Memorial Stones (Day 1 from an untitaled collection)

 

        


     

"You also, as living stones are being built up a spiritual house . . ."

1 Peter 2:5   NKJV



            I HAVE COLLECTED GEMSTONES and rocks for a very long time, it started when our boys were little; while on vacation one summer, we collected rocks from every place we visited and mounted them on a large piece of cardboard.  When we returned home the boys wanted to polish their own stones that lasted for about a year before the boys lost interest, but I never did. Because I am a visual person, the more I read about the stones in the Bible the more I wanted to see them and understand why that particular stone was used. The two that are familiar to most of us are the breastplate of the high priest which contained twelve stones, one for each tribe of Israel. There were four rows each having three stones; the first contained carnelian, topaz, and emerald; the second green feldspar, sapphire, and a diamond; the third-row orange zircon, an agate, and amethyst; and the fourth row of stones was beryl, onyx, and Jasper  (Exodus 28:15-30, CJB). The second most familiar is the twelve foundation stones of the New Jerusalem, one for each of the twelve apostles; the first foundation was diamond, then sapphire, the third chalcedony, next emerald, the fifth sardonyx, next carnelian, and the seventh chrysolyte, the next was Beryl, then topaz, the tenth chrysoprasus, then turquoise and the final foundation stone was amethyst. (Revelation 21:19-20, CJB).  I used the Complete Jewish Bible to get as close as possible to the original Hebrew text.  It has always been a dream of mine to find all the polished stones for the breastplate, and the foundation stones in their natural form.  Oh well, a person can dream, it only makes the searching more exciting.  Over the years I have used some of my collection to teach Sunday school classes showing the different stones and relating their meanings to the scriptures. God’s creation was designed to praise him, Jesus told the Pharisees that if the disciples had not praised him during his triumphal entry into Jerusalem “the stones would immediately cry out” (Luke 19:40, NKJV). I don’t know about anyone else, but I will not keep my praises silent. In the Old Testament God’s people would use a single stone as a memorial such as in Genesis 28:11 through 22 Jacob used a stone for a pillow, that night he dreamed of a ladder that between heaven and earth with angels of God ascending and descending on with the Lord standing above it. Jacob was given a powerful message that night through his dream and when he awoke the next morning he called the place Luz and set the stone as a memorial and anointed it as he made a vow before the Lord said, “. . . And this stone that I have set up as a standing-stone will be God’s house . . .” Because this place was so sacred to Jacob from that time on the place was named Bethel, meaning house of God. In Joshua 4:1-7 when Joshua had one man from each of the twelve tribes of Israel take a stone from the river bed when they crossed the Jordan on dry ground to set up on the other side as memorial stones to serve as a reminder of God’s provision of passage.  Another example is in 1Samuel 7:12 when the Lord saved the Israelites from the hand of the Philistines; Samuel marked the place with a memorial stone to God and called it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” From that time until Samuel died Philistines did not come into the territory of Israel. Followers of Christ are called living stones in 1 Peter 2:4-5, being built into a spiritual house with Christ being the cornerstone (verse 8). As you can see from these scriptures these memorial stones were used as a reminder of all that God had done, like we do today to memorize an event in our history.

            I keep several memorial stones on a shelf beside my desk as a reminder of how God has restored my life; I want to make it clear these are just stones; they have no energy about them, and only serve as a reminder of the blessings God has provided for me in life’s journey.v

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