Making Sure They Don’t Forget

03. December 2007 Joshua 0

Text: Joshua 22:21-34 Theme: Certain tribes built an altar to remind the others of their commitment and sacrifice. Key verses: “No! We did it for fear that some day your descendants might say to ours, ‘What do you have to do with the Lord, the God of Israel? The Lord has made the Jordan a boundary between us and you – you Reubenites and Gadites! You have no share in the Lord.’ So that your descendants might cause ours to stop fearing the Lord. That is why we said, ‘Let us…build an altar…to be a witness between us and you and the generations that follow, that we will worship the Lord at his sanctuary with our burnt offerings…” (v. 24-27) “And Phinehas…said to Reuben, Gad and Manesseh, ‘Today we know that the Lord is with us, because you have not acted unfaithfully toward the Lord in this matter.” (v. 31) “They were glad to hear the report and praised God. And they talked no more about going to war against them…” (v. 33) “And the Reubenites and the Gadites gave the altar this name: A Witness Between Us that the Lord is God.” (v. 34) What God said to me: Dwayne, my erring child, what structures are you building that will remain after you are gone? I am refering, of course, to spiritual markers, whether they be physical buildings or written documents or simple memories in the minds of others. What kind of legacy are you leaving that will point those after you straight to your solid and consistent love and devotion to me? Notice here also that these tribes had helped and fought beside the other tribes. They didn’t just fight for the Lord; they fought for their brethren. The altar they constructed was to remind others of their help and sacrifice. Now think about that for a moment: If you died today (and you could, you know), then what would be left to remind your family and friends of your hard work purely on their behalf for unselfish reasons? You need to inspect your time and activities. See how much is done for others merely because of what you will gain in return. Look around you, Dwayne. What are you leaving behind that will clearly communicate your love and commitment both to me and to your family? In the years to come, what will confirm to your wife and boys that you thought of them and prepared for their future? Decide to build some altars that are visible and easy to spot. Tell your family and your friends what you are trying to do and why. Let them never wonder if you loved me and them because you prove it in what you leave for them after you are gone. What I said to God: Thank you, my Lord, for this word today. I admit, I wish you had given me some examples of these altars. I am still not clear as to how to leave obvious and imposing reminders. I understand the importance of it, but I need some creative thought and determination to pull it off. I humble myself before you today and claim your filling. Thank you for speaking to me and for forgiving me and for always loving me and my family. You are awesome and majestic God!