Friday, July 1, 2022
Embedded in the eastern wall of the Kaaba in Mecca is a black stone that is about ten inches across and twelve inches high in a silver frame. This black stone was worshipped by pre-Islamic Meccans for many generations. Muslims believe that it descended from heaven. It is very possibly a meteorite. In some cultures, the worship of meteorites was not unusual. It seems that the Ephesians in Paul’s time also believed that a meteorite (the goddess Artemis) had come to them from heaven (Acts 19:23-36).
When Muhammad conquered Mecca and took over the Kaaba, he destroyed all the stones and gods that his compatriots had been worshipping for centuries, except for the Black Stone which he kept.
Muslims believe that when the Black Stone came down from heaven it was white, but over time it became black, because it absorbed the sins of the pilgrims who touched it. Actually, this change is consistent with known meteorites that are white but change color over time as they oxidize.
Today, as Muslim pilgrims go around the Kaaba, they try to touch or kiss the Black Stone if they are able to get close to it. This veneration borders on worship.
Holy God, the only One worthy to be worshipped and adored, Muslims refuse to listen to your Word; they stubbornly follow their own ideas and attempt to touch a stone to receive remission of sins! They have not accepted God’s way to receive his approval, and they try to set up their own way to get it (Romans 10:3; Jeremiah 13:10).
I cry out to you. Pour out your mercy on them this week. Forgive them for this heinous sin, and help them understand that they can receive forgiveness only through the cross of your Holy Son. Yes, only by the precious blood of Christ, the Lamb without blemish or defect, are we saved (I Peter 1:18-20).
Forgive Muslims for rejecting the Chief Cornerstone, Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:20), to believe in a lifeless black stone. For them, Jesus is a “stumbling block, a rock of offense” (Isaiah 8:14), while they build their hopes on a legend.
May they come to Jesus to receive pardon, healing and wholeness. May they set their eyes on him alone, the source and goal of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). May they become living stones in your majestic edifice of believers. In Christ’s precious name. Amen.
The blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin (1 John 1:7, NIV).
Friday, June 24, 2022
One day, Caleb reminded Joshua that 45 years had passed since Moses had sent both of them, along with ten others, to spy out the land of Canaan which the Lord had promised to give them. The other ten were terrified by the terrain and the size of the inhabitants! They brought back an unfavorable report. However, Caleb and Joshua gave a positive report and assured everyone that if God was pleased with them, he would give them the cities of that land (Numbers 13-14).
We believe the Lord is telling us today: “Wherever you set foot, that land will be yours” (Deuteronomy 11:24). And part of that land is the “fortified cities” of Islam.
Let us, in faith, claim those areas for Christ and his Kingdom.
Holy Father, God Almighty, King of Glory! I bow down before your majesty and come humbly to your throne of grace.
Many parts of the Muslim world are spiritually like cities that have been fortified against the spread of the Gospel.
But we will not allow the enemy to intimidate or discourage us. True, we are facing giants we cannot defeat in our own strength, heights we cannot scale, and a mountain that is impossible for us to cross.
Great and Mighty King of heaven and earth, all things are possible for you. Help us do what you have commanded us to do. Give us this mountain, Lord (Joshua 14:12).
Compassionate Lord, hear my cry and prayer in the name of Jesus, your Son, my Lord. Amen.
This is the… message of the Lord to [you]…. don’t depend on your own power or strength, but on my Spirit…. That mountain in front of you will be leveled to the ground (Zechariah 4:6-7, CEV).