Teach the Children

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

Joshua 4:19-24(NIV)
On the tenth day of the first month the people went up from the Jordan and camped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho. And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. He 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.”

Joshua 4:19-24 (MSG)
The people came up out of the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month. They set up camp at The Gilgal (The Circle) to the east of Jericho. Joshua erected a monument at The Gilgal, using the twelve stones that they had taken from the Jordan. And then he told the People of Israel, “In the days to come, when your children ask their fathers, ‘What are these stones doing here?’ tell your children this: ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ “Yes, God, your God, dried up the Jordan’s waters for you until you had crossed, just as God, your God, did at the Red Sea, which had dried up before us until we had crossed. This was so that everybody on earth would recognize how strong God’s rescuing hand is and so that you would hold God in solemn reverence always.”
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“Now the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth [day] of the first month and encamped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho. And those twelve stones which they had taken from the Jordan, Joshua set up in Gilgal. He said to the sons of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel crossed this Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you crossed over, just as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed; so that all the peoples of the earth may know [without any doubt] and acknowledge that the hand of the Lord is mighty and extraordinarily powerful, so that you will fear the Lord your God [and obey and worship Him with profound awe and reverence] forever.” -AMPLIFIED

The people of Israel came up from the crossing of the Jordan, set camp up at Gilgal, which was east of Jericho and erected the memorial that God expected of them. Joshua had the men come forward, one from each tribe, who had  brought the stones from the middle of the Jordan River.  Each man was a representative for the families belonging to that tribe. As each stone was added to the memorial pile each tribe was making a commitment, promise or pledge to the Lord God.

As this ceremony was being executed we find Joshua speaking once again to the people of the importance of this commemoration. “Someday your children will ask you, “What do these stones mean?” And you will tell them, “Israel crossed the Jordan here on dry ground.” For the Eternal One, your God, dried up the waters of the Jordan until you crossed over (just as He held back the Red Sea for our parents until they crossed) so that everyone on earth would know how powerful the Eternal is and so that you would reverence your God, the Eternal, forever.” -Joshua  4:21-24 (VOICE)

Joshua stresses the fact that one day the children will ask, “What do these stones mean?” At that time the people needed to have a ready answer; so Joshua gave it to them from the get-go.  “These rocks are a reminder that Israel crossed over a flooded Jordan on dry ground. God, Almighty, dried up the waters of the river in order that our people could cross over to the other side. All this happened so that everyone in the World would know the might and power of the Almighty One. It also is a reminder to us to be totally devoted, respectful and loyal to the One, True God.” -Tonia’s Translation

There was and still is an importance in teaching the children of God and of what God has done and will do. Later in time we find Solomon admonishing parents of the need to teach and discipline their children. Solomon said, “Train up a child in the way he should go [teaching him to seek God’s wisdom and will for his abilities and talents],
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” -Proverbs 22:6 (AMP)

Multiple times in Scripture we are warned of the need to teach the children:

  • “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” -Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NIV)
  • “And all your [spiritual] sons will be disciples [of the Lord], and great will be the well-being of your sons.” -Isaiah 54:13 (AMP)
  •  “Remember the day you stood before the Eternal, your True God, at Horeb when He called you to come close. He told me, “Bring all the people to Me. I want them to hear My words, so that they will learn to fear Me as long as they live on this earth and will teach their children to do the same.” -Deuteronomy 4:10 (VOICE)
  •  Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to the point of resentment with demands that are trivial or unreasonable or humiliating or abusive; nor by showing favoritism or indifference to any of them], but bring them up [tenderly, with lovingkindness] in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” -Ephesians 6:4 (AMP)

Take time to teach the children of the wonders that the Almighty has done.

My Prayer:

Lord, help me to pass on the truth of who you are to the children that you have placed in my life. Help my testimony for you be fervent and let my light shine bright. May your praises always be on my lips and may my life consistently be a reminder to others of who I am in you. God without you I am lost and nothing; may I instill in my family their need to remain true to you.

 

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