The Stones Cry Out
A Rock and Word Hound at Heart
I am a professed and sometimes even obsessed rock hound that can barely look up when in the presence of rocks. Most people wonder what I'm looking for as I scan the ground methodically in search of a prized gem.
This all began at the age of thirteen when my father took me on a vacation to Duluth Minnesota about four hours north of my hometown. He was a contemplative person as was I and therefore I was quite content to sit for long periods of time silently by the shores of Lake Superior sifting through rocks and stuffing my pockets with all the pretty ones I could find, and Dad was perfectly content to sit silently and watch.
I don't recall finding any of the coveted Lake Superior Agates I saw in the gift shops along the scenic North Shore that trip, but I was so amused by them that I made diligent search in every place we went to The years passed and I forgot all about agates but continued to collect any stone I found worthy of keeping that I would randomly find in various places.
Your testimonies are wonderful;
Therefore my soul keeps them
— Psalm 119:129
The Parallel Experience
My interest in agates was revived when about five years ago I was attaching a directional sign to a pole on our gravel road near our home for my granddaughters baby shower. As I stepped into the ditch something caught my eye. It was a beautifully banded Lake Superior agate.
I was surprised to learn that Lake Superior agates can be found as far south as Iowa along what is known as the mid-continental rift also known as the "Broken heart of North America" which begins to the north of the Great Lakes and runs south to Alabama which just so happens to pass right through an area where I live. They are predominantly discovered in gravel. I have been walking and running on dusty lackluster gravel for several years and never thought to look down for a hidden treasure. After discovering my first beauty and learning there was more, the hunt was on.
There is a parallel to this experience in that when I was thirteen I also came to know my Father in Heaven through my Lord Jesus Christ. Our family up until then was a chaotic mess. My mother came to know the Lord through a friend and subsequently began to make some dramatic life decisions and changes that were born from her newly developing relationship with God. She shared her faith with me and I gladly accepted and welcomed both the faith and the changes that came with it. A far "Superior" way of life had been discovered and although things weren't perfect they were certainly heading in the right direction
The Treasure of His Word
"There are deep things about Jesus in the Old Testament, which many walk over like hidden gold mines, not knowing the treasure beneath their feet"
— J.C. Ryle
The friend who invited my mother to church also bought me a Bible, and like my love for agates, I became amazed by the comforting and correcting beauty of God's stunning Word that so uniquely addressed my need. I caught glimpses of treasures lying just beneath the surface of what most consider a colorless old dusty ancient piece of literature.
I rejoice at Your word As one who finds great treasure
— Psalm 119:162
For Your word has given me life
However, beginning in my late teens, I took an awful ten year detour and forgot about His Word and the beauty of it, in search of more worldly pursuits, just as I did the agates, Without Jesus, my life became a chaotic mess far surpassing the very things I hated growing up until Jesus by His Holy Spirit led this prodigal girl back home at around age 28.
It was then that a faithful Bible Study teacher Jean Karau began to show me the hidden treasures in the Word of God that I simply could not take my eyes off of. She showed me how His Word is multi-layered bands of revelation that could be mined and quarried by anyone willing to make a diligent search, and just as with my experience with the agate, the hunt was on. A lesson in both agate hunting, as well as Bible gem discoveries, is that neither are found unless they are diligently sought after.
My son, if you receive my words,And treasure my commands within you So that you incline your ear to wisdom, And apply your heart to understanding If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,And find the knowledge of God
— Proverbs 2:1-5
It is also a worthy to note parallel of both agate hunting and Bible study, in that, the best way to discover what is false is to study the real thing intently. I most recently was at a kids summer camp where we had a few spare moments while we waited for our ride from the pool back to camp and decided to show some of the kids, who were interested, the little beauties in the playground pea rock. I happened to find an excellently banded sample and whenever one of them would ask if a rock they had found was an agate I would hold out the real one to them and have them compare. So it is with the Bible. We need to be Berean like with all the things "not God" that surround us in this world including false teachings in the church. We sincerely, like the Bereans, need to...
receive the word with all readiness, and search the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things are so
— Acts 17:11
"Let us not deceive ourselves, a slothful negligent hearing of the Word will bring no man to life"
— John Owen
Rocks, in particular, fascinate me because they have been a part of the earth's substance from the very beginning. Each one tells a story of something that happened creatively speaking. Every time I pick up a rock I find myself asking "what happened"?
speak to the earth, and it will teach you...That the hand of the Lord has done this
— Job 12:8
The Testimony of Rocks
The banding on this particular specimen looks very much like a fingerprint and it reminded me of the fingerprint of God on all that He has made. I personally believe the biblical account of God creating the heavens and the earth by His great wisdom and power and would love it if in eternity He would show us how that all unfolded. It would be a, sitting on the edge of one's seat, action adventure for sure! No special effects needed.
‘Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm...'
— Jeremiah 32:17
One of the many reasons I love agates is in the uniqueness of each one's banding patterns.
The agate is identified predominantly by its parallel congruent bands and thought to be formed in the empty pockets of cooled lava. It is a testimony of how God creatively brings order, structure, beauty, and fulfillment out of emptiness and chaos.
The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep...Then God said...
— Genesis 1:2-3
During Christs' triumphal entry the religious rulers of the time were attempting to shush the crowd that was lauding Jesus as the Creator King of the universe. Jesus' reply to the Pharisees was this...
