THE UNCUT STONE (ROCK), a devotion for 13 December 2016 Anno Domini
34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. 35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. Dan 2:34-35 (KJV)
3 The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. 2 Sam 23:3 (KJV)
1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 1 Cor 10:1-4 (KJV)
There has arisen in our modern age an innumerable host of man-made religions and churches. To these man-made religions, the Word of God is well and good in its place as a merely historical document to which they may pay brief homage quadrennially; but certainly, it is not to be taken seriously. The foundation of these man-made religions and churches is the quick sand of the desert seas. They appear suddenly as a celestial nova, gather many deluded followers, and soon burn out (as a nova) and are swallowed up in scandal and internecine warfare. Had they chosen as their foundation that Solid Rock that can never be moved, they would surely have a different end. They have sought after fad and fashion as a means of getting filthy lucre, and have traded their spiritual heritage for a bowl of red porridge. Well, there is neither fad nor fashion in Hell; and filthy lucre will not buy ten seconds of comfort there.
Carnally minded man cannot understand the mysteries of God’s nature, though they are simple to grasp – so much so that even a child may understand. The very sophisticated and theologically educated rulers of the Jews could not grasp the meaning of our Lord’s teaching for one simple reason: their hearts were darkened and the Holy Spirit did not draw them. They were not the Elect of God because they were not fit material.
Of our Lord’s discourse on the Temple, it is written: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? 21 But he spake of the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.”John 2:19-22 (KJV) Instead of plumbing the depth of meaning of our Lord’s Words, these men simply used them to try and convict Christ of blasphemy at His latter false trial.
Now, the Temple of God is established in all Eternity. It is a Temple not made with hands. God’s Church is not made with hands, but by the Holy order of God. So man-made religions offer no hope of salvation but rather only an empty promise that is forever found to be a LIE! Our Lord did, indeed, rebuild the Temple which the Jewish rulers destroyed with the aid and alliance of the secular arm of Rome. But our Lord Jesus Christ did rebuild it during the three days in which He lay in a borrowed Tomb. He arose. His death, burial, and resurrection gave clear deed and title to all who are the accounted the Children of God to that Temple made without hands. Each believing heart is a stone whose shape and size has a peculiarly fit place in that Temple. “16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” 1 Cor 3:16-17 (KJV)
Earthly stones cannot compare with that Great “Rock cut out without hands” which our Lord is. If all of the planets in the Universe were melted down and combined together in one ball, they would not even register a tone on the seismometer compared to that Great Stone which the builders rejected. “What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? 18 Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. 19 And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people: for they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them.” Luke 20:17-19 (KJV) You will observe in this text just quoted how diverse from the believing nature of the people was the hypocrisy and lack of faith of their spiritual leaders. There are mainly two responses to the Word of God: 1) our hearts and souls are wrenched and broken to the point of repentance; or 2) the heart is hardened by the Word to the point of rebellion against it. These religious leaders always sought personal advantage at every Word uttered by Christ instead of simply believing and following. This was their doom as it is for all others who reject that Stone.
It is not only individuals who are smashed by this Great Stone, but nations as well. The Stone to which Daniel made reference in our leading text grew into a great mountain and filled the whole earth after smashing the Babylonian kingdom. The Kingdom of God begins in Heaven, but ends on earth after the Stone has brought that final moment of Judgment.
Christ is comparable to a Great Rock in so many ways in Scripture. A rock is a firm foundation. But the sands of the earth are shifting and untrustworthy. Christ, too, is firm and immovable. He is the Rock (not Peter) upon which the Church is founded. “18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter ( Petros: a small stone or small rock), and upon this rock (Petra: the Lord Himself meaning a large Rock) I will build my church (not Peter’s church, but the Lord’s Church); and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matt 16:18 (KJV) Peter was used of God because Peter became a “chip off the old block” in the common idiom. He was a stone chipped off from the Rock which gave him a common nature to the Rock from which he (Peter) was hewn.
The strongest abode in ancient days was inside a great rock. There was only one way in, and none could break in another way. Christ is the Rock and Ark of our salvation. There is only one Way to enter, and none can break in by force.
Rocks are usually found on the mountain crag. They always seek the higher ground. When I was a young boy living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, my mother would have me gather rocks from the garden before spring planting. These had worked their way to the surface, and they did so interminably. Christ came in the form of lowly man, suffered all of our discomforts and anguish, and suffered more horribly than any other has done; yet, He rose from the grave and has ascended to the Father to the highest place.
If one has ever lived in a mountain home, he will know that rocks provide the purest and sweetest water of any on earth. The fountain waters spring from the strong bed of rocks that give them nutrients and minerals not found in the swamp. The waters from the rocky spring are also cool and refreshing. So is that Rock which is Christ. He is the Fountain of Living Waters. “13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” Jer 2:13 (KJV) Man-made cisterns will not avail – only that which is made without hands. Our Lord was the Rock of Horeb from out of which gushed a cascading river of pure water in the desert of the Wilderness journey.
Christ is a treasure chest of riches. He is the gold and precious gems-bearing Rock. He is full of the oil of the Spirit just as our petroleum products are drilled from the mantle of rocky crust of the earth. The riches of Christ are endless and inexhaustible.
Question: What is the REAL foundation of your life? Is it a pretended religion that is man-made and man-oriented; or is it the true and old time religion of Abraham, of Isaac, of Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, Peter, James, John, Andrew, etc.? Do you pant as a deer for the Water from the Rock, or do you avoid a daily communion with God through His Holy Word? You count your money every day, and keep a keen eye on your checkbook; but how much attention do you pay to the study of God’s Word – if any? It is the only source of lasting health, joy, felicity, and comfort available. It is the only divinely appointed possession we can hold in our hands, touch with our hearts, and see with our eyes open to truth.
I encourage you to study His Word more deeply and more enthusiastically every day. Once you taste the sweet Balm of Gilead therein, you cannot cease to read and pray.