Every place Abraham went, he dug a well, built an altar and put up a tent.
They were places Abraham worshipped God, and he wanted to remember the way in which God met him in that place. When he left that location the tent would come down and go with him, but the well and the altar would remain as a memorial.
His son Isaac came back to those places.
Isaac re-dug some of the wells his father had made because the Philistines had filled them after Abraham's death.
Other places, he built a second altar and dug a second well because he called on the name of the Lord God and had his own experience with God.
Monuments in the Bible
Jacob, the grandson of Abraham and son of Isaac, had an amazing encounter with the living God on his journey to his uncle Laban.
The encounter so moved him, he took the rock used for a pillow the night before and set it up as a pillar. He poured oil upon it and named the location Bethel.
He was making a memorial of the location and the special encounter he had with God, so his children and his grandchildren would learn and remember the experience.
Monuments as Feasts in the Bible
When God called Moses to deliver the children of Israel out of Egyptian slavery, He commanded them to hold three feasts a year in which all male members of the family were to gather and celebrate a memorial.
The first month of each year, they were to celebrate the Feast of Passover and Unleavened Bread for seven days. This is an eternal memorial, God said, celebrating the deliverance of the Hebrew people through the blood of the Passover Lamb.
The second feast they are to celebrate is the Feast of Firstfruits or the Feast of Weeks. They were to bring an offering to the Lord from the first fruit of that year's harvest.
The third feast every male was to celebrate took place after harvest was completed, the Feast of Tabernacles. They were to erect temporary shelters from tree branches and live in those shelters for seven days, worshiping the Lord.
Monuments as Altars in the Bible
When the children of Israel miraculously crossed the Jordan River on dry ground, God commanded that one man from each of the 12 tribes was to pick up a large stone from the middle of the river bed and place them in pile at Gilgal where they made the first camp in the Promise Land.
While the priests were still standing in the middle of the Jordan River on dry ground, Joshua gathered 12 large stones and placed them in a pile at the place in the river bed where the priests were standing.
After entering the Land of Promise with a great victory at Jericho and another victory in the second battle at Ai, Joshua built an altar on Mount Ebal, and the priests led the people in worship to the living God.
He also set up large stones with all the words of the law of Moses written on them.
Decades later, after the Hebrews had conquered the Land of Promise, Joshua called an assembly of the elders, leaders, judges and officials from each of the 12 tribes.
When they had gathered, he reminded them of all that Moses had taught their fathers and grandfathers. He called them to make a commitment to faithfully serve the Lord God with all their heart.
When they answered affirmatively, he set up a large stone under an oak tree near the tabernacle. "See, this stone will be a witness for us, for it has heard all the words of the Lord that He spoke to us. It will be a witness for us, lest you deny your God" (Josh. 24:27).
All of these monuments and the days of celebration carried a twofold purpose:
1. They were teaching aids to help future generations learn and to remember the truth of historical events.
2. They were important memorials that perpetuated the Hebrew culture from generation to generation.
When God was instructing Moses about the Feast of Passover, He said:
And when your children shall say to you, "What does this service mean to you?" that you shall say, "It is the sacrifice of the Lord's Passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when He smote the Egyptians, and deliver our households'" (Ex. 12:26-27).
It shall be as a sign to you on your hand and as a memorial on your forehead, in order that the Lord's law may be in your mouth. For with a strong hand the Lord brought you out of Egypt" (Ex. 13:9).
God instructed Joshua regarding the stones he set up in the Jordan River, and the stones the leaders of the 12 tribes set up at Gilgal:
So that this will be a sign among you. When your children ask, 'What do these stones mean to you?' you will answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones will be a memorial for the children of Israel continually."
When the grandfathers and fathers gathered their families to celebrate Passover, they carefully rehearsed the stories of the plagues and how the blood of the lamb protected the Hebrew families from the death angel.
