As a result, the Israelites were not to construct an alter for the LORD, their God, out of stones that they had fashioned and moulded. This is a significant command since God delivered it immediately following the Ten Commandments. The Israelites were to make an altar out of wood from acacia trees.
The altar was to be built in front of the tabernacle. It was to consist of three layers: the bottom layer of burnt offerings, the middle layer of flour offerings, and the top layer of cereal offerings. The Israelites were to keep this altar in existence forever; therefore, it could not be constructed out of stone.
The reason for this instruction is twofold. First, the Israelites were to remember how holy God is and act accordingly. They were not to construct anything resembling an altar—which was used for burning sacrifices—out of the most common material available in the wilderness: rock. Rather, it had to be made out of more sacred materials: wood.
Secondly, the Israelites were to remember how short their lives would be in the desert and how necessary it was for them to have a constant reminder of their relationship with God at all times. An uncut stone was enough to cause anyone to realize how fleeting life is and how important it is to have a relationship with God.
The Bible relates that under Joshua's direction, Israel erected 12 stones to celebrate their entry into the country. God's plan is for John the Baptist's ministry to circle around to Joshua's mission. John is water baptism to separate a people for God to employ to inherit the Promised Land, which Israel should have inherited in Joshua's day. The Church is called to do the same thing today - go where Jesus sent Joshua and announce his death and resurrection.
Biblical scholars believe the stones may have been standing markers on important roads inside the land of Canaan or even at its border.
Some Christians claim that these stones are still in place today, but this is not true. An Israeli historian wrote that based on evidence from the time of Joshua, these stones could not have been standing when Israel entered the country. They must have been placed there by later generations who were not aware of their origin or purpose.
The writer of Hebrews uses this story as an illustration of how important it is for the Church to keep Jesus' work alive today. Without him, there would be no need for another generation-by-generation renewal of God's choice people.
Jesus is the only perfect High Priest who can make atonement for our sins because he fulfilled the law perfectly. He died on the cross so that we might live again. When the Church continues Jesus' work today, they too will mark out twelve areas of responsibility, just like Joshua did with his followers.
If thou shalt construct an altar of stone for me, thou shalt not use hewn stone, for if thou liftest up thine tool upon it, thou hast contaminated it" (Exodus 20:25). It was planned to employ both raw and undressed stone. It was not acceptable to shape with human instruments in human hands. Why? Because any object made by man has limited life.
The Bible says that man should use only natural materials for building projects. Anything man makes can be used as an object of worship instead of God. This is why our churches are always trying to avoid using stained glass because it can become worship material instead of focusing on Christ alone. Stained glass should be in Christian churches to glorify Him but never be the main attraction.
Man-made objects will eventually decay or be destroyed. This means that someday all these buildings will be gone. But God's word never ages nor fades away. It is forever fixed in heaven with Jesus Christ. So even though these buildings will one day fall into ruins, their message will live on through faith in Jesus Christ.
In conclusion, the Bible says that man should not play with fire. This means that we should not use tools to approach God with. He wants us to seek Him with our hearts and pray from the heart.
Immediately, Psalm 118:22–23 came to mind: "The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the LORD has done this, and it is amazing in our sight." Because it was physically rejected by the ancient builders, this stone was left and engraved around. But now it serves as a monument to show that God is always with his people and will never abandon them.
The Bible says that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. He became human so that we could have life eternal. Through His death on the cross, He redeemed us from sin. Now, if you will accept Him as your Savior, He will give you eternal life.
I hope you will take time to read the Bible and find out for yourself what it has to say about the matter at hand. Then make a decision about whether you will accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
They were to take "twelve stones" and move them to the Jordan's west bank to erect a rough stone monument remembering this incident. According to verse 9, Joshua had another set of stones erected to commemorate the location where the "priests" stood "in the midst of Jordan." It is not clear why these stones are mentioned first, but perhaps this is because they were originally placed in the river by Moses.
The meaning of the phrase "in the middle of Jordan" has been the subject of much discussion. Some scholars believe it refers to a specific place about two miles upstream from where the Jordon meets the Mediterranean Sea. This would account for the presence of Moses' memorial stone at that location. Others think the phrase simply means "in the middle of," or near, the river. Still others suggest it may allude to some sacred spot in the center of the Jordan where religious rituals were performed. However, there is no evidence that such a site even existed at the time of Moses. Finally, some believe the phrase describes a position relative to Jericho; that is, "in the middle of" indicates that these stones were placed somewhere between the two cities. But again, there is no proof of this interpretation.
Whatever its exact meaning, this phrase has caused many scholars to wonder about the geographic location of the monument described in Joshua 2.
God informs Moses that the two stones on the ephod are "memorial stones for the sons of Israel," and that "Aaron is to bear the names on his shoulders as a memorial before the Lord" (Exodus 28:12). They are part of the ritual that people must perform in order to speak with God, worship God, and atone for their sins.
The purpose of the stones is to provide a means by which humans can communicate directly with God. Humans were created in the image of God, meaning that we have the ability to think and act like He does. However, because of our physical nature, we cannot talk to Him directly like He talks to us through other people. But He has chosen to speak to us through His prophets, who wrote down what He said and who performed certain rituals to make themselves available to pray for others and to receive prayers.
People throughout history have asked themselves questions such as "Why do bad things happen to good people?" or "Why me? I didn't sin enough!" The truth is that this life is not about being good or bad but about learning and growing. When we are born we are completely innocent; we have done nothing wrong and therefore have no reason to be punished for our sins. We will all die alone without anyone to cry for us or even remember we existed. Then where would all the love and happiness come from if not from God?
Since humans are capable of such great evil, it makes sense that God would not communicate with us openly.