Stones Of Stumbling

He will be as a sanctuary, But a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense To both the houses of Israel, As a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
—  Isaiah 8:14 NKJV

God created man as a tri-part being consisting of spirit, soul, and body. That order was reversed after man’s sin in the Garden of Eden, the order of focus becoming body, soul, and spirit. Geographically, no place on earth can house spirit. God, our Father, is Spirit, and He dwells in the hearts and lives of His people. It has always been in His heart to have a family, a people to be His living temple. Christ is our sanctuary! Even though we go to specific places of worship, we are temples of God gathering together for fellowship and edification. Christ as our sanctuary is more than an identity; He is our life.

One of Christ’s greatest attributes is that He and He alone is TRUTH. Just as Christ is uncreated, so also is TRUTH; it transcends man’s opinions and judgments. As such, TRUTH is a stumbling stone to those who cannot see; an obstacle to those who cannot hear; an impediment to those who cannot or will not believe. Not only is it a stone, then, but also a rock of offense. All of us grow up embracing various viewpoints regarding life and the world. Our understanding is based on knowledge taught to us by preceding generations and in the particular educational systems we come from. We are all raised with different belief systems and this becomes a lens which determines how we view right and wrong. There is a better way, however, a righteous way, a holy way, a more glorious way, a way designed by none other than our heavenly Father Himself.

He is not violent or angry, dead set on dealing a blow to us. No, He is kind, loving, gracious, and merciful, always wanting us to come to the TRUTH. But when the TRUTH is revealed, it causes many of us to become agitated, annoyed, and upset. Why? As humans, we must learn what the language of the Spirit is, and when we don’t understand, TRUTH becomes an obstacle and a rock of offense. We often read in the Scriptures of God’s anger being kindled, or of His violent dealings with sinful nations, or even of His “divorcing” the very people whom He delivered from Egypt. These examples notwithstanding, the Scriptures reveal to us a Father God who continues to give people chance upon chance. He is forever merciful. GRACE and TRUTH are fundamental to His nature.

Even when we repeatedly refuse to accept the TRUTH, God continues faithfully to show us His ways daily. He seeks our correction, not because He wants to be right—remember, God is righteous—but because He wants to reveal to us our identity in Him. He wants to imbue us with His knowledge and understanding. We have a choice to make knowing that He is the Rock. We can bend our knees and submit to Him or the Rock can fall on us, and crush every contrary belief. If we don’t possess the truth, we can’t lead others to it. We truly become the blind leading the blind. Representatives of the Father lead people to follow in His footsteps.

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