It is finally time for the Israelites to enter the Promised Land!! They must cross the mighty Jordan to get there. Joshua instructs the people to get ready to follow the Ark of the Covenant across. [The ark is a beautifully carved box, covered in gold that contains the 10 commandment in stone, Aaron’s staff that budded and some manna. It represents the presence of God.] The priests set out leading the people (while carrying the ark); as their feet touch the water, the waters begin to stop flowing up stream and the river bed becomes dry!
The priests carry the ark to the very center of the river and then stand still while the people cross over. Included among the people are the warriors from the tribes that are staying to the east, as promised. When all the people have crossed, 12 men (one from each tribe) each get a large stone from the Jordan and carry it to the other side, and Joshua stacks 12 stones in the center where the priests are standing. Finally, when everyone is safely across, the priests carry the ark the rest of the way across. As soon as the priests reach the other side, the waters begin to flow. Once again, God has performed a miracle on their behalf. The 12 men then take the stones from the Jordan and stack them as a memorial of this event.
What is a memorial? It is an object to remind us of something special. For example, do you have a baby picture on your wall? That is like a memorial for your family to remember when you joined the family. But why do the Israelites need a memorial? These stones will not only remind these people but also the generations to come of the great things God did for them! It is often very encouraging to remember the things God has done for us in the past and helps us remember He will do good things in the future.
Find things in your home that could be considered memorials (pictures, mementos, etc.). Talk about what they remind you of and how that was a blessing of God.