Scripture speaks often of the power of God. Perhaps no more simple an illustration of Divine power can be given than the lowly stone. God himself is called a rock, calling to mind his steadfastness, strength, and protection. “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold” (Psalm 18.2). “Be to me a rock of habitation to which I may continually come; You have given commandment to save me, For You are my rock and my fortress” (Psalm 71.3).

The Scriptures also speak often of what God has done to the rocks in demonstration of his power. “Mountains quake because of Him and the hills dissolve; Indeed the earth is upheaved by His presence, the world and all the inhabitants in it. Who can stand before His indignation? Who can endure the burning of His anger? His wrath is poured out like fire and the rocks are broken up by Him” (Nahum 1.5f). 

As he reviewed Israel’s wilderness experience, Moses praised God for his miraculous and generous provisions: “He made him ride on the high places of the earth, and he ate the produce of the field; and He made him suck honey from the rock, and oil from the flinty rock” (Deuteronomy 32.13). Nehemiah similarly praised God for his provisions, saying, “You provided bread from heaven for them for their hunger, You brought forth water from a rock for them for their thirst” (Nehemiah 9.15; cf. Psalm 78.15f; 114.8). 

Asaph contrasted God’s faithfulness with Israel’s waywardness by reminding them yet again of God’s gracious promises: “…Open your mouth wide and I will fill it… But I would feed you with finest of the wheat, and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you” (Psalm 81.10, 15). 

John the Baptist rebuked the arrogance of the Pharisees by reminding them that God would be glorified with or without their obedience. “…And do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham” (Matthew 3.9; cf. Luke 3.8). 

Jesus himself rebuked that same mentality when, during his final and triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the Pharisees criticized His disciples among the crowd who openly praised him as the coming King. He replied: “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!” (Luke 19.40).

The Almighty intends by these assertions of his power to impress upon all creation, both believer and unbeliever, that the power which spoke into existence the stones, rocks, and mountains, is the same power which can transform our lives. If he can bring forth from the rocks life-giving water, he can surely bring forth in our hearts the living water of his Spirit (John 7.37ff). He who satisfied their thirst in the wilderness with water from the rock can surely satisfy the soul’s deepest thirst with his abiding presence (Psalm 42.2; 63.1; 1 Corinthians 10.4). The Lord who is the fountain of living water (Jeremiah 2.13) can, from the broken cisterns of our sinful lives, satisfy us with righteousness beyond what we can draw ourselves (Matthew 5.6). 

This Lord who could bring honey from rock with which to satisfy a multitude is the same Lord who himself is bread from Heaven that gives us everlasting life if we but believe (John 6.31-40). He who could bring such sweetness from the stones can surely bring forth the fruit of his Spirit from hearts tainted by sin and carnality (Galatians 5.16-25). 

Finally, the Lord who could from dead stones raise unto himself living witnesses is the same Lord who can by the power of his word (Isaiah 55.10ff) transform us from unbelieving and rebellious enemies into submissive and humble servants. And if he can transform us into his people, he can surely do it unto others (1 Peter 2.4-8). We rely so much upon methods and messengers, as if these are the essence of conversion, that we often forget that it is his limitless power, vested in his eternal word, that makes us into the living stones that comprise his holy temple. 

May God help us learn to trust him as the source of unimaginable power, and his word as the fount of unending life. May we learn to find shelter and strength in him who is our Lord, our Rock, and our Redeemer.