When amazing things happen to us we want to remember them forever. We are afraid that we will somehow forget and lose what we treasure – the beautiful memory. So people video record their weddings, take lots of pictures of their children, collect pins from Disney World, keep the stubbs from Broadway shows, add a bead to their Pandora bracelet…these things are what Lorraine Hill would call memorials. She tells us that the Israelites were instructed to make memorials to the times that God showed up big for them…She focuses on two ways that God marked important events and I will add a third:
- Building of altars God instructed Joshua to build an altar of twelves stones (one from each tribe of Israel). He said, “In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’, 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.” (Jos 4:6-7). Other memorial altars include the ruins of Jericho ( Joshua 6:26), Achan’s body ( Joshua 7:26), the King of Ai ( Joshua 8:29), and Mount Ebal ( Joshua 8:30-31).God also institutes other reminders to the Israelites—feasts, thanks offerings, altars, and even tassels (Numbers 15:37-41). (Pg. 225, Reclaiming Your Joy).
- Institution of Feasts We would recognize these as holidays or holy-days. Here are some of those Lorraine Hill has listed: Feast of Weeks (Leviticus 23:15-21), Passover (Exodus 12:1-14), First fruits (Leviticus 23:9-14), Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11), Feast of Trumpets (Leviticus 23:23-25) Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:26-32) Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:33-43) (pg. 223).
- Renaming a person God renamed people to mark a change or fulfill a promise. Abram became Abraham: No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. (Gen 17:5), Jacob became Israel: Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” (Gen 32:28). Jesus himself renames his disciple Simon, “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it” (Matt 16:18). Saul who persecuted the early Christians was changed by his encounter with the spirit of Jesus on the road to Damascus. The bible does not say when he was renamed, but some time after this, he began his ministry and also began to be called Paul (Acts 13:9).
Lorraine Hill says we mark milestones in our own spiritual life by baptism, the Lord’s Supper (communion), our trials, our victories and our failings…Memorials? You are reading mine – this website has been a way to remember the journey that God is taking with me. I also have a journal that I keep. It has a prayer portion so that I can list my prayers and God’s answer to them. There is another section that I call “God Speaks”…this is where I write down scriptures that God has given me and what they mean to me in my life at that time. I just started this journal at the end of the summer and I am so encouraged to look back even over just the past few months and see how God has ministered to me with His Word and His presence. What about you? How do you mark your spiritual milestones? I have realized it is very important to mark the memory of God’s work in our lives, because He does so many things each day, that we can forget about them as new challenges arise.
Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples!
Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; tell of all His wondrous works!
Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice!
Seek the LORD and His strength; seek His presence continually!
Remember the wondrous works that He has done, His miracles, and the judgments He uttered (Ps 105:1-5).
What about you? How do you mark your spiritual milestones?
JustaGirl…just like you