Friday, May 28, 2010

standing stones

In ancient Israel, God's people put up standing stones in special places as reminders of what God had done for them there. They were to be memorials to God's great acts of deliverance in behalf of His people.

-Jacob set up stone pillars at Bethel in order to remember his powerful dream, in which God reaffirmed his covenant with him (Gen. 28:18—21, 35:14—15)
- After receiving the Ten Commandments and other laws, Moses built twelve standing stones at the foot of Mount Sinai (Ex. 24:2—4)
- The Israelites erected standing stones to remember their miraculous crossing of the Jordan River (Josh. 4:2—3, 8—9)
- Joshua built another standing stone when the covenant was renewed at Shechem (Josh. 24:27)

In the New Testament, Peter builds on this standing stone imagery when he describes believers as living stones (1 Peter 2:5).  Peter wanted his readers to think of themselves as living standing stones. As they faithfully followed and obeyed God, they would be like standing stones that nonbelievers would notice.
Peter's words challenge us to be living standing stones as well, those who testify to the amazing things God has done for us.

God placed the children of Israel at the crossroads of the world for a reason. He wanted his people to influence their culture, and he wanted them to become living standing stones, a testimony of his love and power to the pagan world. God still wants his children to stand at the crossroads of life. He wants us to live so publicly that we shape the areas of life that impact our world.

God has placed each of us in a sphere of influence. No matter how large or small that influence may be, we can act in a way that shows others that the Lord is God. As we live godly lives, non-Christians will see God's work in us and be drawn toward him.

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