Stack of Stones

Sep 24, 2023

I love rocks.

Take me to a rocky beach and I’m happy as a clam for hours. I love to look at them, study them, find the prettiest ones, and stack them up as high as I can as a monument to say that “I was here.” I don’t think they have any special powers—I just like rocks. Always have.

I’ve heard that it’s not kosher to stack up stones on the beach and leave them that way—it changes the natural setting and habitat for others who chance to visit the area. Forgive me. I know that rocks don’t naturally stack themselves on one another. They normally just lay around on the shore, not in any particular order—right where the waves or the river rolled them. Until someone like me comes along and chooses to use them to make a statement.

Of course, stacking stones is not my original idea—it comes right out of Scripture. Joshua 4 records that God instructed Joshua, after they crossed the Jordan River, that they were to take twelve large stones out of the river—one for each son-brother-tribe of the family of Israel. Joshua then set up the twelve stones on the shore at Gilgal—presumably stacking one on another—to commemorate the spot where God miraculously opened the door straight into the Promised Land AND also as a reminder of God’s similar miracle at the Red Sea. It was SUCH a great idea, in fact, that Joshua built a second memorial right in the middle of the dry riverbed: “Joshua also set up another 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)

The stones had a purpose—a testimony. A voice. It was first a monument to permanently mark the spot of God’s miraculous deliverance. “IT happened HERE!” But it was also a FAMILY memorial—one stone for each branch of the family tree of Israel. It said “We were ALL HERE!”

Joshua was also thinking of FUTURE generations of their family. He said, “When your children one day pass by this place, they will ask, ‘What do these stones mean?’ It will be a teaching moment. You will get to explain FAITH to your kids—and to generations to come. God’s faithful provision to our family set in stone so ‘that all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.’”(Joshua 4:24 KJV)

It was the testimony of the faithfulness of God to the family of Israel, memorialized in a stack of stones.

When I think of my family, I see a similar “memorial of faith.” I think of how each generation’s “stone” sits squarely and securely on the foundation of the one before. Generation after generation—my grandparents, my parents and my husband’s parents, too—my husband and I, our children, and our children’s children—have all been raised to have rock-solid faith in Jesus and His Word. Stone upon stone, generation upon generation, we endeavor to build a sturdy family memorial of FAITH IN GOD—determined to “earnestly contend for the faith which which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 1:3 KJV)

Prayer: Dear Jesus, may my family’s “memorial of faith” always represent multiple generations of the EVIDENCE of “the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that (we, as a FAMILY) might (always) fear the LORD (our) God for ever.” Amen.

(Part 1 of 2)