Memorial Stones in the Bible.
Memorial to the Lord
There is a biblical precedent for laying stones as a memorial to the Lord in order to remember the good things He has done for us. The Wall of Answered Prayer takes inspiration from these monuments and their significance.
There are at least three cases of biblical characters laying memorial stones, and these become significant locations throughout biblical history. Bethel is where Jacob memorialised his vision. Gilgal is where Joshua commemorated the Israelites’ miraculous entrance into the Promised Land. Samuel erects an Ebenezer stone after God thwarts the Philistine’s attack.
The Wall of Answered Prayer is in many ways replicating these biblical memorial stones. As we glorify God with a national monument of 1 million bricks, with each brick symbolizing an answered prayer.
It is our hope to:
• Reignite faith in God
• Remind us of what He has done before
• Create an atmosphere of worship
• Increase our confidence in Jesus
The first Biblical reference to memorial stones comes in Genesis 28: 10-22, when Jacob set a pillar in Bethel to commemorate a powerful vision of God that he experienced while sleeping there. The experience was so striking that Jacob felt that it must be commemorated, so he erected the stone upon which he slept.
Jacob did not want to forget what God had given him. Bethel, meaning ‘House of God’, then became an important centre for worship. By physically remembering what God had done, Jacob increased his faith and the faith of those who later worshipped there.
In Joshua 4:1-8 God commands the Israelites to cross the Jordan River which He has stopped miraculously. Joshua leads the 12 tribes to remove boulders from the riverbed, which they erect in the Promised Land in a place called Gilgal. These 12 stones of Jordan were a memorial to God’s love and miraculous assistance.
However, these stones are appreciating not just by those who witnessed the miracle. Joshua 4:21-22 explains that ‘In the future your children will ask, “What do these stones mean?” Then you can tell them, “This is where the Israelites crossed the Jordan on dry ground.”’ God longs for us to proclaim His goodness to future generations.
The remembrance stones in Gilgal reminded future generations of the God of miracles so that their faith would be renewed. We believe that The Wall will do this as it memorialises Jesus for centuries.
1 Samuel 7:7-12 depicts the Israelites under imminent attack from the Philistines. God leads them to victory, so Samuel erects a large stone and names it Ebenezer, meaning ‘the stone of help’. Samuel recognised the source of their victory and publicly declared it. By commemorating God’s goodness in a permanent way, it ensured that the Israelites would not forget God’s grace. The memorial stones made sure that all glory went to God, the illustrator of Israel’s success.
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