What Do These Stones Mean?
A Sermon on Joshua 4:21-24
21And he said to the sons of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ 22then you shall inform your children, saying, ‘Israel crossed this Jordan on dry ground.’ 23For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed, just as the Lord your God had done to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed; 24so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, so that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”
21And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? 22Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. 23For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over: 24That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.
Most people have certain ways in which they remember or celebrate markers of significance in their lives. In a similar way, God told the Israelites to set up a pile of stones to mark the day they crossed over the Jordan River and into the land that God had promised to give them. In this sermon from Joshua 4:21–24 titled “What Do These Stones Mean?” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows why monuments are important for the Christian walk. First, they point to their history, and this is very important since the Christian faith sets itself apart from false religions because it is based entirely on historical facts. Second, these markers call attention away from human action and towards God’s action, allowing focus on Him. The reason God acted in human history is because humanity was enslaved to sin and was in desperate need of intervention. Dr. Lloyd-Jones encourages believers to look at milestones and monuments important to them and the Christian faith as reminders that the Lord is mighty to save.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.