“I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out"
— Luke 19:40
How so incredibly interesting that the Hebrew word for stone is "eben" אָ֫בֶן. Its first two letters spell the Hebrew word for Father which is av אָ֫בֶ and the last two letters spell Son בֶן in Hebrew. Father and Son overlap in this word.
Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me,
— John 14:11
Both are noted in being the creative presence and power along with the Holy Spirit as stated in Genesis chapter one.
there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him
— I John 2:23
If humanity only knew...
‘The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.
This was the Lord’s doing,
And it is marvelous in our eyes’?
— Matthew 21:42
I see his blood upon the rose
And in the stars the glory of his eyes,
His body gleams amid eternal snows,
His tears fall from the skies.
I see his face in every flower;
The thunder and the singing of the birds
Are but his voice—and carven by his power
Rocks are his written words.
All pathways by his feet are worn,
His strong heart stirs the ever-beating sea,
His crown of thorns is twined with every thorn,
His cross is every tree.
— John and Mary Plunkett
Rocks Hear and Remember
These stones remembered and could testify to who He was. They remembered the voice of the words of the King of the universe who created them from the beginning and could play back (cry out) what was recorded in their substance from the beginning.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God...the Word (Jesus) became flesh and dwelt among us
— John 1:1,14
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth...Then God said...and there was
— Genesis 1:1,3
Even the rocks understood that...
All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
— I Corinthians 1:16-17
Rocks are Credible Witnesses
Geologists have a saying "atmospheres and oceans forget but rocks remember". This is a reference to how they theorize the events that occurred in rock's formation. Liquids and gases are always moving around but solids stay the same. This makes the rock a reliable witness.
This is exampled for us in an episode between Jacob and Laban.
Now therefore, come, let us make a covenant, you and I, and let it be a witness between you and me...So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar. Then Jacob said to his brethren, “Gather stones.” And they took stones and made a heap, and they ate there on the heap...Then Laban said to Jacob...This heap is a witness, and this pillar is a witness...
We tend to think of sound as only able to travel through, and into the atmospheres of air or fluid. But It is also now being considered in the area of quantum physics that all matter has memory and is subject to the vibrational influences of sound waves and frequencies. This is Biblically consistent with the related possibility that rocks may very well hear, remember, record, and testify.
At the end of the book of Joshua after the children of Israel had begun to settle in the land and conquer territory Joshua calls the people to submit, commit, and covenant themselves to wholly and faithfully follow the Lord and Him only. After the people make confession to do so...
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 oak that was by the sanctuary of the Lord. And Joshua said to all the people, “Behold, this stone shall be a witness to us, for it has heard all the words of the Lord which He spoke to us. It shall therefore be a witness to you, lest you deny your God.”
— Joshua 24:26-27
Stones are Memorial Objects
Stones have long been an ancient object of memorial as we see is displayed in Joshua when the children of Israel finally settle into the promised land
Take for yourselves twelve stones...these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever
— Joshua 4:3,7
And let us not forget the most memorable tablets of stone given to Moses on Mount Sinai that we are instructed throughout Deuteronomy not to forget
the two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God
— Exodus 31:18
Last but not least, In the Old Testament, altars of stone were built to commemorate an encounter with God as with Noah, Abraham, Manoah, Gideon, Jacob, etc...
Words are Things
It might be helpful for us to understand this concept of how an inanimate object can hear, record, and testify something that that appears to be inanimate if we understand that words are actual things,
In Hebrew, the predominant word for "word" is "davar", and is translated at times, as "thing"
My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing (davar) that is gone out of my lips
— Psalm 89:34
Jesus spoke of words as things that come from the heart in the Gospel of Mark.
There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man
— Mark 7:15
Matthews version of this explains that these "things" that defile are things that come out of our mouth from within us
"Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”
— Matthew 15:11
In relation to this, He also tells us that...
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
— Luke 6:45
We can see here that words have substance and matter, and are "things" that come from our heart and exit our mouth. What comes out of our mouth is so full of substance that we are warned by Jesus that...
every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment
— Matthew 12:36
It's as if Jesus is warning us that everything we speak makes a difference and is heard and recorded for good or for bad. Words are things that matter
Death and life are in the power of the tongue
— Proverbs 18:21
An Excerpt About Words From a Billy Graham Devotional
The Power of Words
There is a story of a woman in England who came to her vicar with a troubled conscience. The vicar knew her to be a habitual gossip—she had maligned nearly everyone in the village. “How can I make amends?” she pleaded. The vicar said, “If you want to make peace with your conscience, take a bag of goose feathers and drop one on the porch of each one you have slandered.” When she had done so, she came back to the vicar and said, “Is that all?” “No,” said the wise old minister, “you must go now and gather up every feather and bring them all back to me.” After a long time the woman returned without a single feather. “The wind has blown them all away,” she said. “My good woman,” said the vicar, “so it is with gossip. Unkind words are easily dropped, but we can never take them back again.”
Might my words about another be ones that are spoken in the spirit of Your loving kindness, Father.
Billy Graham devotional
"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer"
— Psalm 19:14
In conclusion, I hope to inspire a diligent search of the precious gems waiting to be discovered in the truth of His Word. I hope that every time you see a rock you will remember that it cries out and testifies that God the creator of all things is alive and well and worthy of our highest praise!
“You are worthy, O Lord,
To receive glory and honor and power;
For You created all things,
And by Your will they and were created.”
— Revelation 4:11
© 2014 Tamarajo