Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Smooth Stones

Today's passage:  Isaiah 57
      Israel had reached a particularly low point.  She barely recognized the God who had made her a nation.  If anyone still worshipped Jehovah God, he was ridiculed.  If a righteous person died, she was not noticed. Israel was now no different from the surrounding nations because of her idolatry.  She went to great effort to worship these idols too.  God says in verse 6:  "Among the smooth stones of the stream is thy portion; they, they are thy lot:  even to them hast thou poured a drink-offering, thou hast offered a meat-offering, Should I receive comfort in these?"  Stream stones become smooth after they have been there a while.  A rock might start out ragged and dirty but after time at the bottom of a body of water, it will emerge without edges and clean.  God was telling Israel, they were in for a long haul of judgement because of their sin.  They would be spending a lot of time at the bottom of the stream.
     Smooth stones are great skipping rocks, but after they have finished skipping, they sink again to the bottom. Most people will not wade through the water to retrieve them. A smooth stone makes a great paperweight.  It can be painted with messages or vivid colors, but then its job is to sit around.  Sometimes they look pretty in the garden.  But they dull in comparison to the flowers blooming around them.  It seems that there is no use for a smooth stone.  It has no impact.  Israel had no impact on the nations around her.  She had not been that light.  So it seems that her punishment at the bottom of the stream would render her useless in the future.  Was that God's plan?  To toss her into the stream never to be heard from again?  No.  God had made a promise to Israel. At this point the Messiah had not come to earth yet, so this cannot be the end.
As Abram Journeyed He Built Altars to God--Taken from Standard Bible Story Readers, Book Four
By Lillie A. Faris, Illustrated by O.A. Stemler and Bess Bruce Cleaveland
Standard Publishing Company, 1927
     Smooth stones can be useful.  Several times in the Old Testament, stone altars were built for the Lord.  I'm only guessing now, but wouldn't smooth stones make for better building?  David collected five smooth stones and used one to topple Goliath.  The stone that kept Jesus in the tomb must have been smooth for it had been rolled away.  Jagged stones do not roll very easily.  Smooth stones can serve a very great purpose if God is using them.  God wanted to put Israel in a place where she could be used.  He was not done with her yet.  He still had a great purpose for her.  He needed to smooth away the edges and wash away the grit.  I don't want to allow myself to ever get as far gone as Israel.  She had to go very far from God to have this judgement pronounced on her.  I don't know how much time she had to spend in the bottom of the stream to become useful for God again.  Smooth stones have their purpose, but I'd just as soon stay out of the water.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What is God doing in your life?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...