One of the greatest trips I ever took was to Washington DC the summer before I graduated from college, and that trip was so memorable and unique for so many reasons but one of the greatest reasons was because it was Memorial Day weekend, and there were many things going on that weekend that were special. Sometimes circumstances can change the way you see things. I remember standing at the Vietnam Wall, looking for a name of a man who had been a member of my church, and out of the corner of my eye I saw two young veterans.
These men were not in uniform. Something else made me aware of their service. One had sustained an injury that had deformed his hand and arm. The other was walking with a cane and with a distinct limp. Both were wearing distant looks that only made me consider even more what they had seen. Moments later they stopped to speak with older Vietnam veterans who were wearing caps depicting their service. I looked back at the Wall and it hit me in a way that it never had before. We have memorials to REMEMBER.
Its the same with God. God sometimes gives us memorials or signs or pillars to remind us of a time or a place. Sometimes God uses these things to remind us a promise, to remind us of how he has protected and kept us, or to remind us not to look back. The Lord gives us these Pillars to mark the spot or time where something happened. He wants us to remember when He worked. The Lord wants us to set up Pillars in our lives to remember things just like he did for those in the Bible. At times the Lord will give you that “pillar” and at times he wants you to set it up for yourself.
God created a rainbow for Noah to help him to remember and to trust that He would never again flood the entire earth to kill all life on the earth. It was a sign to Noah and future generations of the redemption of God that he had saved a remnant of faithful chosen people and that he would not break his covenant not to flood the Earth. (Genesis 9)
God turned Lot’s wife into a Pillar of Salt, a monument to the divided heart because she looked back after he told her not to. God rescued them from a sinful place and yet she turned around questioned leaving. What is memorialized as the pillar of salt called Lot’s Wife is still located on Mount Sodom today. God made her into a monument to remind others not to have a divided heart. ( Genesis 19)
Jacob set up a pillar in a place where God talked to him. The Lord spoke to him and told Hi that he would bless him as a family and as a nation. God Blessed Jacob in this place and changed his name to Israel. He made a promise to Jacob that the Land that he had given to Abraham and Isaac would be given to him and and his decedents. The stone that Jacob set up as a pillar served as a reminder of the experience he had had with the Lord that night and to trust his promises. (Genesis 35)
The Lord told the Israelite to go back and get 12 stones, one for each tribe, in the Jordan river after they crossed over into the promised land. Joshua told the people that when their children when their children ask about the stones, they would be able to tell generations to come about what God had done in parting the water of the Jordan and letting them walk across on dry ground. (Joshua 4)
Sometimes we need to set up memorials in our lives to remember what God has done, to remind us of a place we need to not go back to, to remind us of a place that the Lord met with us, or a promise that God has made to us. This could be as simple as a picture, a piece of scripture, a date written down , a small token of remembrance that you carry with you. It doesn’t have to be a large stone, but in the hard times, and in the trying times, having these “pillars” in our life will remind us of the Faithfulness of God and keep us on the right track.
What pillars have you put down in your life? What experiences and promises do you need to be reminded of ?