Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit for us to be witnesses, in Jerusalem, in Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (see Acts 1:8). That is perfectly clear, but can a stone be a witness? Let’s see:
Joshua gathered the people for his farewell. He reminded them of the wonders God had done during the long pilgrimage from Egypt. Most of them did not know how the first stage of the journey; they were the new generation born in the desert.
After reminding the people of the things that God had done, Joshua recorded them in the book of the Law of God. Then he did something very interesting; he lifted a huge stone and placed it under a tree that was next to the sanctuary of the Lord. “This stone will be a witness against us. It has heard all the words the Lord has said to us” (Joshua 24:27).
A stone as a witness? A witness of what they had promised.
- Only the Lord will we serve.
- Only the Lord will we obey.
Let their proclamation resound like an echo: “We will serve the Lord our God and obey him!”
Here are some biblical references about using a stone for something special:
- Jacob used a stone as a “pillow” and then he set it up as a pillar, proclaiming that it would be God’s house (Genesis 28:10-22).
- Jacob and Laban. Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar when he and his uncle made a covenant (Genesis 31:45-53).
- God gave Moses commandments on tablets of stone (Exodus 24:12).
- Joshua wrote on stones all the words of the Law (Deuteronomy 27:1-7; Joshua 8:30-32).
- Joshua set up a stone as a witness (Joshua 24:21-27).
- Samuel named a stone Ebenezer: “Thus far has the Lord helped us” (1 Samuel 7:12).
- Elijah took twelve stones and built an altar to the Lord (1 Kings 18:30-32).
Jesus is the cornerstone: the stone that the builders rejected has become the capstone (Psalm 118:22; Mark 12:10; Ephesians 2:18-22; Romans 9:30-33; 1 Peter 2:1-6).
I encourage you to trust in the Lord, whatever happens in your life. Joshua was Moses’ servant and then was put in charge. His difficult mission was the conquest of Canaan. At the end of his days, when he said his farewell to the people, he proclaimed what I hope each one of us can say a heartfelt amen to:
“As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
This concludes the story of the long journey of the people of Israel to the Promised Land. I hope you have enjoyed it.
God bless each parent and teacher. Hugs and greetings to the children. I love you all!
Welcome to read the story of Joshua’s farewell, #8 in The Promised Land.