Joshua led the Israeli army in the fight against their long-time enemies, the Amalekites. Moses went up to the top of the nearby hill. As long as his hands were held up, the Israelis were winning. When he grew tired of holding up his hands, he sat on a rock and Aaron and Hur each held up one of Moses’ arms till sunset when Joshua finally overcame the enemy.
The Lord instructs this event to be “remembered.” It was to be written down—the first time in Scripture—as a permanent reminder. God’s people are explicitly called to remember both God’s deliverance and His judgment of the wicked.
The Bible records a number of events that people remembered. After Jacob’s dream at Bethel, he used the stone pillow on which he slept as a pillar of remembrance. After the Israelis finally crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land, they took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan and set them up as a memorial about which they were to tell their children. Memorials help us to remember what God has done and enable us to trust Him for the future.
Esdras is a church leader in southern Mexico. He is also a lawyer and therefore is able to stand up for the rights of many indigenous people who are persecuted for their Christian faith.
He will always remember a significant event when God’s protection was evident. He says, “I was visiting in Mitziton, an area where more than half of the community are Christians. The authorities wanted to turn two hundred Christians out of their homes and drive them out of the town. I intervened and was able to prevent them from having to leave. After this, I was publicly threatened with death. That day I was not able to return to my hometown and we spent the night in the home of a Christian. It was outside the town and there were no houses nearby.
“At about eleven o’clock in the evening, a strange sensation came over me. Something seemed wrong, but I didn’t know what the matter was. At a quarter to twelve, two trucks turned up with twelve men. They were heavily armed with guns. I was completely alone with Marilene and our little baby. That day, we happened not to have any connection to the radio or mobile phone. I couldn’t phone anyone and there was no chance of calling for help. The attackers came closer and closer. They called out, ‘Now we’ve got him. He can’t get away now. Now we’re going to shoot him dead.’
“Suddenly something unexpected happened. The gardener, an old man who lived in the grounds, turned on the lights around the house. I hadn’t asked him to do anything. When the attackers saw all those lighted lamps, they cried, ‘Where have all those guards come from?’
“They slunk off and we were spared. Maybe they saw angels, who had come to guard us.” Esdras now travels the world and remembers publicly God’s great deliverance.