Revelation from God Received & Lesson Learned: MARK IT!
Updated: Apr 28, 2019
We have a two-year-old Australian Shepherd, JoJo, a beautiful black tricolor. This dog breed is categorized in the working or herding class. They are “high-spirited, energetic, and require a great amount of exercise.” Aussies are very intelligent animals.
However, if they become bored or neglected, they resort to inventing their own activities. Sometimes, these results are not favorable, as we can attest!
So, we decided to enroll JoJo in training classes. During these classes, dogs are taught to develop social, mental, and physical skills. Whenever a dog achieves the objective being taught, the handler is instructed to immediately “mark it!” This means to let the canine know right-then-and-there through positive feedback – praise, a treat, and a happy “yes” – that they got it. They learned what they were supposed to learn, and they received a reward.
We should acknowledge the obedient act immediately so the dog remembers, so they don’t forget. Consistency is extremely important. This process must be repeated each time during these initial learning victories so it leaves an imprint on the dog’s memory and eventually becomes a learned behavior.
But it must also be re-enforced throughout the life of the dog, so they never forget.
The Lord Wants Us to Remember
The Lord is our teacher. We are his children. From the very beginning, God has worked closely with man, trying to teach him the right way to live, what’s best for him. The human race has been headstrong and challenging to say the least.
But every now and then, the Lord, through His infinite love, patience and mercy, helps us out in miraculous fashion – by “passing over,” “stopping rivers,” “re-writing covenants,” and “defeating death.”
It is during these watershed moments, when mankind’s eyes are opened, and his heart is right, that God “marks it.” And when He does, the Lord encourages man to remember just how much He really loves us and never wants us to forget.
Exodus 11 and 12 tell of the final straw that broke Pharaoh’s back and caused him to let the children of Israel leave Egypt after 430 years. The Lord passed through the land of Egypt and struck down the firstborn sons and firstborn male animals throughout the land.
The Israelites were instructed to “…take some of the blood and smear it on the sides and the top of the door frames of the houses…When I see the blood, I will pass over you... So, the people of Israel did just as the Lord had commanded through Moses and Aaron… On that very day the Lord brought the people out of the land of Egypt like an army.” (Exodus 12:7, 13, 28, 51 NLT)
They got it.
And the children of Israel remember this, to this day, by observing Passover.
“This annual festival will be a visible sign to you, like a mark branded on your hand or your forehead. Let it remind you always to recite this teaching of the Lord: ‘With a strong hand, the Lord rescued you from Egypt.” (Exodus13:9)
There are many different types of monuments and memorials. Headstones mark and identify the remains of the individual buried beneath the earth at a certain location. Roadside memorials mark the last place an individual was alive. Historical monuments pinpoint where battles or major events took place.
The book of Joshua goes into specific detail about how, where, and why the Lord wanted Joshua to build two memorials. These memorials were to mark the location of the miraculous event where the Lord stopped the flow of the Jordan River so the children of Israel could cross over into the Promised Land.
“So, Joshua called together the twelve men he had chosen—one from each of the tribes of Israel. He told them, “Go into the middle of the Jordan, in front of the Ark of the Lord your God. Each of you must pick up one stone and carry it out on your shoulder—twelve stones in all, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant went across. These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.” (Joshua 4:4-7 NLT)
It goes on to remind future generations, in Joshua 4:22 (NLT), “this is where the Israelites crossed the Jordan on dry ground.”
Important lesson: Do not forget what the Lord your God has done for you!
So, Joshua and the children of Israel obeyed the Lord’s instructions. They crossed the Jordan River, at flood stage, and safely entered the Promised Land. After forty years of wandering in the desert, they finally learned a hard lesson of obedience.
Then the Lord commanded them to build two memorials, twelve stones each, as a reminder of what God had done for them. What happened to the pile of twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, at the place where the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant were standing?
Joshua 4:9 NLT tells us, “And they are there to this day.”
“After supper he took another cup of wine and said, ‘This cup is the new covenant between God and his people – an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.’” (Luke 22:20 NLT)
The night before his death, Jesus shared with his disciples one more important lesson He wanted them to learn and never forget. God was instituting a new covenant between Himself and His people. “Under the old covenant, the priest stood and ministered before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand.” (Hebrews 10:11-12 NLT)
The author of Hebrews goes on to beautifully describe this new covenant:
“This new covenant I will make with my people on that day, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds. Then he says, “I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds. And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices.” (Hebrews 10: 16-18 NLT)
A lesson, a revelation, God reveals to our hearts and writes on our minds should be cherished, held dear, and never forgotten.
Jesus was brutally beaten and hung on a cross. He died. His body was placed in a tomb sealed with a large stone. It was finished…
Throughout the gospels, Jesus forewarned the disciples about upcoming events. In Matthew 26, Jesus told them point blank what was about to take place: “As you know, Passover begins in two days, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.” (Matthew 26:2 NLT)
Jesus not only predicts Peter’s denial in Mark 24, but he also gives them a heads up on other events: “On the way, Jesus told them, ‘All of you will desert me. For the scriptures say, ‘God will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ But after I am raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there.’” (Mark 14:27-28)
Apparently, they weren’t paying attention. The disciples didn’t learn this lesson, at first. With a little help from their Friend, it finally clicked and they got it:
“Then he said, ‘When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled. (Wait for it…wait for it…) Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day.” (Luke 24:44-46 NLT)
At that point, Jesus did in fact “mark it,” with, oddly enough, one more lesson.
Jesus saved the best for last
This was maybe his most important instruction, to his disciples and us.
Jesus says: “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 19-20 NLT)
His instructions are simple and to the point. There should be no misunderstanding this assignment, which is for all believers. Now it’s our turn to teach, train, and encourage others in the ways of the Lord, to “go and make disciples.”
And when those we are discipling finally get it, learn the lesson, and receive their revelation from God, remember what to do…