"The Stone that Witnessed Real Power"



††††† Once upon a time, many years ago, there lived a stone named Gil. Now Gil was about 2 feet tall and about the same size wide as he was tall. Yep, If Gil had played football he would have been a lineman for there was nothing fragile about Gil. He was as solid as a rock. (oops sorry!.. I just had to say it) Well anyway,Gilís situation was quite different than any stone we have learned about so far for Gil lived at the bottom of a medium sized river known as the Jordan river and being a river stone, Gil had some very different problems than most other stones. You see Gil had to contend with the rivers constantly changing current for the rushing water often picked up smaller stones and smashed them into Gil. Yes, it was a good thing Gil was strong and solid or he would have been smashed into little pieces long ago. Now the other problem that Gil had was that the constant bombardment of smaller stones always interfered with being able to listen to his relatives who lived on dry land.Living at the bottom of a river was pretty boring especially for stones who love to witness things that happen and then pass on the stories.


††††††† Now, before I tell you more about Gilís story, I have to first explain thatstones can actually hear each other. For while sound travels poorly through air it travels very well though the earth. Remember the seeing on old westerns the Indian who would put his ear to the ground to hear the sound of approaching footsteps. Even though they were too far away to hear through the air, the ground carries the sounds of the footsteps much better and much farther. Well because of this all stones can keep in close communication and they just love to pass on what they witness. (explain what ďwitnessĒ means) Yes, it seems thatstones are the gossips of the ground.


†††† Anyway,†† you can see that Gil had it kind of bad for not only did he never seem to see anything of interest but even listing to his relatives was hard for he was always getting smashed into by other river stones. If fact, because of all the rushing water Gil could only hear the largest of his relatives for the voices of his smaller ones were totally drowned out by the river. So, Gil spent most of his time listening to a group of very large stones that made up the outer wall of a nearby city. Gil had no problem hearing them because each of them was many times larger than Gil. Most were 6 feet tall, 4 feet wide and 2 feet thick Each one weighed more than 10 tons making then some of the largest stones around and since they were stacked one on top of each other, six stones high†† when one spoke his voice thundered through all of them.


††† Now the city that these large stones protected was a very wicked city. The people there were very sinful and worshiped idols not God. They were also very arrogant because they had such a big wall to protect them from invaders. Nothing could ever harm them they said for their wall was so big. The big stones of the wall were arrogant too. They knew they were big and strong and they like to listen to the people go on and on about how powerful they were. The protected the people, they knew it and they loved to talk about it. Gil could hear them every day boasting about their strength, the power of the city and passing on all sorts of stories about the wicked lives of the people who lived there. Gil didnít like the stories about the peopleís wickedness but he listened to them anyway because there was not much else he could hear and he did like to hear the boasting of the big strong stones for after all he though he was pretty strong himself.


Now one day the river was running particularly rough. In fact the river was having aflood. It was running very high swollen by recent rain storms and Gil was getting clobbered every few seconds by stones, sticks, sand and even some big logs. He wasbusy bracing himself for another impact, when he heard the big wall stones of the nearby city laughing and jeering at this huge group of people who were standing on the opposite bank of the Jordan river. It seemed this group wanted to cross but the swollen river was just too dangerous. The cityís wall stones were making fun of the people calling then sissies and other names we shall not mention.Gil was about to add achuckle of his ownbut before he did something happened to Gil that stopped him in mid thought and changed his life forever. For just as he was about to laugh the first foot of a man in the front he group entered the river. And instantly the rain swollen river stopped flowing, all was silent and Gil was suddenly looking up at the sky.


Gil was now just a bit disoriented; he did a double take on the sky and then looked back upstream. There to his utter amazement the river water was all piled up in a great wall and the pile was receding back up the river out of sight. Gil could not see anything holding the water back. It just was piling up on itself. Gil then turned to look downstream and the river there too had disappeared rushing further and further away until the whole area was dry. In a few seconds the feet of some men walked right by Gil and stooped. They were carrying a strange box covered with beautiful decorations and behind them came thousands and thousands of people all crossing the Jordan on dry land. As family after family passed by Gil that day he decided that he must be unconscious and dreaming. That last rock that hit him must have knocked him out.He hoped he didnít have permanent brain damage. Gil was hoping the dream was almost over as the last of people passed by, but what happened next was even worse, For as the river bed cleared of people some men came and began collecting some of the other stones from the river floor. Gil tried to yell as he too was pried from his roots in the sand but of course stones canít yell into the air and he was quickly placed on a cart pulled by oxen. The next thing he knew he was leaving the river bed for the first time in his life. As he watched from the shore the men with the decorated box left the river where they had been standing all day as the people crossed. As they reached the shore, the waters of the flooded Jordan river once again rushed back covering Gils home and the dry crossing was gone. Gil figured his life was over.††††


That evening all the people that crossed the Jordan on dry land camped on the other side of the river. They took Gil and eleven other rocks to the middle of the camp and set them up in a pile. There a man who seemed to be the groups leader declared that Gil and the other rocks were to be witnesses saying this ..


