|When he came near the place where the road goes |
down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of
disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud
voices for all the miracles they had seen:…
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to
Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep
quiet, the stones will cry out.”
I don’t know about you, but I don’t do a lot of thinking about stones. At this time of year, when I was growing up on the farm, my dad would scour the fields for stones and pile them in his barn wagon. He cleared them because of the damage they often do to the farm equipment.
But, as to the uses and symbolism of stones in the Scriptures, I have largely ignored them. Upon reading a devotional by the great 19th century preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, I took another look.
Spurgeon points out that stones could testify to the wisdom and power of their Maker, who through the eons of time, brought about the beauty in them of His handiwork.
The stones could cry out about the way in which His Word breaks our hearts for Him. As our Breaker, Jeremiah 23:29 reminds us:
“Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord,” and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?”
Spurgeon reminds us that the stones would cry out in praise for the way in which God as Builder polishes us as stones for a palace and puts us in place in His holy temple. Ephesians 2:22 tells us:
And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
The stones might also cry out as memorials, as pillars of remembrance, as the early tribe of Israel did, recorded in 1 Samuel 7:12:
Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far has the Lord helped us.”
Indeed, the greatest stone to cry out may well be the stone that had been rolled in front of the tomb where they laid the body of Jesus after His crucifixion. Here, we rejoice over the stone of victory, for Jesus never let the grave hold Him. On Easter morning, He resurrected from death and lives to promise us the same living future, if we accept His gift of salvation.
Stones might well cry out, but we will not let them: we will hush their noise with ours; we will break forth into sacred song, and bless the majesty of the Most High, all our days glorifying Him who is called by Jacob the Shepherd and Stone of Israel.
|1 Spurgeon, Charles Haddon, Morning and Evening. McLean, Virginia: MacDonald Publishing Company, Public Domain. p. 167.|