As it is written and forever remains written, “Behold I am laying in Zion a Stone of stumbling and a Rock of offense; And he who believes in Him [whoever adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] will not be disappointed [in his expectations].”
As it is written, Behold I am laying in Zion a Stone that will make men stumble, a Rock that will make them fall; but he who believes in Him [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] shall not be put to shame nor be disappointed in his expectations.
As it is written in the Scripture: “[L Look; T Behold] I will put in ·Jerusalem [L Zion; C a poetic term for Jerusalem and symbolizing the nation Israel] a stone that causes people to stumble, a rock that makes them fall [Is. 8:14]. Anyone who ·trusts [believes; has faith] in him will never be ·disappointed [put to shame; disgraced; Is. 28:16].”
As it is written in the Scripture: “I will put in Jerusalem a stone that causes people to stumble. It is a rock that makes them fall. Anyone who trusts in him will not be disappointed.” Isaiah 8:14; 28:16
Now, how far have we got? That the Gentiles who never had the Law’s standard of righteousness to guide them, have attained righteousness, righteousness-by-faith. but Israel, following the Law of righteousness, failed to reach the goal of righteousness. And why? Because their minds were fixed on what they achieved instead of on what they believed. They tripped over that very stone the scripture mentions: ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offence, and whoever believes on him will not be put to shame’.
Who in the world do you think you are to second-guess God? Do you for one moment suppose any of us knows enough to call God into question? Clay doesn’t talk back to the fingers that mold it, saying, “Why did you shape me like this?” Isn’t it obvious that a potter has a perfect right to shape one lump of clay into a vase for holding flowers and another into a pot for cooking beans? If God needs one style of pottery especially designed to show his angry displeasure and another style carefully crafted to show his glorious goodness, isn’t that all right? Either or both happens to Jews, but it also happens to the other people. Hosea put it well: I’ll call nobodies and make them somebodies; I’ll call the unloved and make them beloved. In the place where they yelled out, “You’re nobody!” they’re calling you “God’s living children.” Isaiah maintained this same emphasis: If each grain of sand on the seashore were numbered and the sum labeled “chosen of God,” They’d be numbers still, not names; salvation comes by personal selection. God doesn’t count us; he calls us by name. Arithmetic is not his focus. Isaiah had looked ahead and spoken the truth: If our powerful God had not provided us a legacy of living children, We would have ended up like ghost towns, like Sodom and Gomorrah. How can we sum this up? All those people who didn’t seem interested in what God was doing actually embraced what God was doing as he straightened out their lives. And Israel, who seemed so interested in reading and talking about what God was doing, missed it. How could they miss it? Because instead of trusting God, they took over. They were absorbed in what they themselves were doing. They were so absorbed in their “God projects” that they didn’t notice God right in front of them, like a huge rock in the middle of the road. And so they stumbled into him and went sprawling. Isaiah (again!) gives us the metaphor for pulling this together: Careful! I’ve put a huge stone on the road to Mount Zion, a stone you can’t get around. But the stone is me! If you’re looking for me, you’ll find me on the way, not in the way.
The Holy Writings say, “See! I put in Jerusalem a Stone that people will trip over. It is a Rock that will make them fall. But the person who puts his trust in the Rock (Christ) will not be put to shame.”
God warned them of this in the Scriptures when he said, “I am placing a stone in Jerusalem that makes people stumble, a rock that makes them fall. But anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”
as it is written, Lo! I put a stone of offence in Sion, and a stone of stumbling; and each that shall believe in it, shall not be confounded. [as it is written, Lo! I put a stone of spurning in Sion, and a stone of offence; and each that shall believe into it, shall not be confounded, or shamed.]
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