Brief Notes

The Stone,
the Pillow, and
the Pillar (4)

22 June 2024

Today, so many believers
who should be living as
stones and pillars for
God’s building are, instead,
at rest; they need a
vision of God’s purpose!

When Jacob rose up early in the morning after his dream in Genesis 28, he immediately took a stand before the Lord, in response to the dream the Lord had given him:

Then Jacob rose up early in the morning and took the stone he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it. And he called the name of that place, Bethel [meaning, “the house of God], but the name of that city had been Luz previously.

   Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and keep me in this way I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the LORD shall be my God. And this stone I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give You a tenth.”
— Genesis 28:18-22

God did not tell Jacob to do any of this; but somehow, through the dream, Jacob was moved to do these things, each of which is quite significant. Here again we see the angels “ascending from the earth,” before God sends them back down to work out His purpose (See “The Stone, the Pillow, and the Pillar” • 3).

In the New Testament, we are the stones for God’s building (1 Pet. 2:5, Rev. 21:14, 19-20). And throughout the scripture, of course, oil is a figure of the Holy Spirit (e.g., 1 John 2:27). And one of the Lord’s promises to those who overcome is that He will make them, not just stones, but pillars in His eternal temple (Rev. 3:12).

So, when we consider what Jacob did in light of all this, we have a figure of one who, in response to the vision the Lord gave Him, rises up to take a stand that the house of God, the real temple, would be built up on the earth.

Today, so many believers who should be living as stones and pillars for God’s building are, instead, at rest; they really have turned the stone God gave them, or more accurately, made them, when they were born anew, into a “pillow”! That is, rather than standing for God’s purpose, they view their salvation as a means to help them be comfortable in this life while they sleep, spiritually; it helps them know how to lead a good, moral life, and even gives them the assurance of living eternally with the Lord, but it is not much more than that.

But if the Lord has the ground in our life, then one day He will give us a vision of what is on His heart, namely, His desire to bring His kingdom to the earth. And then, by His mercy, we will rise up to really follow Him; like Jacob, we will take our “stone,” which was probably never much good as a pillow anyway, and stand it up as pillar, and even anoint it, so to speak, so that the Lord can work out something in our life for His purpose.

In all of this, it may seem we have taken the initiative. Of course, the real initiative was in the dream, but the response does depend on us. We have seen what God desires; now, it is up to us to rise up and serve Him, so that the stone of our salvation becomes, no longer a pillow for our rest, but a pillar for the house of God. It may even seem that we are the ones who are pouring out the Spirit, through our exercise before the Lord, for if we are truly following the Lord, then the Spirit will indeed come in to anoint our service.

Lord, grant so many of Your children a fresh vision of Your purpose in these days, so that we may rise up and follow You and take a stand for Your building work on the earth today!


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— 22 June 2024 —