Summary: Dads can give their children landmarks to help direct their journey with God.
1. A custom in ancient times: When something significant happened regarding God (or a god) -- people would stand up a stone to draw attention to the event -- Generally, they did not write on the stone -- a silent testimony -- when people walked by the stones they would ask why they were there; those who knew gave testimony to what God did; Two kinds of stones:
a. Set by pagans to give attention to false gods -- to be dismantled -- there may be times when Christians can -- in love -- point out to the world that the stones they have erected point to powers that do not exist;
23 "When my angel goes before you and brings you to the Amorites and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, and I blot them out, 24 you shall not bow down to their gods nor serve them, nor do as they do, but you shall utterly overthrow them and break their pillars in pieces. Exodus 23.23-24
b. Stones God chose to use -- And those twelve stones, which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal.21 And he said to the people of Israel, "When your children ask their fathers in times to come, 'What do these stones mean?' 22 then you shall let your children know, 'Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.' Joshua 4.20-22
2. People are big on monuments which commemorate key events
a. Forefathers Monument in Plymouth, MA -- Matrix of Liberty -- central figure: Faith
b. Washington Monument and other DC Monuments
3. Do not move the ancient landmark that your fathers have set. Proverbs 22.28
4. Dads can set and identify a legacy through spiritual landmarks
I. Setting the Landmarks
The Smith House in Dahlonega, Georgia, has been sitting on a gold mine for more than a century. During renovation of the landmark hotel back in February of 2006, workers discovered the entrance to a four-foot wide hole under the concrete floor in the main dining room. The hole goes straight down nineteen feet to the entrance to a gold mine under the building.
Captain Frank Hall built the house in 1884. As legend has it, the city would not permit Hall to dig for gold on the property, partly because it was too close to the downtown square and partly because he was a Yankee. It would appear that he built the house to cover-up his mining operation until his health failed and he sold the land.
"We never would have known it if we hadn't chipped up the concrete," Chris Welch, the owner of the hotel, said.
For many years, the owners have joked with patrons that they were "sitting on a gold mine". They had no idea just how true a statement that really was.
Kind of makes one wander doesn't it: What treasure might there be in your life that you don't know is there because you haven't looked for it?
Certain landmarks of scripture are sitting on gold mines of value to us.
A. The Landmarks of the Patriarchs
1. Abraham planted the Tamarisk Tree -- Genesis 21.33
a. Tamarisk trees -- Preferred by Bedouin families
There is no fruit; Slowest growing of desert trees
Tamarisk trees must be intentionally watered, either by hand or diverting water to them
It is the only shade tree in the desert if it is cared for -- it lasts for generations
Bedouins show off their wives; flocks; and Tamarisk trees
b. One does not plant a Tamarisk tree for oneself but for one's great grandchildren -- won't live long enough to see its maturity
Beersheba is God's city of faithfulness
2. Abraham and the Altar on Moriah
a. Built altars
b. Dug wells
3. Jacob's Stone at Bethel to remember his dream of angels ascending and descending
4. Moses and the Standing Stones at Sinai
b. Torah from God
5. Joshua and the Standing Stones at the Jordan River
a. Miracles of God
b. Salvation of a nation
6. What if:
a. Descendants of Abraham tell the story of the Tamarisk Tree?
b. Isaac took Jacob and Esau to Mt. Moriah and told the story?
c. Jacob took his sons to see the stone at Bethel?
d. Caleb took his grandchildren to Mt. Sinai and told the story?
e. Joshua's kids took their kids to the Jordan and told the story? etc.
B. Landmarks of Our Family Patriarchs
AN UNFORGETTABLE MOMENT: In 2010, Drew Brees -- quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, had that kind of moment as he celebrated a Super Bowl win. As he stood with his son lifted up high in the air, he said, "I stood there with my little boy, and I was overwhelmed. I told Baylen how much I loved him and how much he meant to me and what an inspiration he was to me. I thought of my mom, who I believed was smiling down from heaven, and all my family and friends who were there watching. 'We did it, little boy. We did it!'"