Warning Stones

After the recent earthquake here in Virginia I remembered a NYT article I read last April: Tsunami warnings, written in stone, saved some.


The article tells of an old stone marker in Japan, that was set at the point of the farthest reach of a tidal wave that hit Japan 600 years ago. The people at this village have always obeyed this warning from their ancestors and so they survived the latest tsunami.

The article goes on to say that these kinds of stones are common throughout Japan, many as far as 3 miles inland. Some of the locals have faithfully obeyed them through the generations. In other areas these ancient warnings have been ignored. It was considered inconvenient to have to commute so far to their fishing boats. I’m sure that many were enticed to live within the danger zone because of the beauty as well as the availability of prime coastal property.

In some areas the stones have been neglected over time: The carved writing has weathered away. The stones have been covered with vegetation. The people couldn’t be bothered to keep up or heed these warnings. When the wave came, they died.

Are We Ignoring Our Ancient Stones?

I am convinced that yes, we American Christians are largely ignoring the ancient stones – or landmarks as the bible calls them – that God has given to us. In Proverbs 22:28 (ESV) – it says ‘Do not move the ancient landmark that your fathers have set.’ Instead of hearing about the Jesus who came to free us from our sins, a ‘new’ gospel is preached that teaches that Jesus came to free us to sin. Repentance has become old fashioned and obsolete. We want a God who will allow us to continue to live for ourselves and give us material wealth and health. We are guilty of idolatry because  we have fashioned a god by our own hands. Instead of preaching the Jesus Christ who was crucified, who died for us, and was raised to life by the power of God – the Christ who accepts all who humbly repent and call on Him – we have fashioned a new age politically correct religion which lacks the power to save and is certainly no gospel at all.

So what exactly are our landmarks? What warnings have been ‘carved in stone’ for us that are going unheeded? It’s spelled out plainly in the  Bible. Both testaments together show the fullness of God’s nature. It shows us that from even before the beginning of time, God had a plan to rescue us. It’s full of examples of how people pleased him and walked with him, and how they displeased him and sometimes paid the price for that lack of faith and obedience.  

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:11 (ESV) “Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.” The context refers to the Children of Israel that were led out of Egypt by Moses. It warns us that the things that happened to them – how they rebelled, murmured, and complained; and how they were judged by the Lord and severely punished was to warn and instruct us not to act the way they did. Check it out for yourself. Read the 10 th chapter of 1 Corinthians.

The only way to heaven is by faith in Christ alone, but both the New and Old Testaments make it abundantly clear that we were created to walk with God. He is holy and doesn’t tolerate sin. We were created to live closely with Him, to hear Him, speak with Him, love Him, trust Him, please Him, and obey Him.

Simply put: pay attention to the ‘warning stones’, the landmarks God has given. Don’t ignore them or allow them to fade with time. Your life depends on it. Don’t allow yourself to be deceived into thinking that just because ‘the wave’ has never reached where you are now, that it never will.

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