I confess, I thought I knew what I was going to comment before I even read the chapters. I just knew that I would be want to reflect on the words, “Be strong and courageous.” Those are words worth reflection. Then I read the chapters (Joshua 1-5) and something else struck me. Two other things found significance today.
The first was the stones picked up from the bed of the river. I have reflected on these stones and the action before. People have a way of forgetting. It has always been so and we have taken measures to find ways to fix those events, those people, those dates, those promises in our minds. A classic way is to create visual reminders. God did it with the rainbow. We did it with the monuments in D.C., Jefferson, Lincoln, and Washington. We do it with rings at a wedding. And God did it as the people of Israel entered into the land of promise and rest. The stones collected were not only a way to remember what happened but a visual to teach the children of future generations their history.
The second is found in Joshua 4:14, “That day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they stood in awe of him all the days of his life, just as they had stood in awe of Moses.” I am not sure what that exaltation was exactly. Maybe the commands He issued Joshua, maybe the stones did double duty, or maybe something not recorded. The point is, the Lord exalted him. There are many times when making note of something someone does makes a huge difference. It makes a difference to the person honored. Remember the command about strength and courage? This exaltation can do a long way in helping him keep that command. It also makes a difference to the people who observe said exaltation. It can make a world of difference how we perceive someone if someone we hold in esteem honors another.
So I come away today committed to honoring and exalting people in my world. This is more than publicly thanking them for all they do. It plays out in a variety of ways. Maybe we trust them with an important task. Maybe we chronicle their character or actions. Maybe we simple note that it was they that performed some duty or offered a personal sacrifice. However and whoever, let honor be given to those to whom honor is due. (And that might be a Bible verse too if I am not mistaken.)