Joshua becomes leader, he is told to be brave, a prostitute helps spies escape from Jericho, the people march to the Jordan river, it doesn’t stop flowing until their feet touch the water, they walk across on dry land, they walk round the walls and Jericho is theirs… an action packed first 6 chapters in Joshua…
But it doesn’t quite happen like that, after they walk through the river, the people stop to record, to commemorate, to remember God’s great blessings… this helped the people to reflect.
The men followed the instructions that the LORD had given Joshua. They picked up twelve rocks, one for each tribe, and carried them to the camp, where they put them down. Joshua 4:8
Here the stones serve as both “sign” and “memorial”. They authenticate that the past event actually happened and remind Israel of its continuing significance for later generations. But the stones bear no inscription. Instead, the simple mound will cause curious Israelite children to ask in the future, “What do these stones mean?”
What could you make, write, create, wear that reminds you of God’s blessing and encourages others to ask you good questions? Shoes with wings? An origami tissue? A stone with holes…?
Hang on, what about some sort of temptation, of weighing up the consequences, or struggling with conscience. What about method, plot, schematics, hiding of murder weapon, disposing of the body – no nothing – just a straightforward result of jealousy!
The next verse shows us God is not into 45 minute (allowing 15 minutes for adverts) plots. He simply asks Cain “Where is your brother Abel?” Cain replies in that familiar biblical phrase “ur-er-na”
Did you know apart from the curse he told Adam and Eve, the first things God said to people after the fruit had been eaten were all questions.
Where are you? (Gen 3:9) as Adam and Eve hid
Who told you that you were naked? (Gen 3:11)
What is this you have done? (Gen 3:13)
Why are you so angry? (Gen 4:6) After God had not looked on Cain’s offering with favour
Where is your brother? (Gen 4:9)
God gave that first family the best possible start in life, but they wrecked it – how quickly did that first murder take place – but is God asking you these same questions?
Where are you? Are you hiding from me? You don’t need to
Who told you that you were sinful, that you were bad, worthless? You are not, you are made in my image, you are so valuable
What is it you have done? Come before me and tell me, I am ready to forgive.
Why are you so angry, so low, so bitter, so jealous, so….? I want the best for you – let it go!
Where is your brother? Actually for now lets forgot about others – what about you? Will you return to my arms of love?