In Joshua 4 stones were used to help the Israelites recount the miracle that God had done on their behalf.
And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God” (Joshua 4:20-24, emphasis added).
These stones were a memorial to the people—present and future—to remember the power and greatness of God.
But, in John 8 we see that stones were once the weapon of choice to punish sin—in this case, a woman caught in adultery. Yet when the religious leaders questioned Jesus about this, He responded:
“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7b).
May the nine killed at the AME Church in Charleston, SC serve as memorial stones to remind us of the deep problem of racism in our country. May we look to the powerful and great God to help us drop our judgment stones—the weapons of words, bullets of division and ammunition of animosity—and go and sin no more (see John 8:11).
May we ask God for a miracle to stop the flood waters of racism…by listening well to His heart, learning from our brothers and sisters and unearthing our own prejudices.
Jesus is the Cornerstone. He is the only one without sin. May we seek to know His Way and His Word.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. -Martin Luther King
Jesus is Light, He is Love, and He knows the way through this sea of darkness and hate. He walked through it, remember? See John 19.
How do we move forward?
Let’s go to Proverbs 3:5-8. Many times we stop at verse 6 but let’s focus on verses 7 and 8 as well:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
6 Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.
7 Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.
Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
8 Then you will have healing for your body
and strength for your bones.
Let’s recap, nice and slow:
- Trust in the Lord.
- Do not be wise in your own eyes.
- In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.
- Fear the Lord.
- Shun evil.
- It will be health to your body and healing to your bones.
Might it also be health to the Body (of Christ) and healing to the Bride (that He died for).
I asked my God-sized Dream friend, Delonna Gibbs, to offer up a prayer on behalf of Charleston. May it also be our prayer.
The tragedy at the AME Church in Charleston, SC has taken us all by surprise. Nine lives were stolen from us because of hate and it leaves us numb. There are a whirlwind of emotions going on in our mind Heavenly Father. We wonder why such violence and hate crimes still exist in our world. For some of us, we wonder where you are in moments like this. God please be our comforter and send your peace to the families and friends in Charleston. Draw close to them. May they feel your loving arms around them. Remind them that you collect each tear falling down their face. Hold them close Lord and continue to wipe away their tears.
Lord, we ask you bless the families impacted by this cruel act. Lord, they have a heart after your heart God. When others would be filled with revenge and anger they offered the shooter forgiveness. They stood strong in who you’ve called them to be. They encouraged the shooter to repent and to come to know you. God even in their affliction they are pointing their accuser back to you. God, we ask that their act of obedience will be met with an outpouring of your love and mercy. Move on their behalf Lord and may your face shine upon them. Lord bless their families with an indescribable peace. Lord continue to heal their hearts and fulfill your promise of joy. Lord be with us all as we learn how to love despite the pain. We ask all of this in Jesus name – AMEN.
How about you? Let’s use this tragedy to wake us up #WoundUpWomen. Let’s honor these precious lives lost by loving better—more like Christ has loved us.