A Living Stone

Oh that my life might be a matzevah; a living stone that will reflect the glory of God. That was the third most important insight for me on our trip to Israel. On the second day of our trip we traveled to the little Old Testament town called Migiddo which is located on a hill at the edge of the Jezreel Valley. What made Migiddo a unique stop is that it is the clearest remaining example of how towns where constructed in the Old Testament.
Migiddo is one of the most significant archeological digs in the region revealing 22 different layers of Old Testament towns. Among the many interesting features of the city were the deep silo built into the ground used for storing grain, the city well which was dug down some 120 feet, the foundation of an ancient home, and the homes that were built into the city wall, much like the one Rahab lived in.
However, as interesting as all those things were, what really caught my attention was an old stone standing in the middle of a hill—it was about one foot by one foot by four feet tall. After gathering around, our tour guide explained that the stone was marking a sacred site. A sacred site is where God manifested himself.
For example, remember when Jacob had a dream one night of a stairway that went all the way from earth to heaven with the angels of God ascending and descending on it (Genesis 28). After waking up, he realized he had had an encounter with God so he took the stone which he had used for a pillow (It must’ve been one of these memory foam rocks) and he set it up as a pillar, or matzevah, and named the place Bethel.
An upright pillar was also known as Ebenezer which literally means “stone of help.” The stone was a symbol of a manifested deity and often times a temple would be built over that site with the “matzevah” becoming the cornerstone.
The people of the culture in that day assumed that God existed, but they weren’t certain that he was a personal God that could be experienced? Peter picks up on this image in I Peter 2:4 where he makes reference to Jesus as being the “Living Stone,” chosen by God to become the cornerstone of the church. Jesus was the purest form of the manifestation of God revealing that, yes, God is personal and he desires to be in relationship with us.
Peter goes on to say that through faith in Christ, you and I too become like a living stone which becomes part of the spiritual house God is building. Because of the manifest presence of God at work in our lives, we show to a watching world that God has made himself real in our lives. Have you ever thought of yourself as a matzevah; a sacred site where God has revealed himself?
The truth is, I see many of you reflecting the glory of the Living Stone. You are a living testimony of the Divine manifesting himself in and through your life. And how should God’s manifest presence be evidenced in our lives?
According to I Peter 2:1, a living stone is a person who rids themselves of all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander of every kind. We are a people belonging to God, declaring his praises for calling us out of the darkness into his wonderful light. We should live our lives in such a way that people can see that God has been working in our lives.
May it be said of American Reformed Church that God is clearly at work in us, establishing us as a spiritual house, a holy priesthood ready to declare his praises to a watching world.
Under his mercy, Mike

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