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8 Min Read

Memorial Stones

Published on

March 14, 2022

One of the things that fascinates me the most about the life of Jacob and a few other individuals in the account of Genesis and the earlier books in the bible is how they immortalized every of their experience with God by laying up memorial stones. They laid up memorial stones not only as a way to immortalize their experiences with God, but also to leave eternal footprints of God’s faithfulness echoing throughout the universe as an eternal witness. In today’s Push Buttons, we will examine a few of those cases and learn how we can replicate them in our own context today.

The first memorial stone we will examine is Bethel;

“So Jacob got up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had placed as a support for his head, and set it up as a memorial stone, and poured oil on its top. Then he named that place Bethel; but [j]previously the name of the city had been Luz.” — Genesis 28: 18–19 (NASB)

This happens to be the first case of raising a memorial stone in Scriptures, and the significance of this experience is far-reaching. Jacob at this time, having received a blessing that in no small terms secured his future, was faced with a life-threatening situation that involved having to abandon an otherwise comfortable estate in search of safety and a rewarding habitat that would cause the blessing within to manifest — and what place is safer than the house of God; what habitat is surer than the presence of the Lord? God in His infinite wisdom interrupted Jacob’s journey to show him that in the pursuit of security and relevance, God’s house must be the base from which every ascent is launched. Jacob was smart to immortalize that revelation in eternity by raising a memorial stone; little wonder David could say some hundreds of years later,

“I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.” Psalm 122: 1 (KJV).

He understood from this memorial stone that the key to significance and security lies in the revelation knowledge that comes from a perpetual indwelling at the House of God. In the same vein, as Sons of the King, the place that should house our most hallowed memorial is the Presence of God.

The next memorial stone we will examine is Gilgal;

“and Joshua said to them, “Cross again to the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan, and each of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Israel. This shall be a sign among you; when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ then you shall say to them, ‘That the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever.” — Joshua 4: 5–7 (NASB)

Many times in our lives, we have been faced with situations and challenges that defy reason and human abilities, where nothing other than a miracle could have seen us through and God showed up miraculously as He usually does, but we forget about both the event and the miracle. The children of Israel were in the habit of this forgetfulness, that is why Joshua raised a memorial after the miraculous crossing at Jordan to serve as an eternal witness to God’s willingness and ability to always help us in our times of need. The beauty of this particular memorial stone (which is my favorite, by the way) is that it also serves as an inheritance; verse 7 of Joshua chapter 4 teaches us that; on the basis of this event we are to educate our children on the faithfulness of God, so that they will in-turn inherit the realities of this memorial.

The big lesson at Gilgal is this; God is always in the business of demonstrating the miraculous to His children but often times, we get so caught up in other cares that we forget about His faithfulness and relate with Him as though he has never shown up on our behalf. Saints, the stones Gilgal is an eternal proof of God’s ability to employ the miraculous in helping His children, and many of us have “Gilgal-moments” that we have failed to immortalize. Today is the day we go back and raise up those memorials and sound the tales to our children, and children’s children.

Lastly, we will examine the stone, Ebenezer;

“Then Samuel took a stone and placed it between Mizpah and Shen, and named it Ebenezer, saying, “So far the Lord has helped us.” — 1 Samuel 7: 12 (NASB)

Growing up as children, we had this knack for wanting to get something beyond our reach due to our height at that time, and there was always that favourite uncle or elder sibling we could run to because he/she would never ignore our pleas or call for help. This is what God did for Israel at Ebenezer. He heeded their plea and helped them gain victory over their foes and the prophet, Samuel ensured that this experience was immortalized in the halls of eternity with the stones at Ebenezer. Now, you and I have a point of reference every time we are in need of God’s help. Beyond the literal Ebenezer, God is also furnishing us with “Ebenezer-Moments” Are we handling them casually or are we immortalizing them?

The essence of raising memorial stones in our love walk with God is to;

· Reignite faith in God

· Remind us of what He has done before

· Create an atmosphere of perpetual worship

· Increase our confidence in the willingness and ability of God

As we raise memorial stones this week, may we continue to have an ever-deepening relationship with the Almighty God.

Have a Blissful week

Nonso Orji

@nonso_orji

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