18 So Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on its top. 19 He called the name of that place Bethel; however, previously the name of the city had been Luz.20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear,21 and I return to my father’s house in safety, then the Lord will be my God.
When Jacob set up the stone as a pillar and anointed it with oil, he was following the ancient practice of “massebah” which means to set up a standing stone to commemorate, or remember, locations where God supernaturally acted on the behalf of His people. In this case, Jacob wanted to remember the exact place where God had given him a dream of a ladder ascending into Heaven and said, “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants. 14 Your descendants will also be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
Throughout Scripture we see similar stones being erected in significant locations; for instance, Moses set up twelve such stones at the base of Mount Sinai after receiving the Ten Commandments (Exodus 24:2-4) and the Israelites erected standing stones to commemorate their crossing of the Jordan (Joshua 4:2-3, 8-9).
So my question to you is this: When in your life has God supernaturally acted on you behalf? Have there been moments in your life where you wouldn’t have made it through apart from the support, strength, and love of God? The Israelites didn’t want to forget those moments when God acted on their behalf and it is equally important that we not forget His involvement in our lives. I believe we should erect “spiritual standing stones” by taking the time to praise God for His support of us.
But the Apostle Peter took this idea one step further. In 1 Peter 2:5 he suggests that we are living standing stones, “you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
Our very lives can stand as a reminder to ourselves and others that there is a God and He is acting on our behalf! When we go through trials, tribulations, pain, and suffering we should allow those moments to be standing stones. When others look at our lives and wonder how we got through something tragic, they should be reminded that we got through it by being lifted up and carried by our Almighty God!
As you navigate life, take the time to stop and acknowledge God by erecting spiritual standing stones. Don’t shy away from testifying to others how your God supports you and gives you strength. Be a living standing stone!