WORD STUDY – THE STONE HEARD ALL THE WORDS (Day 6 In Silence in the Northwoods)
Joshua 24:27: “And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the LORD which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God.
Luke 19:40: “And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.”
This morning Pastor Squirrel stopped by for breakfast and delivered his morning sermon. He all of a sudden stopped twitching and became very still. Squirrels do that you know. It seemed longer than normal that he stood there like a stone statute and then suddenly came to life and started chattering away. My mind went back to a passage of Scripture I read last night in Joshua 24:27. The Promised Land had now been occupied with a few strong holds left to conquer. Joshua gathered all the elders from all the tribes and exhorted them to follow the Word of the Lord. He had them take an oath and he inscribed the law of God on a stone. Then he said a very curious thing. Not that the words of the Lord were inscribed on the stone but that all the words of the Lord which He spake was heard by the stone. The word heard is shama which means to listen, to hear.
Was Joshua becoming a senile old man? I mean a rock is going to testify as to the oath the people took? Get the net, get the net; the old boy finally snapped his cap. I played around with that word shama but I could not get anything else but the fact that the rock heard and recorded the message of God and the oath of the people.
I then recalled how Jesus said that if He stopped his disciples from praising Him then the rocks would cry out. I wondered, is Jesus saying that all our praise is recorded in rocks? That it was now too late for the disciple’s praise was recorded in the rocks for eternity. The word for rock in the Aramaic is kapha which means a rock but is also used for a force of nature and is an idiom for nature.
But the Hebrew word used in Joshua for a rock is ‘even which is a word for a common rock and also a rock which contains metal ore which was used for making tools. Still we are talking about something that is lifeless and has no hearing capabilities. Yet Joshua, under the inspiration of God, felt the rocks were listening.
As pondered this I sat looking at my I Phone. I thought, “Yeah, even the genius Aspies of Silicon Valley could not figure this one out.” That is when it hit me, they did figure it out. Silicon Valley got its name because silicon is the most crucial component in microelectronics. If someone leaves a message on my phone it is recorded on a little microchip made of silicon. Silicon is the second most common element on earth after oxygen. 25% of the earth’s crust is made of silicon. Silicon is an ‘even or a kapha, a rock or stone. When I check my voice mail a voice cries out from the ‘even or kapha, from a piece of stone. I am sitting here in the Northwoods surrounded by stones which are capable of recording sounds.
I recalled an old TV program from the 50’s known as Science Fiction Theater. The bases of the stories were scientifically possible but had yet to be proven or developed. In one episode foreign spies recorded a highly classified meeting on a crystal. After some experimentation the scientist investigating this to prove it was possible put a stone in a machine they developed and the sound of voices screaming came out of the stone. The owner of the stone then revealed it was taken from Pompeii and what they heard were the screams of people during the volcanic eruption that destroyed Pompeii.
God knows where that stone that Joshua recorded His words and the people response to obey God is located. Perhaps one day God will play back that recording for the future generations of the Hebrew people to remind them of the oath of their ancestors.
But then I had an idea, I called to all nature to join me in a time of worship and praise before God and facing the rocks I began to record my praise and worship to God. I praised and sang songs of praise and then realized that I was not blessed with a musical voice and I could usually clear a room pretty quickly when I sang. Maybe there are some things that re best not recorded. But alas, every word we speak is being recorded and one day it will play back whether we want to hear it or not. For if we don’t confess it and even deny we ever said such a thing, the rocks will one day cry out and reveal the truth. Consider this; we will have eternity to listen to the recordings of our praises to God. Hey, even the video recordings you make on your smart phone are recorded on stone. We may spend eternity watching every minute and second of our lives. Yes, even the things we are ashamed of – unless we can get the blood of Jesus to erase it.
Which reminds me, a couple days ago I was reading in the Targums that the Hebrew word for forgiveness means to cover. I was wondering about that when I realized that when you erase a recording you are covering over it. Just another thought.