November 17, 2023
Because most of us do not work in construction (and none of us worked in building in the time of Isaiah!), it is hard to understand the significance of the image God uses in Isaiah 28:16 of the cornerstone God would lay in Zion.
In the construction of Isaiah's day, everything began and stood on the reliability of the cornerstone. It must be firmly placed, a stone that would not crack nor break, and of the best material. The solidity and reliability of the entire building rested on this stone. The direction of this stone aligned everything in the building. It was the first stone laid and the most important.
The people in Isaiah's day were running here and there, trusting in all kinds of humanistic strength and false gods (some things never change). God is warning them and also calling them to trust in Him.
He speaks of the cornerstone that he would soon lay, which the New Testament continually reminds us, is Christ (1 Peter 2:4–7; Rom. 9:33; Mark 12:10; Ps. 118:22). And oh, what a stone this is!
Therefore, thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed. (Isaiah 28:16)
A DIVINELY LAID STONE
The stone for the foundation of our faith is not laid by us, nor even by Christ. "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone," God says. He is both Architect and Builder, perfect in His choice of the Stone and its placement! What He was laying was precise, lasting, and reliable. Everything would be built upon this stone.
A TESTED STONE
God had tested and approved this stone. Therefore, it was not a stone that would fail in the building of the structure. It could carry the weight. It would never fail.
A COSTLY STONE
This was no piece of junk or cheap substitute. Christ was/is the most precious, costly foundation stone in all the universe. He is the only begotten Son of God. He came at the greatest price (leaving heaven) and gave the most precious cost (His life-blood) to be laid as the Cornerstone of our faith.
A FIRMLY PLACED STONE
It is possible in building to lay a stone improperly. To not prepare the soul for it to be laid evenly or firmly. If so, it will shift and turn. Everything that is built upon it will feel the effects. There will be no safety or security in such a stone. Not so with Christ. He was placed by God, and He is "firmly placed."
A RELIABLE STONE
What is the conclusion for us? "He who believes in it will never be disturbed." The last word is hard to translate, for it has multiple meanings. It means we are safe, not disappointed in what we're trusting in, not in a hurry, but can relax and rest. We do not have to be concerned with this stone or tiptoe, thinking it might fall at any moment or disappoint us. It is no balancing act with a fear that the stone might shift. Christ, our Cornerstone will never disappoint us!
This is why David would often use the picture of a rock-solid God in whom He trusted. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken. (Psalm 62:2)
So, what am I trusting in today? On whom am I relying? If I am looking to myself, others, society, the stock market—anything else—it will shift and fail. (By the way, my prayer life will indicate what I'm really trusting. If I am not praying and feel no urgency to be unceasing in my prayers, it clearly indicates I think I can handle life by myself … that I do not need the Rock!)
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