Joshua: “Winning Memory”

Joshua • “Winning Memory”

Joshua 4 & 5

October 16-20, 2017

Tom Rush sings one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard. It’s called the

Remember Song. Some of you will smile at this and others of us are living this.

Take three minutes to start this week off right.


I think that my memory is a bit like a carousel with lots of slots around the outside in which information is stored. The older I get the slower the carousel seems to go. I still have all the information in there somewhere, but it just takes longer to retrieve it. Then there are all the diseases of the mind that will someday steal of our memories.


One of the most frustrating things all of us deal with or will ever is forgetfulness. When it comes to a faith walk with God, one of the greatest enemies to faith is forgetfulness. In fact, the forgetfulness of the nation of Israel was on the heart of God in the Book of Deuteronomy as the people were preparing to enter the Promised Land. There is ample evidence that we are following that same path today.

11 Take care lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today

. Deuteronomy 8:11


Forgetting what the Lord had done for them would, as it always does, lead to disobedient living. The Lord knew that an enemy of their faith was forgetfulness so as they entered the Promised Land He wanted them to have a winning memory. The title of this week’s study is “Winning Memory

.” Get your Bibles out and mark Joshua chapters 4-5. Read these two chapters in their entirety and we will summarize most of it and touch on a few verses.


There were three ways the Israelites were supposed to remember what the Lord had done for them that would give them a winning memory.

  • They were to remember the crossing of the Jordan River.
  • They were to remember the covenant of Abraham.
  • They were to remember their deliverance from Egypt.


Their remembrance of these three events was to transform the way they lived in the Promised Land.


MONDAY: Remembering What The Lord Has Done For YOU Should Transform The Way You Live.

When you forget what the Lord has done for you, your affection for Him will always weaken…every time… and what follows always leads to disobedient living.
For you to win God’s way you must have a winning memory that transforms the way you live today.


Take a moment to look at each of these areas of remembrance.


  1. In Chapter 4, The Lord instructed the people to gather 12 stones from the midst of the Jordan River, that river of impossibility for them to cross on their own ability and to set them up as a memorial to remember what the Lord had done there.


6 That this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ 7 then 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.” Joshua 4:6-7


Verses 23 – 24 further illuminates the purpose of this memorial

23 For 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, 24 so 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. Joshua 4:23-24


The memorial stones provided a teachable moment for parents to tell their children of the Lord’s power in overcoming the obstacle of the Jordan River reminding them to fear the Lord.


The other purpose was evangelistic. The memorial was to be a witness to “ALL THE PEOPLES of the earth” to know the Lord and His power.


Remembering what the Lord has done in overcoming obstacles in your life should always lead you to deeper worship of the Lord that is a witness to others. That is living a transformational life.


  1. The next way they were to remember what the lord has done is through remembering the Lord’s covenant with Abraham.


In chapter 5, you will find that the Lord instructed Joshua to circumcise the sons of Israel. Now for us that might not seem like a big deal but you need to remember that circumcision was given to Abraham as a sign of the Covenant Relationship he had with God. Circumcision was the outward symbol of inward faith in the Lord.


In Genesis 15, the Lord told Abram that he would have descendants like the stars.

6 And he believed the Lord, and God counted it to him as righteousness. Genesis 15:6


In Genesis 17, circumcision was given to Abram as an outward sign of the inward faith covenant he had with the Lord. Faith in the Lord always comes before the outward sign of the faith, in this case, circumcision, which the previous generation did not grasp.

5 Though all the people who came out had been circumcised, yet all the people who were born on the way in the wilderness after they had come out of Egypt had not been circumcised. 6 For the people of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, until all the nation, the men of war who came out of Egypt, perished, because they did not obey the voice of the Lord; the Lord swore to them that he would not let them see the land that the Lord had sworn to their fathers to give to us, a land flowing with milk and honey. Genesis 17:5-6


The previous generation who faithlessly disobeyed God had the outward sign of being God’s people but did not know Him by faith because, “they did not obey the voice of the Lord…”


In the Old Testament, God was always interested in a circumcision of the heart by faith before the physical circumcision.

16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn. Deuteronomy 10:16


The generation entering the Promised Land had never been circumcised because of the disobedience of their parents. However, each person and each generation had to make their own personal commitment of faith to obey the covenant. By remembering to become circumcised, this generation was separating themselves from the previous rebellious generation and making a personal commitment of faith to the Lord by entering the Promised Land.


  1. In Joshua 5:10-12 The third way of remembrance…celebrating the Passover. In Joshua 4:19, note that they crossed over on the 10th day of the first month. That is significant because it was on that day that the preparations for Passover were to begin by selecting an unblemished lamb.

