Chiseled Stones
Written by Pastor Rob Alfalah   


(All Bible Quotations from the NASB)

 

I’m not as young as I used to be and I’m constantly reminded of that by friends, family and colleagues.  My brother especially reminds me of it when he notices

my stubborn belly fat that won’t go away and says things like,
     “Remember when you had an awesome 6-pack?” 
     Yes…  Yes, I do.  I’m hoping to regain that physique (somewhat, at least) by exercising regularly and eating better so that I can cut away the excessive, stubborn fat and get my muscles in shape again. Maybe, just maybe, I can be chiseled again!    

 

In describing the building of Solomon’s Temple, the Bible lists many of the materials and personnel that would be used to erect one of the seven ancient wonders of the world. The main material used to solidify this edifice was stone. 1 Kings 6:7 describes to us that these stones were “prepared at the quarry, and there was neither hammer nor axe nor any iron tool heard in the house while it was being built.”  Now, how were stones prepared in antiquity? By chiseling, shaping and cutting them so that they can fit together properly. Why does the author include this brief detail regarding the stones? Is it purely to give us insight into how the Temple was made? There are actually deeper lessons for us today that we can glean from this whole process.    

 

God’s true Temple - His ultimate dwelling place - is in Heaven (Hebrews 8:1-2; Revelation 11:19; 15:5) from which the earthly Temple was patterned.  But, God has a Temple on Earth. No, it’s not a literal building somewhere in Israel or any other place for that matter. It is His church. And just like in Solomon’s day, God’s Temple (i.e. church) is built of stones. 1 Peter 2:4-5 uses this metaphor stating that Jesus is the “living Stone” but that we (His people) are also “living stones” being “built up as a spiritual house” to the Lord [emphasis supplied].      

 

Paul uses the same type of analogy in Ephesians 2:19-22. In v. 20, He calls Jesus the Cornerstone of God’s house.  All the Apostles and prophets who form the foundation of God’s Temple today are lined up next to that perfect Cornerstone, Jesus Christ. He goes on to say in vv. 21-22, that God seeks to “fit” his stones together that they may be built “into a dwelling of God”. These stones aren’t just “fit” together. The literal Greek means “to join closely together”. God wants His people (i.e. His stones) to be joined closely together that He may build His church in our community. Are we/you allowing Him to do that? But how does God fit His stones so closely together?    

 

Well, what happened to the stones before they were placed in any building? They were carved, chiseled and cut - shaped to fit perfectly and seamlessly into that building. As a matter of fact, the men involved in this process were so adept at carving and chiseling the stones that some structures in antiquity had stones that were so “jointly fit together” that a piece of paper could not even fit between them. God is trying to shape us in such a way so that nothing can slip between us. He wants His Temple on Earth to be so tightly fit, that nothing can tear it down! Do you want that for our church? Are you going to submit to the Chief Stonecutter and allow Him to do that work in your life?    

 

Now I want to share a more personal application. In 1 Kings 6:7, where were the stones chiseled and shaped? Answer: at the quarry, away from the Temple site. No carving or chiseling was done at the Temple site, right? Where is God’s ultimate dwelling place where His Temple really is? In Heaven (see Matthew 5:34-35; 23:21-22). What does this teach us? We, as individual stones are cut, shaped and chiseled away from the Temple (i.e. Heaven) site. The cutting, shaping and chiseling is done at the quarry here on Earth.      

 

We as living stones are shaped away from Heaven to be fit into God’s heavenly Temple. He wants to cut out the “excess fat” in our lives - those stubborn things we constantly hold onto that weigh us down in our spiritual walk. What is that in your life? What is keeping you from being in the best spiritual shape you can possibly be? Unplug and spend good quality time with the Lord in prayer asking Him to chisel you that you may not only fit into His Temple here on Earth, but that you may fit into His everlasting kingdom as well!

 

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