Two Rocks #4

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges (Deuteronomy 32:31 KJV).

There are two rocks in Scripture—one good and one bad. Friend, which is your foundation?

Some 700 years B.C., Isaiah chapter 8 taught: “[13] Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. [14] And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” JEHOVAH God can serve one of two purposes. Firstly, to believers, He is “a sanctuary”—a place of safety and stability (Rock). Secondly, to unbelievers, He is “a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence.” This passage is quoted twice in the New Testament Scriptures to apply to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul writes in Romans 9:33: “As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” (See verses 30-33 for the context—Isaiah 28:16 is conflated here with Isaiah 8:14). Peter pens in 1 Peter 2:8: “And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.” (See verses 3-10 for the context.)

JEHOVAH God, the LORD God, of Isaiah 8:13-14 is Jesus Christ. Christ is God the Son in human flesh. As in the Old Testament economy, the Israelites can believe on Him or they can disbelieve. They can receive Him by faith or reject Him in unbelief. If they have faith in Him, He is their Rock (strength—the foundation of everything God will do with them as a nation). If they refuse Him, they will fall or trip over Him (“stumblingstone,” “stone of stumbling”). They will see Him as a scandal, disgrace, or embarrassment (“rock of offence”).

Romans 9:30-33, looking back on Christ’s earthly ministry, shows us how He was mostly a “stumblingstone and rock of offence.” Israel, fixated on self-righteousness (Romans 10:1-3), ultimately refused Him. Their religious leaders encouraged their unbelief (1 Peter 2:7,8). However, some Jews did believe on Him….