About five years ago, I began to realize how important the Old Testament truly is to Christians.
I’ve always known the Old Testament is important, but I don’t think I understood the life-changing dynamic it has when held next to the New Testament. Both Old and New Testaments work together for our transformation. It took many years for me to understand this principle.
Earlier this summer, I began another journey through the Bible. Today, I finished the book of Joshua and something struck me like never before. The rocks will be our witnesses.
Since you’re reading this blog, rocks crying out might remind you of the day Christians celebrate Palm Sunday. Luke 1937-40 reads, “As he (Jesus) was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
Why would Jesus tell the Pharisees, who are the religious leaders of the day, the stones would cry out if humans did not? I don’t want to pass over the fact that every created thing will always acknowledge its creator, but I think the conversation is much deeper than a stone picking up the slack for a human.
Let me remind you the Pharisees had deep knowledge of the law and the prophets. They had the entire Old Testament memorized by the age of 15. They were well educated and held in high regard by the Jews.
I think Jesus wanted to remind the Pharisees of another conversation that took place about 1200 years before Luke 19. Let’s visit the end of Joshua’s leadership in Israel. You might be familiar with Joshua 24:15 because it’s plastered all over, “as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.”
The rest of the conversation has the entire nation of Israel trying to convince Joshua they will do the same. He says they won’t. They say he’s wrong. He tells them to throw away their foreign and bow to Jehovah for the rest of their days.
Joshua 24:25-27 gives us the tail end of the conversation. “So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and put in place statutes and rules for them at Shechem. And Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God. And he took a large stone and set it up there under the terebinth that was by the sanctuary of the LORD. And Joshua said to all the people, “Behold, this stone shall be a witness against us, for it has heard all the words of the LORD that he spoke to us. Therefore it shall be a witness against you, lest you deal falsely with your God.”
I think Jesus reminded the Pharisees of this moment. If you deal falsely with God, the rocks will be the testimony against you because you aren’t in alignment as you said you would.
If I were the Pharisees, I would probably look for a place to crawl under and hide. Jesus was that person for the Pharisees and the Holy Spirit is that person for each of us. The Holy Spirit constantly gives us reminders that the rocks will cry out if we don’t keep our part of the deal – incline our hearts to God.
How is your transformation? Do the rocks need to give a little shout to wake you up spiritually? They will because Scripture says they will.