• Rick LoPresti

Will you build a wall or a bridge?

Stones are symbolic of many things in the Bible such as a hard heart (1Sam 25:37, Eze 36:36, Zech 7:12, Mt 13:19), the kingdom of God (Dan 2:45), the people of God (Ex 28:9-12, 1Pet 2:4-8), the Messiah (Ps 118:22 which is quoted in Mt 21:42, Acts 4:11 and 1Pet 2:4-8; Is 8:14 which is quoted in 1Pet 2:8; Dan 2:45), and great events (Josh 4). Jacob used stones symbolically (Gen 28:18-22, Gen 29:3-10, Gen 31:44-49, Gen 35:14). A stone is just a physical object. It has no spiritual value in itself. The value is what we place on it. Why are diamonds so valuable? It is because people place value on them because of their rarity, beauty, and hardness. Yet even a diamond is just a stone until it is processed. It is what man does with it that makes it valuable. We have all heard the expression " a diamond in the rough", which means someone or something has potential value but needs to be developed.

When Jacob was fleeing his family he found a stone that he used for pillow (Gen 28:18-22). Not many people would look at a stone and think of it as a pillow. When he awoke the next morning he set his pillow up as a pillar and called it the house of God. When he arrived at a well, it was covered by a stone which prevented access to the water. When Rachel arrived, he moved the stone to let her water her flock (Gen 29:3-10). She later became his wife. He turned a stone of hindrance into a stone of opportunity. When the women arrived at the tomb of Jesus, there was a great stone blocking the entrance which they could not move (Mt 27:60-66, Mt 28:2). An angel moved the stone for them, and they were the first to see the resurrected Savior. When Jesus took Martha and Mary to the tomb of Lazarus, there was also a stone over the entrance (Jn 11). Jesus told them to move the stone. They did not want to because they were concerned about the smell of death. Jesus had them move it anyway. The Lord turned a stone of death into a stone of resurrection, and Lazarus came out of there.

The paths of our lives will have stones in them. We determine what value they will have to us. To some people, Jesus is precious, but to others He is stone of stumbling and a rock of offense (Is 8:14, 1Pet 2:7-8). To some He is a stone to be rejected, but to those who believe He is the chief corner stone upon which we build our lives (Ps 118:22, Mt 21:42, Acts 4:11, 1Pet 2:4-8). To Nebuchandezzar, He was a stone that knocked down his image; but to the people of God He is the Messiah who brings the kingdom of God to the whole world (Dan 2:45). John the baptizer said God can take stones and make children of Abraham out of them (Mt 3:9). Even the devil said Jesus could make bread out of stones (Mt 4:3). When we are given a stone, what will we make out of it? We can make a wall of unbelief and bitterness around ourselves, or we can make a bridge of faith and opportunity to greater things. It is up to us.

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