We all have memory problems: we forget what we should remember, but dwell on what is best forgotten. In this study of Joshua 3 and 4, Alistair Begg explains that God often gives His people memorials as reminders of His faithfulness and provision. Like the Israelites who built a memorial from the stones of the Jordan River, God's people in every generation must take care to commit a record of God's faithfulness to coming generations.
1Then Joshua rose early in the morning and they set out from Shittim. And they came to the Jordan, he and all the people of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over. 2At the end of three days the officers went through the camp 3and commanded the people, “As soon as you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God being carried by the Levitical priests, then you shall set out from your place and follow it. 4Yet there shall be a distance between you and it, about 2,000 cubits1 in length. Do not come near it, in order that you may know the way you shall go, for you have not passed this way before.” 5Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” 6And Joshua said to the priests, “Take up the ark of the covenant and pass on before the people.” So they took up the ark of the covenant and went before the people.
7The Lord said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. 8And as for you, command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, ‘When you come to the brink of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.’” 9And Joshua said to the people of Israel, “Come here and listen to the words of the Lord your God.” 10And Joshua said, “Here is how you shall know that the living God is among you and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Hivites, the Perizzites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, and the Jebusites. 11Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth2 is passing over before you into the Jordan. 12Now therefore take twelve men from the tribes of Israel, from each tribe a man. 13And when the soles of the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off from flowing, and the waters coming down from above shall stand in one heap.”
14So when the people set out from their tents to pass over the Jordan with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, 15and as soon as those bearing the ark had come as far as the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the brink of the water (now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest), 16the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap very far away, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, and those flowing down toward the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. And the people passed over opposite Jericho. 17Now the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firmly on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, and all Israel was passing over on dry ground until all the nation finished passing over the Jordan.
1When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, 2“Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, 3and command them, saying, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests' feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.’” 4Then Joshua called the twelve men from the people of Israel, whom he had appointed, a man from each tribe. 5And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, 6that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ 7then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.”
8And the people of Israel did just as Joshua commanded and took up twelve stones out of the midst of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, just as the Lord told Joshua. And they carried them over with them to the place where they lodged and laid them down1 there. 9And Joshua set up2 twelve stones in the midst of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the covenant had stood; and they are there to this day. 10For the priests bearing the ark stood in the midst of the Jordan until everything was finished that the Lord commanded Joshua to tell the people, according to all that Moses had commanded Joshua.
The people passed over in haste. 11And when all the people had finished passing over, the ark of the Lord and the priests passed over before the people. 12The sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh passed over armed before the people of Israel, as Moses had told them. 13About 40,000 ready for war passed over before the Lord for battle, to the plains of Jericho. 14On that day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel, and they stood in awe of him just as they had stood in awe of Moses, all the days of his life.
15And the Lord said to Joshua, 16“Command the priests bearing the ark of the testimony to come up out of the Jordan.” 17So Joshua commanded the priests, “Come up out of the Jordan.” 18And when the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the Lord came up from the midst of the Jordan, and the soles of the priests' feet were lifted up on dry ground, the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and overflowed all its banks, as before.
19The people came up out of the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and they encamped at Gilgal on the east border of Jericho. 20And those twelve stones, which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal. 21And he said to the people of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 22then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ 23For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, 24so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”3
Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world.
How has God been speaking to you through His Word in the past year? In Encore 2010, we’re highlighting some of the most requested messages from the past 12 months. With topics such as fear and anxiety, giving, attitudes, family, the church, and faith and salvation, there is encouragement from God’s Word for everyone.
|So Do Not Fear||Isaiah 41:10|
|A Biblical Approach to Anxiety||1 Peter 5:7|
|On Death and Dying||Ecclesiastes 12:1-14|
|Contentment or Corruption, Part Two||1 Timothy 6:6-10|
|Overflowing with Thankfulness, Part Two||Exodus 35:1-35|
|Asking God for Wisdom||James 1:5-8|
|The Goodness of God, Part One||Nehemiah 9:6-15|
|Redirecting Our Families||Nehemiah 9:38-10:39|
|Nature and Meaning of the Lord's Supper||Luke 22:17-20|
|The Baptism Debate||Acts 16:11-15|
|Three Facts True of Every Christian||1 Peter 1:1-2|
|Why God Sent His Son||Galatians 4:4 - Lamentations 4:5|
|Be Like Jesus|
When you teach a small child a new skill, it’s helpful to repeat it over and over. Likewise, as adults, we often learn best when we hear and apply a lesson or truth multiple times.
