As you come to Him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.”

So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the Word, as they were destined to do (1 Peter 2:4-8).

It’s the number one crop of the country, Lord; so many are available that anyone can have one (or many) for the asking. Hewn and worn with purpose: You gave specific instructions on their use, even emphasizing altars be built to Your honor made from this material—already prepared by Your hand, not in any way retooled by our efforts. Ancient battles were won and lost by their use as weapons; condemnation was executed with these as the preferred tool of execution. Buildings and empires rest on their foundations.

Even You, unchanging Creator, have been compared metaphorically to their qualities. You, Jesus, though thought of as a carpenter, in reality would have worked less with trees (there just aren’t that many!) and more as a tekton, carving and working with this resource for construction.

Of what do I speak? Rocks, of course.

As we traveled through the land of Israel, it became crystal clear that rocks are what the land is all about. The structures of old were fashioned and monuments to great moments of conviction were erected using stones of all sizes. There is nowhere to turn, even on the most fertile plain where rocks do not influence and define the culture and the history.

Where am I going with all of this, Adonai? What I saw of Israel taught me that it is the stone that lasts; it is the rock that instructs; these are the enduring concrete of Your plan that will not break down.

Rock of my salvation, is the picture of stones over the landscape crucial to my own shaping? Could it be You are telling me that I, too, am nothing but hard spiritual matter to be worked throughout a lifetime? You have carved me differently, just as You have crafted each soul to Your desire. So, just as each building and structure wears the signature of its builder, I carry Your mark.

It appears then, even in a in a vast field, strewn seemingly with random rocks of no importance, each has a unique purpose in Your plan. Even this small stone—who sometimes feels lost and unimportant among greater ones which You have worked—is cared for and cherished just as You have cherished all the others throughout history.

I am blessed to be a Living Stone to Your honor, Rock of Ages. I stand as a testimony to the incredible love You display. Demonstrating that even a pebble in Your hands can be used to topple giants, build bridges of healing and exclaim to the world that Your covenant of love with Your people is…rock solid. Amen.

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