Stones: their attributes
As we have already noted, stones are lifeless. They are, however, far from useless. Stones are now, as they were in Bible times, used in a whole host of ways:
- When the law was given to Moses, ten key commandments could have been recorded in any number of ways: written on a scroll, for example, or on some other material, such as leather. Yet it was upon two tables of stone that the servant of God was given these laws.
- David took five smooth stones into his conflict with Goliath. The armour of Saul (and, possibly, his weapons?) were rejected by the courageous young shepherd who took only the things he had “proved” (1 Samuel 17:39,40). Just one stone was sufficient for the faithful servant of Yahweh to destroy the enemy champion who had defied the armies of the living God. The four, unused stones almost certainly relate to Goliath’s kinsmen, all of whom were slain by David’s family members or mighty men, in due course (2 Samuel 21:15-22).
- Unsurprisingly stones were often used in Israel (if not in Egypt, see Exodus 5), for building. Houses and temples were built of stone. We will see the significance of this in our future studies, God willing.
- An altar had to be made of stones which had not been shaped by man (Exodus 20:25, Deuteronomy 27:5,6), surely reminding us of Jesus. When Nebuchadnezzar saw the stone smite the image, it was cut from the side of a mountain “without hands” (Daniel 2:34,45).
- Time and again we read of Jesus being the corner stone, rejected by the majority of those of his day, yet God’s own choice (Luke 20:17; Acts 4:11; Ephesians 2:20; 1 Peter 2:6,7).
Stones are strong and durable. They can be shaped and polished. They outlast almost all other materials. Over the years a house made of stone will need replacement doors and windows, possibly on a number of occasions, but the rocks from which the building is constructed will remain virtually unchanged. So when we read of Jesus being the chief corner stone of the house, and we the constituent stones, the challenge for us from the word of God is very clear. The strength and durability of the Master is being stressed. Jesus wasn’t swayed by popular thinking. He was steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of his Lord. In Isaiah 50:7 the Messiah is portrayed as having set his face “like a flint”. Following his death and resurrection he was made immortal: “… the same yesterday, and today, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). Though the standards of those in the world around us may change, we are commanded to be unwavering in our service of God. Doctrinally and morally we must never change.
Next: Living stones 3 Jacob and a “living stone”
- The stone of essential truth
- When believing in God’s existence and His son, possessing a divine legislation
- Atonement And Fellowship 4/8