This compilation of our most popular messages of the year, chosen by our listeners, is designed to do just that: repeat the truths of God’s Word to us so that we can more fully understand the Bible and apply it to our lives. With messages on the meaning of the Gospel, God’s nature, spiritual warfare, trials and sufferings, and wisdom in relationships, this series will challenge all who listen.
|What is the Gospel?||Romans 1:16-17|
|The Power of the Gospel||Romans 1:16|
|About 12 Almost Christians||Acts 19:1-10|
|Are We Blind Too?||John 9:39-41|
|The Age of the Spirit||Acts 2:1-13 Acts 2:32-33|
|The Paradox of Christian Freedom||Romans 6:15-23|
|Spiritual Warfare||Ephesians 6:10-12|
|The Advantage of Weakness||2 Chronicles 20:1-19|
|Why Suffering||Job 16:7-17|
|The Biblical Role of Women||Titus 2:4-8|
|Teach Your Children Well, Part Two||Proverbs 22:6|
|Relationships||1 Peter 3:1-7|
Our most popular messages of 2012 are rich in both instruction and inspiration. For those seeking to strengthen their understanding and walk of faith, this series of messages from Alistair Begg points time and again to the One who provides both. Encore 2012 contains essential messages on the characteristics of true discipleship, the model for fatherhood, navigating life's difficulties, what it means to be a committed follower of Christ, and how Jesus fulfills God's purpose finally and fully. This series offers clarity and guidance to those desiring to live according to the will of God.
|A Christian Manifesto, Part One||Luke 6:20-27|
|A Christian Manifesto, Part Two||Luke 6:20-27|
|Divorce, Part One||Mark 10:1-9|
|Responding to Persecution, Part 1||Romans 12:14|
|Attitude Is Everything||Genesis 39:16-23|
|Prophet, Priest, King||Hebrews 1:1-4|
|One Thing You Lack||Mark 10:17-22|
|After Darkness, Light||Romans 3:21-26|
|The Calling of Committed Followers||Luke 5:1|
|And When I Come to Die||Hebrews 11:22|
|About Times and Dates, Part One||1 Thessalonians 4:13-18|
Once God rescues us from our sin, we can come to know Him more deeply by learning from His Word again and again. Encore 2013 presents a diverse collection of listener favorites from the past year. Spanning a variety of topics including the relevance of the Bible, church ministry, Christian character, and the biblical record of Jesus’ ministry, this series contains essential teaching that will navigate believers further down the road of their spiritual journey.
|The Bible: An Overview||Luke 24:27|
|Why Bother With The Bible?, Part One||2 Timothy 3:14-17|
|How to Ruin a Church's Effectiveness||Ephesians 4:25|
|The Pulpit: Its Powers and Pitfalls||1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5|
|Characteristics of Christian Love, Part Two||1 Corinthians 13:4-7|
|The Weakness of Power||2 Chronicles 26|
|A Warning Against Laziness||Proverbs 24:23-24 Proverbs 26:13-16|
|Holding Firmly to the End, Part One||Hebrews 3:1-19|
|Grace and Forgiveness||Mark 2:13-14|
|Sabbath Controversy||Mark 2:23-3:6|
|That's What Friends Are||Philippians 2:19-30|
|Compassionate Shepherd||Luke 7:1|
Does the Gospel speak to all of life? Our compilation of listener favorites from 2014 answers that question with a resounding “Yes.” In these messages, Alistair Begg explores God’s power to redeem and keep His people, His faithfulness in good times and bad from generation to generation, and the clarity with which His Word speaks into all of our circumstances and relationships. This series provides essential reminders that the basics of the Christian faith are the foundation upon which all of life is built.