Read Joshua 4:21-24


When the man finished speaking, Gil thought about what he had said.. maybe he thought, just maybe my life is not over and he began to pass on the story through the ground about the miraculous dry river crossing on to other rocks. Soon the story of what had happened made its way into all the cities of the area and all the kings of these cities grew frightened of this group of people with the decorated box. They all began to worry that they might be attacked and destroyed by this people who could stop a river. All that is except one.


As the story of the crossing became well known amongst the rocks of the area Gil onceagain to began to hear the deep rumblings of the huge wall stones of the closest city. They were not impressed by Gils story and were not afraid of these people because their cityís gates had been closed and now they, the largest strongest wall stones ever, were protecting the people in their city.Even when 40,000 of the men camped around Gil armed themselves for battle, the huge wall stones of the city just laughed. These people are too small they said. They can never get by us. Gil of course used to believe in the strength of the wall stones but now he was not so sure. For as he watched 40,000 armed men leave his camp later that day and march acrossthe plain towards the city, hewondered what these men could do. For even the flooded Jordan river could not stop them. But when the army reached the city and rather than attacking it that began to march around it playing trumpets,Gil reconsideredÖ maybe the wall stones were right and over the next few days he began once again to believe in the strength of the wall stonesfor each day the army just circled the city again and againeach time justplaying their trumpets.


Now while all this was going on the wall stones were having quite a time. Each day as the army would march around the city walls they would laugh and jeer at the puny little warriors who obviously had no hope of breaking through them. Again and again they made up names for the warriors or jokes about them, each of the wall stones trying to out do the other. The people in the city were also doing the same thing, shouting names,jeers and ridicule at the warriors from the top of the wall but the warriors never spoke. They just kept sounding their trumpets. .


By the 7th day of this, the city wall had become a pretty noisy place. The wall stones were now laughing so hard at each others jokes they could no longer actually hear each other so they all began to laugh at once. As they did their voices began to add together so even though the people in the city were still yelling jeers themselves they began to hear a low deep rumble. As the stones continued to laugh, their voices now began to multiply, each stones voice was now doubled by the sounds bouncing back from the stone they rest on plus the voice of the other stone. This of course made them laugh even harder since their laughter was now so loud it shook the ground. Oh how powerful we are they thought.


Now at just that moment, the warriors who surrounded the city gave their first loud shout of the week. The shout surprised the wall stones and they all instantly reacted by yelling themselves even louder. As they did they people in the city grew suddenly silent for the rumble that had been hearing now became a great deep vibration. They watched in horror as wall stones began physically moving,each vibrating so muchthat the mortar between them began breaking away. As they watched the wall stones vibration doubled Ö and then tripled and then with a huge roar, the rocks themselves seemed to explode.As Gil watched from a distance that day he saw the walls begin to fall and in secondstheir were not two wall stones standing. Before the dust had cleared the warriors that had surrounded the city rushed in and that day all the people of that wicked city except one family was killed and not one wall stone was left intact to boast of its strength.


As Gil went to sleep that night he began to think of what he would say to his relatives around the world as he passed on the story of the fall of Jericho. He decided that what he wanted his relatives to know is that real strength and power are not found in the strong created things but rather real power comes though faith in the creator who can turn the strong into dustor change the way a river runs with but the whisper of his voice. Today Gil understood real power.


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Kids,What form of strength do you think is awesome today. Do you think the wrestlers on WWF are the most powerful people you have seen or do you think cars with fast engines are awesome? Or maybe you like powerful guns or other weapons and like the power of pretending you have them. Well donít be fooled like Gil was when he had his head under the water and all he could hear was the sounds made by people and things who think they are powerful. Get your head out of the water and listened to what God says about power in his Word. See what the simple faith of an obedient boy can do when God powers your life.



Read James 5:16b-18




Do you know real power? if you donít know Jesus Christ you never will. But if you know Jesus as you savior you can ask him for things that can not normally happen and when you do, Gods wants you to have faith in him. For faith is no knowing that God can, but being sure that God will. Those men who entered the river had faith and they acted on it. Do you ?