Setting Stones

Now Moses and the elders of Israel commanded the people, saying, ‘Keep the whole commandment that I command you today.  And on the day you cross over the Jordan to the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall set up large stones and plaster them with plaster. And you shall write on them all the words of this law, when you cross over to enter the land that the Lord your God is giving you, a land flowing with milk and honey, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you… And there you shall build an altar to the Lord your God, an altar of stones. You shall wield no iron tool on them; you shall build an altar to the Lord your God of uncut stones. And you shall offer burnt offerings on it to the Lord your God, and you shall sacrifice peace offerings and shall eat there, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God. And you shall write on the stones all the words of this law very plainly.’” Deuteronomy 27:1-3,5-8

On the day, right away. It shall be your number one priority when you enter the land to commemorate it, to commemorate your God, because it is He Who took you there and gave you the land, and Him you must worship and follow and thank and serve. Don’t start exploring, don’t settle, don’t begin to amass new goodies for yourself; first of all, remember God. The stone altar was to be established as a place of worship through sacrifice, offering to God from all He had given. It was a place to celebrate their relationship with Him, the peace between holy God and sinful man because of His mercy to them. This altar was a place of rejoicing and celebration, deep thankfulness at the richness of life with Him; and of eating, a tasty, nourishing feast that signifies how He feeds His people spiritually and supplies for every need. With the words of the law inscribed, it was a place of remembrance, reminding how to live, how to treat the LORD and others, resetting the heart, reviving the soul, renewing the vision.

When I enter the land-gift of each new day, what is my first impulse? Is it a jump start of movement, activity and communication with the world, or to gather stones– of gratitude, of remembering, of praise to gracious, good, upright God Who goes before me into this adventure? Do I gather and hold tight everything I need to tackle my tasks, or first open my fingers to offer my best? Do I write my agenda, or read His? Am I taking time to sup with my hospitable King, to be nourished, to linger, to enjoy His presence and the delights of His word?

Good Father, in Your faithful generosity You give every day. May I receive all You lavish with worship, open hands, a joyful heart, and humble gratitude, and build only what establishes Your truth and reflects Your glory. (Psalm 118:24; Matthew 7:8-9)

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