Becoming A Rock Collector

“A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones”

Ecclesiastes 3:5

Chapter 3 of the book of Ecclesiastes begins with 14 couplets of contrasting seasons of life and Solomon writes something that has baffled theologians throughout the centuries when he wrote, “there is a time to throw away stones and a time to gather stones.” The million dollar question for today is which season are we living in? I believe with all my heart that today’s a perfect time to begin gathering stones!

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that the season of life the world is in today is bleak at best. Not to sound pessimistic but I feel like many of you do too. Crime is up, inflation is up, the cost of pretty much everything we use on a day to day basis is at an all time high with no relief in sight. So what should we do? I suggest its time we start gathering stones!

Many times throughout Israel’s history the Lord would instruct the leaders to gather stones and stack them up in some significant location as a reminder of His faithfulness. One of my favorite examples is found in the book of Joshua when the children of Israel crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land. We read in Joshua 3:4-7, “So Joshua called together the twelve men he had chosen—one from each of the tribes of Israel. He told them, “Go into the middle of the Jordan, in front of the Ark of the LORD your God. Each of you must pick up one stone and carry it out on your shoulder—twelve stones in all, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the LORD’s Covenant went across.’ These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.” I love that.

I don’t know about you but I tend to forget important stuff I need to remember and I remember things I need to forget, so I am glad the Lord Himself is the one who came up with the idea to get some rocks from the deepest part of the Jordan River and stack them up beyond the rivers edge as a reminder that when your kids ask about them you can tell them how the Lord held back the water and you crossed over the Jordan River on dry ground. God knows we need all the reminders we can get that our God is faithful and more than capable to take care of us, even if that means doing the miraculous.

In 1 Samuel 7 we read the story where the Philistines attacked the children of Israel while they were seeking God so God caused a thunder storm that was so frightful the Philistines panicked and became confused making it easy for the Israelites to defeat them in battle. Afterwards Samuel took a stone to mark the spot where the Lord gave the children of Israel victory over the Philistines and named it “Ebenezer”, saying ’Thus far the Lord has helped us.’”  

You might feel under attack today? It might be physical health or a relationship, maybe it’s your finances that are under attack? It could be any number of things. Now is the time to gather stones. Not just any old stone but “Ebenezer” stones that we read about in 1 Samuel 7, a stone to remind us that God is our helper. I suggest finding a rock and a Sharpie and writing on the rock a verse of scripture that reminds you of God’s faithfulness and place it somewhere in the open where when you see it you are reminded just like the children of Israel that our God is a God who helps!

Is there an area of your life where you need God’s help? Let God help you today. Call out to Him regarding your situation regardless of how big or small, easy or impossible it may seem remembering the words of the psalmist “For who is God except the LORD? Who but our God is a solid rock?” (Psalm 18:31) Lets not forget that Jesus is our rock!

“The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.”

Psalm 18:2


Michael Osthimer





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