This chapter was a difficult one to write about because there is the reminder of getting across the Jordan, however there are also the 12 stones that are left at the bottom of the Jordan River that the Bible says are still there.
So let’s talk about the memorial 12 stones first because we know for sure what those mean. God wanted the people to remember for all future generations how they came to the Promised Land as well as the struggles that God helped them through supernaturally to get there.
The generation that wandered in the wilderness was not very good at remembering what God had done for them even though they had A LOT of cool things happen. (The cloud and fire were really neat!) Joshua explains to the people that they will tell their children about what God did for them and the pile of stones was the reminder.
Now the hard part! After reading several weird ideas and re-reading that section of chapter 4 several times, here is my idea of what it means.
I think the 12 stones that are at the bottom of the Jordan symbolize the 12 tribes of Israel that didn’t get to the Promised Land. It was a clean slate, but also a way to almost mourn for them as well. If you really think about it the people that are going into the land were young, just born, or not even a twinkle when Israel was told they would wonder for 40 years (which may be why they needed to see the water part as well in order to understand the greatness of God they had heard about because they had not seen all the awesome miracles God had done for their parents).
The fact that we are told the stones are there to this day shows that there was a distinct group of people who didn’t get to the Promised Land because they didn’t believe they would make it or that God would come through.
You could take that all the way out to salvation saying we all have the opportunity to get to the Promised Land (Heaven), but some will not believe and be left behind.
It is interesting to think about, but not even scholars who are WAY SMARTER than I can agree, so I pose the question to you…What do you think the 12 stones in the Jordan mean?