I find it interesting how the ark represented the presence of God in the midst of the nation of Israel. While the Priests and the ark were in the bottom of the Jordan River, there was enough dry land for over a millions Israelites to cross over its overflowing banks. Now what was so significant about taking twelve stones out of the midst of that river? It was for a memorial so that they would remember God’s goodness and provision for them. When their children asked them what these stones meant, they could give an answer and thus pass on the knowledge of God’s great provision for them. I really believe memorials play an integral part for us even today as it connects us to the past and God’s role in the history of mankind. According to verse 24, it was not only meant for Israel’s children, but that all the people of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is mighty and that you might fear your God forever. As we look at the end of the book of Judges as well as the end of II Kings we find great failure. This is true of the great failings of Christianity today (see: II Timothy 2:20). It’s important not to lose sight of the bigger picture and always keep God in the center of everything. His purposes are eternal in nature.
In the last verse we are looking at (5:1) we see the hearts of the Caananites melted when they saw what God did for the Israelites. That changed in the course of time as we see in the book of Judges. But it didn’t have to. God who brought them through the Jordan didn’t change, it was they who had changed.