10 While the people of Israel were encamped at Gilgal, they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening on the plains of Jericho. 11 And the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. 12 And the manna ceased the day after they ate of the produce of the land. And there was no longer manna for the people of Israel, but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.

Joshua 5:10-12


Passover was a celebration remembering the most important salvation event in the life of Israel, their deliverance from Egypt. Remembering the Passover in the Promised Land was significant because it remembered salvation from Egypt and God fulfilling His Promises. In remembering their deliverance at Passover, they were reminded that they were to live a new life of faith in the Promised Land because of God’s work of salvation in their lives.




1 Corinthians 5:7, you will read that Christ is our Passover


1 Corinthians 11:24, you are told to eat the Lord’s Supper in remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice for your sins. Christian, remembering the Lord’s Supper should promote a winning memory in you that transforms the way you live.



TUESDAY: Celebrating The Lord’s Supper


23 For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread 24 and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.” 26 For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again

. I Corinthians 11:23-26


Remember always that it is not where or when you celebrate the Lord Jesus’ death and resurrection, but HOW and WHY. Do so with honor and reverence and with a contrite heart. If your heart is not prepared, do not partake. It’s not for everyone.


Living the Word Applications: Demonstrate a winning memory by…


WEDNESDAY: Breaking Away From The Past Way Of Living 5:5-6.

The circumcision of the next generation signified breaking away from the disbelief and sinful disobedience and living life by faith in the Promised Land. One of the symbols of our faith that is equated with circumcision is baptism. Baptism does not put a person in a right relationship with God, but in the New Testament it always occurred when a person made a

conscious response of faith in Christ


6 1 Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? 2 Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? 3 Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? 4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.

Romans 6:1-4


God’s Word says that baptism signifies

breaking away from the old life of sin to living a new life of obedience in Christ

. Can you remember your day of baptism? On that day, you made a conscious decision to publicly profess faith in Christ, to break away from sinful living and to live a new life in Christ.


One of my favorite memories is baptizing our youngest son, Don Allen Ivey. He made his profession of faith at age ten and asked me to baptize him. The church he was in refused his request, so I asked my pastor, James Pleitz, at Park Cities Baptist Church if I might baptize Donnie there. I will never forget his response that Sunday afternoon, “

You bet, the baptistery is full and warm. Bring that boy on.” Warmed this old daddy’s heart I can tell you. As we stood in the baptistery together, I asked him, “Son, why did you come to be baptized?” His precious answer still rings in my memory, “Well, Dad, I just gave my heart to Jesus and He told me to come be baptized

.” Hard to beat that.


So examine your life again. Are there places where you are forgetting to break away from the old life and live out your new life in Christ? Perhaps today will be a good day to take a fearless inventory of how committed you are to your original profession of faith. You may even decide that you need a renewal of your faith.


Demonstrate a winning memory by breaking away from the past way of living.


THURSDAY: Appreciating The Ordinary 5:10-12.


10 While the Israelites were camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, they celebrated Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month. 11 The very next day they began to eat unleavened bread and roasted grain harvested from the land. 12 No manna appeared on the day they first ate from the crops of the land, and it was never seen again. So from that time on the Israelites ate from the crops of Canaan.

Joshua 5:10-12


Once the Israelites celebrated the Passover in the Land, the miraculous daily provision of manna ceased. Now the Lord’s provision would come the ordinary cycles of life such as harvesting crops in the land. So how often do you look for the miracles of God in the spectacular events and forget that His miracles also are found in the ordinary events of life? Appreciate the ordinary way God meets your daily needs such as a steady income, a warm home, a full refrigerator. Appreciate the protection He gives you daily as you move about this Promised Land where He called you to live, work, and play. Don’t become so enthralled in looking for the miraculous that you forget the ordinary ways God works in your life.


Take a moment today and make a note of at least twenty ways God has blessed you in the ordinary. Spend 15 minutes expressing your profound gratitude for all God has done for you. I bet you won’t stop at twenty.


Demonstrate a winning memory by appreciating the ordinary.


FRIDAY: Taking Advantage Of Teachable Moments 4:6-7; 23-24.


Go back to the beginning of the week and review these verses.


The memorial stones were to provide teachable moments for parents with their children. Parents, whenever you remember the Lord’s Supper and observe baptism, take advantage of those teachable moments with your kids to talk about the Scriptural significance with them. The memorial stones were also intended to be a witness to other nations as well. Share what the Lord has done in your life in overcoming obstacles. They are opportunities for you to witness to the power of God.


Forgetting what the Lord has done for you will lead you to priorities that are upside down…disobedient living, and the lack of a vibrant witness to others in our Promised Land where we live, work, and play. Take the memorial stone with a cross on it that you received Sunday with you and leave it in a place where it will remind you to live out your faith. But also, as people ask you about it, share what God has done in your life. That’s how winning memories work.