Stones and More Stones

This week, David set out an initial challenge to us all:

DO YOU NEED TO RENEW YOUR COMMITMENT OR REAFFIRM YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD?

The reason for this challenge is that we can lose our way, we can drift, we can become compromised and allow other things to distract us from following Jesus.

We read all of Deuteronomy 27 and began with the initial command from Moses and the elders:

“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.”

Deuteronomy 27:2-3

There is a command to obey, given in the context of grace and blessing: the grace of God and the blessing of God, then the call to obey God – not the other way round.

So, what was the deal with the large stones? David provided some reasons:

  1. It’s important to write stuff down (it helps us to remember)
  2. They function as visual aids to obedience (constant reminders of God’s Word to His people)

 

David gave a practical and tangible comparison of the large stones in the passage to the Bible we have today at our disposal; it is our reference point, God’s Word written down and visible in our hands and homes.

As followers of Jesus, we need to read and engage with scripture so that we are taught, rebuked, corrected, trained, healed and nourished in our vertical relationship with God and our horizontal relationships with those in our lives.

As well as plastering the large stones to be written on, the Israelites were commanded to build an altar of stones:

“AND THERE YOU SHALL BUILD AN ALTAR TO THE LORD YOUR GOD, AN ALTAR OF STONES.”

Deuteronomy 27:5

Whenever the people saw this altar, their commitment to God would be refreshed – because at this place they were to do three things:

  1. Present sacrifices
  2. Eat together
  3. Rejoice

 

This altar was to be a place to offer devotion and gratitude, a place to eat and remember and a place to worship. David drew out the similarities between the altar and the contemporary practice of communion.

The next command from Moses and the elders comes in verse 9, where the Israelites were told to do two things:

“KEEP SILENCE AND HEAR, O ISRAEL.”

Deuteronomy 27:9

The regular rhythm of being silent before God, and carefully listening to his Word are vital practices and priorities in life with and for God.

David gave two very helpful quotations on this subject:

“I THINK THE DEVIL HAS MADE IT HIS BUSINESS TO MONOPOLISE ON THREE ELEMENTS: NOISE, HURRY, CROWDS. SATAN IS QUITE AWARE OF THE POWER OF SILENCE.”

Jim Elliott

“ALL OF HUMANITY’S PROBLEMS STEM FROM MAN’S INABILITY TO SIT QUIETLY IN A ROOM ALONE.”

Pascal

Moses and the elders reminded the people of Israel that they were God’s chosen people and Deuteronomy 27 is about them being reaffirmed and listening to the truth of who they are.

David closed by offering 3 takeaways:

  1. Read God’s Word and keep coming back to it
  2. Keep coming to the ultimate altar – the foot of the cross of Jesus as part of communion
  3. Be silent and listen to God’s Word on a regular basis to remember who we really are.
Eddie Ruddell

Eddie Ruddell

Hi, I'm Eddie, husband to Ruth and daddy to our two girls Mollie and Parker. We started attending Windsor in 2021 and have been really welcomed into the family. I have a keen interest in apologetics and my favourite book is ‘Knowledge of the Holy’ by A.W.Tozer. I enjoy drawing, getting out for a round of golf and watching Ulster rugby.
Eddie Ruddell
Hi, I'm Eddie, husband to Ruth and daddy to our two girls Mollie and Parker. We started attending Windsor in 2021 and have been really welcomed into the family. I have a keen interest in apologetics and my favourite book is ‘Knowledge of the Holy’ by A.W.Tozer. I enjoy drawing, getting out for a round of golf and watching Ulster rugby.