help with today’s message)
Joshua 4:21-24 (Picture of pile of 12 stones near river)
“[Joshua] said to the Israelites, ‘In the future when your descendants ask their parents, “What do these stones mean?” tell them, “Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.” 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. 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.’”
Military memorials and Memorial Day holidays are supposed to help us remember those who gave their lives in defense of our nation.
In the same way a pile of rocks like this was supposed to help the nation of Israel remember the great works of the Lord on their behalf.
What was the greatest memorial Israel had to Yahweh their God?
The temple in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem was called “The City of God”
The temple in the Jerusalem was the Temple of the LORD
The inner most chamber of the Temple of the LORD was the Most Holy Place or the Holy of Holies
In the Most Holy Place was the Ark of the Covenant
The cover of the Ark of the Covenant was the Mercy Seat or the Atonement Cover
Three times each year all of the men of Israel were to gather at The City of God where the Temple of the LORD was located.
Why? What was the purpose of all of this?
To remind them of what the LORD had done for them.
The Lord God established these memorials for the same reason that we have Memorial Day. Why? Because it is easy to forget!
If you are from a family who has never had anyone give their life in the service to the country it is easy to turn Memorial Day into just another Monday off.
But, whether we have had a family member give their life for the country or not, we need to be reminded of the sacrifice.