1. Genesis 28:10-22 Jacob’s ladder
Place: Luz (to turn aside)
New name for place: Bethel (house of God)
Anointing: Oil on stone
Declaration: “If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear, and I return to my father’s house in safety, then the LORD will be my God. This stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”
2. Genesis 31:44-55 Covenant between Jacob and Laban
Place: Gilead (rugged, perpetual fountain, heap of booty, or as long as we’re rolling)
New name for place: Galeed (hill of witness, heap of witness)
Anointing: Animal sacrifice, meal
Declaration: “This heap is a witness, and the pillar is a witness, that I will not pass by this heap to you for harm, and you will not pass by this heap and this pillar to me, for harm.”
3. Genesis 35:6-15 After the slaughter of Shechem
Place: Bethel. Before moving to Bethel, Jacob took the foreign gods and ear rings and buried them under an oak near Shechem.
New name for Jacob: Israel
Anointing: Drink offering and oil on stone
Declaration: “I am God Almighty; Be fruitful and multiply; A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, And kings shall come forth from you. The land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac, I will give it to you, And I will give the land to your descendants after you.”
4. Exodus 34:10-28 The two tablets replaced
Place: Mt. Sinai
Anointing: The Ten Commandments
Declaration: “Behold, I am going to make a covenant. Before all your people I will perform miracles which have not been produced in all the earth nor among any of the nations; and all the people among whom you live will see the working of the LORD, for it is a fearful thing that I am going to perform with you.
“Be sure to observe what I am commanding you this day: behold, I am going to drive out the Amorite before you, and the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite. . .”
5. Joshua 4 Memorial stones from the Jordan River
Place: Gilgal (a circle of stones, a wheel, rolling away reproach)
Anointing: Twelve river bed stones where the feet of the priests who carried the ark of the covenant were standing. Nothing poured over them. Gilgal was the place of circumcision.
Declaration: You shall inform your children, saying, ‘Israel crossed this Jordan on dry ground.’ For the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed, just as the LORD your God had done to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed; that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, so that you may fear the LORD your God forever.”
6. Joshua 24:1-28 Reaffirmation of covenant with God
Place: Shechem (shoulder)
Anointing: Nothing was poured over the stone. Joshua wrote in the book of the law and set up the stone under an oak.
Declaration: Joshua said to all the people, “Behold, this stone shall be for a witness against us, for it has heard all the words of the LORD which He spoke to us; thus it shall be for a witness against you, so that you do not deny your God.”
7. 1 Sam 6:13-19 The ark returned to Israel
Place: Beth-shemesh (house of the sun)
Anointing: Burnt offering of two cows
Declaration: These are the golden tumors which the Philistines returned for a guilt offering to the LORD: one for Ashdod, one for Gaza, one for Ashkelon, one for Gath, one for Ekron; and the golden mice, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, both of fortified cities and of country villages. The large stone on which they set the ark of the LORD is a witness to this day in the field of Joshua the Beth-shemite.
He struck down some of the men of Beth-shemesh because they had looked into the ark of the LORD. He struck down of all the people, 50,070 men, and the people mourned because the LORD had struck the people with a great slaughter.
8. 1 Samuel 7:1-14 Deliverance from the Philistines
Place: Between Mizpah (outlook, watchtower) and Shen (the tooth, peak). Mizpah is the place where Jacob and Laban parted in Mt. Gilead.
Name given to stone: Ebenezer (stone of help)
Anointing: First, the sons of Israel removed the Baals and the Ashtaroth and served the LORD alone. They drew water and poured it out before the LORD, and fasted. Samuel made a burnt offering of a lamb.
Declaration: Now Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, and the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. But the LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day against the Philistines and confused them, so that they were routed before Israel. . . .
Then Samuel took a stone . . . and named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us.”
The sequence is interesting: Jacob acknowledges God and establishes covenant with Him. Jacob establishes a relationship of honor with his father-in-law. Jacob separates from the foreign gods. God promises Jacob the inheritance of the land for his descendants.
God establishes a covenant with Jacob’s descendants and promises the land as their inheritance. Joshua leads Jacob’s descendants into the Promised Land. Joshua reaffirms the covenant with God.
The Philistines are defeated by God, and the ark returned. The descendants of Jacob separate from the foreign gods, and the Philistines are defeated by God.
Our Father in heaven,
We thank You for the covenant You established with Israel. We thank You that we have been adopted as Your own children through Jesus Christ. Help us to tithe, to honor our fathers, to put away the foreign gods, to keep the Ten Commandments, to remember what You have done for us, and to distinguish the holy from the profane.
Thus far You have helped us. You are able to defeat the Philistine spirits in the Mississippi Delta, and we trust in You. Amen.