|The Use and Abuse of Words||James 3:1-12|
|Alienation, Reconciliation||1 Peter 3:18|
|Becoming A Christian||Luke 5:12-13|
|The Biblical Basis For Baptism||Acts 2:36-47|
|The Patience of God||2 Peter 3:1-18|
|The Faithfulness of God||Lamentations 3:1-24|
|God's Faithfulness in Affliction||1 Peter 4:12-19|
|The Full Armor of God||Ephesians 6:13-18|
|True Living||Ecclesiastes 1:1-2:11|
|A Memorial Forever||Joshua 3:1-17 Joshua 4:1-24|
In triumphs and trials, in strength and weakness, in the smallest of details and in His eternal plan – God is always at work in and through the lives of His people. Encore 2015 collects listener favorites from the past year that provide Gospel insights from both Old and New Testaments in messages from Alistair Begg. Whatever circumstances we are facing, the messages in this series will remind us that God’s Word gives guidance for all people everywhere, calling us to develop our relationship with Him.
|The Priority of God's Word||1 Thessalonians 5:27-28|
|Passing on the Truth, Part Two||2 Timothy 2:1-2|
|When Trials Come, Part One||James 1:1-3|
|The Power of Weakness||2 Corinthians 12:1-10|
|Gideon, The Weakest & The Least||Judges 6:1-40|
|Mindful, Mighty, Merciful||Luke 1:46-56|
|Zechariah’s Song||Luke 1:67-75|
|Happiness Revisited||Psalms 32:10-11|
|The Unseen Hand of God||Esther 6:1-14|
|Seeing, Caring, Thinking, Praying||Matthew 9:35-38|
|The Other Man's Grass||Exodus 20:17|
|Good News for Lawbreakers||Romans 3:20-21|
Turning from sin and turning to Christ are marks of a converted life, but what does life look like after conversion? Encore 2016 brings together a collection of listener favorites from the Old and New Testaments to answer this question. In these messages, Alistair Begg explores how knowing God changes everything. Our relationships, words, deeds, and even our private thoughts are affected by accepting the truths of the Gospel. In addition to Gospel narrative, this compilation provides Biblical guidance on topics such as marriage, longing, submission, discipleship and church membership, showing us that a commitment to follow Christ is a commitment to bring all aspects of our life under His loving authority.
|I Take You||Genesis 2:24|
|How To Avoid Marital Failure|
|A Word to the Wise||Ecclesiastes 1:1-18|
|Eternity on My Mind||Ecclesiastes 3:1-15|
|Look and Be Amazed!||Habakkuk 1:5-2:1|
|The Fatherhood of God|
|The Birth of Jesus Christ, Part One||Luke 2:1-5|
|Preaching the Gospel from Ruth||Ruth 1:1-22|
|Submitting to God, Part One||James 4:7-10|
|Saying No to Slander||James 4:11|
|An Ill-Conceived Rebuke||Mark 8:31-9:1|
|Membership Matters||Romans 12:4-5|
|A Call to Commitment||Romans 12:1-2|
At a time when truth seems increasingly difficult to find, the 21st-century Christian must look to one place for guidance: God’s Word. Encore 2017 brings together a collection of listener favorites that point us to the Bible as we seek to connect with a lost and broken world. Whether we’re facing anxiety, struggling with laziness, or simply trying to be a better spouse, God’s Word offers a wealth of wisdom and encouragement. In these messages, Alistair Begg emphasizes the centrality of Scripture as it reveals God’s character, purpose, and plan for the lives of His children. With an identity rooted in what Christ accomplished on the cross, believers can confidently share the Word of God and help the perishing come face-to-face with their Savior.
|Bring Out the Book||Nehemiah 8:1-12|
|The Genealogy of Jesus||Matthew 1:1-17|
|No Place For Truth||Acts 17:16-34|
|The Danger of Deception||2 John 1:7-13|
|The Baptism Debate||Acts 16:11-15|
|Being a Wife-God's Way||1 Peter 3:1-6|
|Being a Husband-God's Way||1 Peter 3:7|
|A Warning Against Laziness||Proverbs 24:23-24 Proverbs 26:13-16|
|All Your Anxiety (The Cove)||1 Peter 5:7|
|An ART Lesson||Colossians 1:21-23|
|God of the Exiles||Daniel 1:1-21|
|Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God||John 6:35-40|
|Evangelism-Dealing with Difficulties, Part Two|