Written in Stone: “an idiom used to emphasize something is fixed and unchangeable, is permanent and cannot be changed; a statement from and by authority, possibly even sacred, but certainly to be followed without modification.”
Moses extends the charge to God’s people – set up large stones with God’s commands written on them, clearly.
Large stones were to be coated with lime; a type of whitewash, to ensure the words would be plainly visible. Moses gave further direction to write the words very distinctly; not one word would be called into question, so that all were without excuse.
As God’s children were ready to begin their new life in the Promised Land these two large stones were to be visible reminders representing the ramification of their choices. His blessings were promised to those who demonstrated their faith in Him by obedience. The curse would come to those who chose to reject Him and His commands.
Then Moses and the elders of Israel charged the people, saying, “Keep all the commandments which I command you today. 2 So it shall be on the day when you cross the Jordan to the land which the Lord your God gives you, that you shall set up for yourself large stones and coat them with lime 3 and write on them all the words of this law… 4 So it shall be when you cross the Jordan, you shall set up on Mount Ebal, these stones, as I am commanding you today, and you shall coat them with lime… 8 You shall write on the stones all the words of this law very distinctly,” (27:1-3,4,8).
The large stones were to be strategically placed on two mountains on either side of the Shechem Valley. The mountains encompassing the valley provided amplified acoustics to create a kind of natural amphitheater.
Imagine the cacophony of sound emanating from those mountain peaks as the curses were read with a loud voice and all the people agreed in a rousing chorus of “Amen!” Everyone’s attention was riveted as they heard His Words Written in Stone.
Moses also charged the people on that day, saying, 12 “When you cross the Jordan, these shall stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin. 13 For the curse, these shall stand on Mount Ebal: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali.14 The Levites shall then answer and say to all the men of Israel with a loud voice… And all the people shall answer and say, ‘Amen,’” (27:11-28).
How good is our God to direct His people to distinctly write on the stones and corporately proclaim What He Has Written in Stone, so that none would miss His commands or His heart, to bless His people for all eternity.
Consider What He Has Written in Stone
- He Has Written in Stone His Commands
- You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you, (Deuteronomy 4:2).
- He Has Written in Stone His Blessings (a result of obedience)
- “Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever!” (Deuteronomy 5:29).
- He Has Written in Stone His Curses (a consequence of disobedience)
- Thus says the Lord,
“Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind
And makes flesh his strength,
And whose heart turns away from the Lord.
6 For he will be like a bush in the desert
And will not see when prosperity comes,
But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness,
A land of salt without inhabitant,” (Jeremiah 17:5-6).
- Thus says the Lord,
- He Has Written in Stone His Covenant
- “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people,” (Jeremiah 31:33).
- “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances,” (Ezekiel 36:26-27).
How do we respond to What He Has Written in Stone?
- What He Has Written in Stone is fixed and unchangeable, permanent and cannot be changed and must certainly be followed without modification.
- “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: 27 the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, which I am commanding you today; 28 and the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today, by following other gods which you have not known,” (Deuteronomy 11:26-28).
- God has given us free will and set the choice before us. Listen to His commandments and choose His blessing; or refuse to listen, turn aside from the way and choose the curse.
- “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…” (Acts 16:30-31).
- Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me,” (John 14:16).
- And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life, (1 John 5:11-12).
- We are given a choice and we are all without excuse; for His Word has expressed the truth very distinctly, as distinctly as that which is Written in Stone.
- The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief corner stone, (Psalm 118:22).
- Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone which the builders rejected,
This became the chief corner stone;
This came about from the Lord,
And it is marvelous in our eyes’?” (Matthew 21:42).
- He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone, (Acts 4:11).
- The stone which the builders rejected
Is He marvelous in our eyes? Jesus, the Stone rejected by those who chose to turn aside from the way in attempt to build their own way; Is He marvelous in our eyes?
- Jesus, the Chief Corner Stone is King of Kings and Lord of Lords; it is Written in Stone.
- And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS,” (Revelation 19:16).
- When we place our faith in Jesus, the Chief Corner Stone, we receive His greatest blessing and are made new by His Holy Spirit; we are His new creation, Written in Stone.
- Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come, (2 Corinthians 5:17).
- When we place our faith in Jesus, the Chief Corner Stone, we are set free from the curse, are brought into covenant relationship with Holy God, and are forever His, Written in Stone.
- “To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it,” (Revelation 2:17).
Let’s end our time today in personal reflection.
- Are you certain your name is Written in Stone as forever His, the recipient of His eternal blessing, fixed and unchangeable?
- “He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels,” (Revelation 3:5).
- And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire, [Revelation 20:15).
One day this life will pass, and our eternity will be fixed, Written in Stone.
He has set before us the blessing of His Son and eternity with Him, or the curse of hell and eternal separation from Holy God.
If you have never fixed your faith in His salvation, do not let this day pass without choosing to surrender to Jesus. Acknowledge you are a sinner in need of salvation, and ask Him, by faith, to be your Savior.
I pray that this very day you will choose to surrender your life to Jesus and place your faith in His finished work on the cross, in His eternity Written in Stone.