Join me on a journey through time. Back to a small town in the 1980’s. Like many small towns, this one has more churches than stoplights. One church, in particular, stands taller than the rest. St.John’s United. Open the ornate doors. Climb the squeaky stairs, past the “no confetti” regulatory sign, into the sanctuary. Red light from stained glass bathes the hardwood pews. Take a seat.
The title of today’s sermon is: “Inanimate witness”. Please open your Bible to: Joshua 24:26-27
From the New World Translation:
26 Then Joshua wrote these words in hte book of God’s law and took a great stone and set it up there under the massive tree that is by the sanctuary of Jehovah 27 And Joshua went on to say to all the people: “Look! This stone is what will serve as a witness against us, because it has itself heard all the sayings of Jehovah that he has spoken with us, and it must serve as a witness against YOU, that YOU may not deny YOUR God.”
From the New Student Bible (NIV):
26 And Joshua recorded these things in the Book of the Law of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak near the holy place of the LORD. 27 “See!” he said to all the people. “This stone will be a witness against us. It has heard all the words the LORD has said to us. It will be a witness against you if you are untrue to your God.”
That’s right folks. If you need an alibi in court, just use a rock. They make great witnesses. My question is, why did Joshua use a stone at all? There was a perfectly good oak tree right there already. I guess trees have been known to perjure themselves on the witness stand.
Just one more question – if stones are such great witnesses, can someone please ask the stone that was rolled away from Jesus’ tomb what really happened that day?