…Take for yourselves twelve stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan… Joshua 4:3
Finding new ways to praise Jesus always brings me joy, and I hope it brings Him joy, too. Since I like to journal my prayers, I write my verses for exalting and praising the Lord right in my journal. One day I read the story of God parting the Jordan River so Joshua could lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. Before the waters returned to the Jordan, Joshua had the leaders of each of the twelve tribes bring a rock from the riverbed to create a tower as a reminder of their miraculous crossing. Joshua actually made two towers, one at Gilgal, their first campsite in the Promised Land, and one in the very midst of the Jordan River where the priests stood with the Ark of the Covenant (Joshua 4).
Other Old Testament saints also used rocks to worship Yehovah God, the Father of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. When Jacob was running from his brother Esau, he laid down to rest on a stone and dreamed of a ladder going up to heaven. Upon waking, Jacob set up a stone pillar and poured his oil of praise on it…
Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel… Genesis 28:18-19
Later, when the Ark of the Covenant was in jeopardy, the Prophet Samuel set up a stone and called it Ebenezer, declaring, “Thus far the Lord has helped us” (1 Sam. 7:12). It’s interesting to note that Samuel’s ministry took him through both Bethel and Gilgal (1 Sam. 7:16) where I wonder if he could still see Joshua’s and Jacob’s rock towers?
One day, after reading these stories, I drew a simple rock tower in my prayer journal with twelve rocks. Then I chose these prayer verses from the Psalms, underlining the words that describe God:
I will love You, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies. Psalm 18:1-3
Each of the underlined words I wrote on the twelve rocks in my prayer journal sketch, raising my own Ebenezer of praise and remembrance to Jesus. We don’t worship the rocks, but we worship the One who is the Rock, who has brought us thus far. We can trust Him to guard and guide us forever.
As I exalted my Jesus, He also showed me I had nothing to fear as I faced the tasks of the day. With such a Rock tower as my Friend, I could hide in Him and be safe. He would be my shield and fortress and strength through another busy day. My praise to Him became a promise from God for me.
For who is God, except the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God? Psalm 18:31
You may like to read about the miraculous day the Israelites entered the Promised Land in Joshua 3-4. Notice how they followed the Ark into the river bed. We must always follow God’s Word, too. And since we are talking about exalting, notice how in Joshua 3:7 the Lord promises to exalt Joshua in the eyes of the people, and in the following verse, Joshua exalts the Lord (Joshua 3:10, 13). Joshua proclaims, “…the Living God…the Lord of all the earth…”
Today’s TEA CUPP: Try drawing your own rock tower in your prayer journal today. Draw 12 stones in a pile. On each stone write a word describing God or giving Him praise. Read 1 Peter 2:4-8 for a very special Stone and 1 Chronicles 29:10-13 for more words of praise for your rock tower. Claim God’s promise to be your Rock throughout the day.
The Lord lives, Blessed be my Rock!
Let the God of my salvation be exalted. Psalm 18:46
- My hope is built on nothing less
- than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
- I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
- But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
- On Christ the solid Rock I stand;
- All other ground is sinking sand,
- All other ground is sinking sand.
- (Edward Mote, 1834)
(See also 1 Samuel 2:2, 1 Chronicles 29:11, 2 Chronicles 20:6, Psalm 34:1-3, Psalm 61:2, Daniel 2:35, Matthew 21:42, Luke 19:40, 1 Corinthians 10:4, 1 Peter 2:6)
Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson