Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™ I AM Ministries
“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”
Friday, August 16, 2013
Not One Upon Another
If you’ve ever visited Washington, D.C., you have no doubt seen the great stone buildings and monuments that symbolize our nation. With one great block of stone set upon another, the Washington Monument and other U.S. government icons reach for the sky and appear to be permanent features on the majestic landscape. These stones are so huge and sturdy that they imply permanence, causing one to wonder how they were set in place or if they will ever be moved from their current location.
This sense of permanence was pervasive in Jesus’ day. Shortly before His death on the Cross, Jesus left the temple with His disciples. As they exited, one of His disciples said to Him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!” (Mark 13:1). This disciple was awed by the impressive size and workmanship of the building. But Jesus knew what is great and grand to us is just a trifle to God. He replied to His disciple, “Do you see all these great buildings? Not one stone here will be left upon another; every one will be thrown down.” (Mark 13:2).
Astonishment racked the disciple’s brain He was amazed and confused at Jesus’ prediction – how could such a thing happen? Every single stone displaced from its position? Even when an earthquake collapses and destroys an entire building, at least a few of the foundational stones remain upon their base. I must admit I had wondered what force could create such an event. The historical record tells us it happened. Moreover, as a person of faith, I must always remember that if God says He will do something, He will make it happen. Scripture is silent on the details, so how could this come about?
The late singer-songwriter Johnny Cash offers one explanation in his book, “Man In White”, as to how every stone could be thrown down. He speculates that in the fierce heat of the conflagration that burned the temple, the gold became molten due to its low melting point. The Temple contained tons of gold in the sacrificial vessels, golden cornices, gilt lain upon doors and hallways, and in the priest’s golden-threaded garments. In addition, there was gold in the Temple treasury as well as the golden strips, sheets, orbs, and moldings along the temple walls, parapets, and roofs.
Because gold is very heavy, the precious liquid had flowed in shining streams from the fire, running in tiny rivulets, seeking cracks and crevices where gravity would draw it to settle. As it did, the gold disappeared into the depths of the stonework, seemingly safe from human recovery. But as the Romans prepared to leave the city, massive looting began. One night, a group of desert nomads managed to move one of the foundation stones of the Temple. Lining its sides were great sheets of precious gold that had hardened after the fires had been extinguished and the stones had cooled.
The looters were caught and executed for the crime of trying to deny the Romans the spoils of war. The golden sheets were brought to Titus, who was consumed instantly with “gold fever”. Understanding well the potential fortune entombed in the depths of the Temple, Titus ordered that every stone be moved in an effort to find the gold. Not one stone was to be left upon another.
The Roman legion worked overtime in an effort to locate every ounce of gold. The underground chambers and subterranean tunnels were emptied of their secret wealth – hoards of gold coins, precious bars of metal, nuggets, chunks, and sheets of gold were extracted and brought to Titus. Eager to return to Rome, the soldiers worked feverishly and thoroughly, using battering rams to move the giant blocks of stone. When they were done, there was no indication a Temple had ever existed. As Jesus predicted, not one stone was left upon another.
Mr. Cash’s description most likely is a combination of creative thinking mixed with historical fact. Only God knows what really took place during that time. Nevertheless, we know it is normal for God to do what He promises. He has promised us His Son, Jesus Christ, the immovable and solid foundation stone of our faith, is coming again soon. Those who have not built their faith on His foundation will be thrown down like the stones of the Temple.
The size of Earthly objects and treasures clouds our view of the eternal perspective God wishes us to have. They are a stumbling stone to our faith in the One He has sent to save us, just as Jesus was a stumbling stone to those of His generation (Isaiah 8:14). Even today, many stumble and fall on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and those who fall will be broken.
In our search for Truth, we, too, should leave no stone unturned or left upon another. In doing so, we will discover the unsearchable riches of Christ, far more valuable than the gold recovered by Titus (Ephesians 3:8). His glorious riches will strengthen us with power beyond our imagination and will shower us with the perfect love only He can give.
“I’m Normal.™ I AM.”
It’s God Talking to You
In His love and service,
A servant of Jesus Christ
© Copyright 2013, I’m Normal.™ I AM Ministries, All rights reserved
Paperback versions of the book “I’m Normal. I AM” are available through AuthorHouse Publishers at http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/ItemDetail.aspx?bookid=38944
Are You Normal? What’s Normal about You? To find out, visit our website at http://www.imnormal.com