The bountiful blessings of God and His divine resource was proclaimed year after year as they celebrated the Feast of Weeks or the Feast of Firstfruits.
The story of how God delivered the Hebrews from slavery and provided for them in the wilderness journey on their way to the promised land was told in detail each year as they spent a week living in the temporary shelter during the Feast of Tabernacles.
God wanted the Hebrew people to realize that memorials, landmarks and statues are critical to historical record and the proper training of future Israeli generations.
The nation must never forget all that God had done for them and the great dangers that lurked if they forgot their history.
The devil realizes the power of memorials, landmarks and statues. He seeks to destroy those things that will pass the truth from generation to generation.
Why Monuments Are So Important
Fascism, socialism and terrorists have tried to destroy the memory and even deny the truth of the holocaust. Auschwitz and Birkenau, Dachau and Buchenwald declare the truth.
Islamic forces have sought destroy every memorial and artifact of Jewish and Christian history in their attempt to obliterate the truth.
Israel is the rightful homeland of the Jewish people, Jerusalem is their capital and the Western Wall and Temple Mount is the historical location of the Temple of Solomon.
The progressive liberals of the United States of America are seeking to destroy the true historical record of the establishment of this nation and her Christian roots.
Why the Destruction of Monuments Is So Dangerous
The removal of U.S. history class from our school systems and the replacement of social studies has left at least three generations ignorant of the true historical facts about our nation and our founding fathers.
Now they are destroying our memorials, landmarks and statues to put a death-knell upon the true history of America and pave the way for a complete rewrite of United States history.
All of this is a demonic effort to destroy the only nation in world history that was founded for one purpose: to spread the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Should you question that statement, I share with you two undeniable sources; The Mayflower Compact and a quote from the journal of William Bradford, Governor of the Plymouth Colony.
William Bradford wrote:
"They cherished a great hope and inward zeal of laying good foundations, or at least of making some way towards it, for the propagation and advance of the gospel of the kingdom of Christ in the remotes part of the world, even though they should be but stepping stones to others in the performance of so great a work (William Bradford, The Plymouth Settlement, Mantle Ministries, San Antonio, 1988, 21) [emphasis mine].
"In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten the loyal subjects of our dread sovereign lord, King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King Defender of the Faith, etc., having undertaken for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith and honor of our king and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and of one another, covenant and combine ourselves into a civil body politic, for our better ordering and preservation an d the furtherance of the ends aforesaid and by virtue, hereof to enact, constitute, and frame such just and equal laws ordinances acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general use of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have here underscribed our names at Cape Cod, 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our sovereign lord, King James of England, France and Ireland the eighteenth and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. A.D. 1620" (Bradford, The Plymouth Settlement, 75-76) [emphasis mine].
The Founding Fathers of the United States firmly believed God had called them to establish a colony in the Americas that would be a light of the gospel of Jesus Christ and would be governed by the Word of God under the headship of the Lord Jesus Christ; a new Israel, as it were.
There is great danger in allowing the destruction of the memorials, landmarks and statues to continue.
1. Our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will forget the foundation of this nation.
2. They will not know the mistakes our forefathers made and the Civil War that was fought because of those mistakes.
3. They will not know the great strides that have been made to correct those errors.
4. They will not realize how this nation has been the greatest force for good, world peace and the advancement of mankind.
All of this has been possible because this nation was founded upon God's Holy Word by men who sought the Lord and were led by His wisdom.
We must never forget!
Dr. F. Dean Hackett has served in full-time Christian ministry since October 1971. He has ministered throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, serving as pastor, conference speaker and mentor. He has planted four churches, assisted in planting 15 others and currently serves as lead pastor of Living Faith Church in Hermiston, Oregon. Dr. Hackett founded Spirit Life Ministries International in 2001 to facilitate ministries in Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina and to open a training center for workers in those nations. You can find him at F. Dean Hackett - Foundational, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
This article originally appeared at fdeanhackett.com.