“…and greater things will he do.”
Israel is a land covered with rocks. There is just no other way to put it. From the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea. You might have been thinking sand. Think stone. My feet are currently resting on a wall paddle of pebbles. The sidewalk…the same. At times the topography looks more like the moon’s surface than anything else I could compare with it.
What on earth was God thinking?
You remember in the days of Abraham what the people did in response to a mighty work of God. They piled rocks and made an altar. It was to serve as a perpetual reminder through the generations of God’s faithfulness.
Joshua took 12 stones out of the Jordan River after the Israelites had to wait 40 years to cross due to their unbelief. The boulders were to serve as a memorial forever of the covenant God made, and kept, with His people.
Samuel had been Judge for only a short time when the Philistines waged war against Israel. Samuel’s leadership was tested. When God brought confusion into the enemy camp and delivered His people, Samuel set a stone at the place of victory. He named it Ebenezer, which means “God has helped us thus far.”
God has helped us thus far. And He will continue to help His people. As Jesus said to the Apostles in preparing them, and us, for the arrival of the Holy Spirit, “Whoever believes in me will do what I have done. Greater things will he do.” No one would embody this promise more than Simon Peter. Jesus nicknamed him Rocky and promised to build His church through an ordinary, unschooled fisherman. Peter, a living stone for the ages. A constant reminder to all Christians of the faithfulness of God, who keeps covenant with those who love Him.
Why is the land littered with rocks and stones?Pebbles and boulders. Could it be that He isn’t done doing great and awesome things that He doesn’t want us to forget? Maybe, as Jesus said when under fire from the Pharisees, the rocks and stones would cry out if His people wouldn’t. The mighty works of God, the rocks and stones themselves, could start to sing!
I hope you get to see the Land if you haven’t already. More importantly, I pray that we become living stones. Visible reminders of the power and goodness of our Lord. Constant and consistent monuments of what God can do with the mundane. Altars of remembrance for us to see in the mirror each day, and for the world to observe the glory of God on display.
So, as we sing and Jesus promised:
“Greater things are yet to be done, and greater things are still to be done here.”
Maybe that’s why there are so many rocks in Israel.