Back “In the day” ( and I mean really way back in Old Testament times) they would build memorials out of stones to remember how good God was and so that they might trust Him fully in the future. We don’t have those rocks anymore…it is my fervent hope that we can gather our rocks and tell our stories of times that God was so good to us.
“Hey just what kind of blog is this?” I hear the stone throwers demanding to know. “Who in the heck puts trusting God and getting stoned in the same sentence?” They ask some more.
I have an answer for that, but first I need to tell you a little story.
Once upon a time there was a people. Let’s call them…oh I don’t know…how about let’s call them the Israelites. Now they were not just any people. They were Gods Chosen People (don’t take my word for it, take a look at Deuteronomy 7:6).
They were, as most people tend to be, a people who people who followed God… half the time, and the other half (I am probably being generous here) of the time they tended to think their way was the best.
And complainers! Well let’s just say they were a whiny people. Instead of trusting God and letting Him lead them from a life of servitude and bondage into a place flowing with milk and honey. Into a place that was the land in which He had PROMISED to bring them to, they whined and complained.
Let’s not lose the significance here. God, the creator of the entire universe, made a PROMISE to them about a wonderful land that He would bring them to. God the one who word is sure and true, who says something and you can not only bet it will come true you can BELIEVE it!!! Made a promise to them, to bring them through this dry and barren land in which they were currently inhabiting.
So instead of trusting in God they complained and as a result turned a 11 day trip into over a 40 year Journey. No, that was not a typo. They could have been enjoying the good life for as long a Steve Carell’s character has been without a mate (nope, never saw the movie but it was fitting.)
This is a crazy fact when you realize that God parted, none other then the RED SEA to get them to where they presently were. Now I am not sure about you but If God parted a SEA and walked me across on dry land before swallowing up my enemies (who were chasing me) I would tend to BELIEVE anything that He said.
So here they were after all this time, they finally stopped doing their own thing long enough to be led by God, once again. They were actually going into the place that he PROMISED them! Wow how cool that must have been.
And as a mini reminder of where they had come from, when they crossed over the river that stood between them and land of their dreams, God (the cool and awesome God that He is) parted the Jordan and they walked over on dry land. They were leaving just as they entered, by way of God’s miraculous provision. Without Him they would have been forever stuck.
What about the stones?
Well the stones are the coolest part of all. The stones were not just any stones. They were memorial stones. I cannot do this justice so read what happened after they crossed over the Jordan, onto dry ground.
When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan, the LORD said to Joshua, “Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, and command them, saying, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests’ feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.’ ”
Then Joshua called the twelve men from the people of Israel, whom he had appointed, a man from each tribe. And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel,
that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ 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 4:1–7, ESV)
So each Rock symbolized each tribe (and each person in it) and they were built into a MEMORIAL.
It was built why? So that they would see it and tell their children, “look kids, this here marks the place where God answered his promise to us. This marks the place of when God brought our family through the wilderness of despair into the land overflowing with all things wonderful. So when you see this stone remember God’s faithfulness, remember His goodness, remember that He made a way where there was no way.
And don’t just you remember it. That is not enough. Tell those around you, remind each other of His goodness. And tell your children and your children’s children. So that every time they see this memorial of stones they will remember how Great is Your God.”
So what does that have to do with me? I hear you asking (wow you sure ask a lot of questions…kidding).
Look around you. How many memorial stones do you see. Now some of you may certainly be standing next to the Jefferson memorial or even the Vietnam memorial…so I will rephrase that…how many memorials made of stone (which by the way is solid) in remembrance of the goodness of God, have you pointed out to your kids lately and said Kids let me tell you about when?
So why did God have them build the memorial? Because He knew that they needed to REMEMBER His faithfulness. They needed to remember His goodness. They needed to remember how even though things looked so very bleak in their life, like they wouldn’t amount to anything, and they would suffer all their lives, they needed to remember that HE brought them through those hard things in the past (even though they fought him) and He would bring them through their present form of opposition.
And guess what …we are no different then them…we are stubborn-fighting against God leading, wanting to be in charge., we are forgetful- forgetting all that he has done for us so that we have no hope when times are rough,
but one thing is different
WE HAVE NO STONES…we are stone-less. We have no memorials to point to…to that end I humbly offer up this Blog…
I pray that by the grace of God this will be a place in which we can place our stones of remembrance, where we can tell our stories of Gods faithfulness (more of this latter)
a place that we can go to when times are rough to remember that God will bring us through….
We all just desperately need to get stoned so that we will have the strength to follow God when times are rough (more on this latter )…so who’s with me? Who wants to erect some memorials for the future Generation?