Joshua 4:1-24

Talks for Growing Christians

Monuments Are Built to Commemorate the Crossing of the Jordan River

Joshua 4:1-24

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Lesson Number 6

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Believers are united with Christ in His death.
  2. Believers are united with Christ in His resurrection.

Practical Application

  1. Have you come to the place in your Christian life where you've said, "No turning back?"
  2. Take time to tell your children about the markers.


  1. What is the tradition of setting up stones as memorial markers?
  2. Refer to a) Genesis 28:18, b) 1 Samuel 7:12, and c) Joshua 24:26. What do these markers commemorate?
  3. Where were the two sets of stones placed in the Joshua 4 account?
  4. Why were there two sets of stones set up?
  5. Does the land of Canaan represent the heaven of the future?


  1. The setting up of a large stone or stones mark a place as significant because of a covenant made, or as a reminder of an important event.
  2. a) Jacob set up a stone as a pillar in commemoration of the dream God had given him at Bethel, b) Samuel set up a stone in commemoration of the time Israel defeated the Philistines, and c) Joshua made a covenant with the people and set up a stone in commemoration of that event.
  3. In the River bed and on the west bank of the Jordan.
  4. The twelve stones represent the twelve tribes of Israel. The meaning of the twelve stones set up in the river was that the twelve tribes of Israel were identified with where the ark had been in the Jordan River. The second set was on the shore, in order to teach the future generations about the miracle passage through the Jordan River.
  5. No. It represents the heavenlies now, or the realm of spiritual realities that we enter when we become Christians. It is where we enjoy our spiritual blessings in Christ.


  1. The Lord Jesus had to pass through the waters of death in order to pay the penalty for our sins, and thus open the way to the land of blessing for believers, as pictured in the ark of the covenant. Have you passed through the waters of death and are you now enjoying the land of blessings?
  2. We are identified with Christ in His death, and we are identified with Him in His resurrection, as pictured in the Jordan and on the west shore. See Romans 6:5-11. Do you reckon yourself dead to sin and alive to Christ?


  1. There was no turning back when the feet of the Israelites touched dry land. They were committed. Are you committed to possessing the land of spiritual blessings? Are you committed to winning the spiritual battles in the land? Can you say, "No turning back?"
  2. The markers are there. Are you telling your children about spiritual benchmarks in your life?

Key Verses

  • "Take twelve stones from the midst of the river; set them up as a marker that they may be a sign among you when your children ask, 'What do these stones mean to you?" (Joshua 4:3, 6-7, 20)
  • "Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of the Jordan." (Joshua 4:9)
  • "...that all the people of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever." (Joshua 4:24)

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