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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Insulted (11/01/04)

TITLE: The Rock of Offense
By John Hunt


The abstruse stone tumbled down the Kidron Valley, while a slight cheer could be heard emanating from the crowd. Despite the levity, a certain kind of sadness lingered in the air, a semblance of despondency that surrounded the Temple Mount. It had really been a magnificent stone, no matter how awkward and conspicuous it was.

The supervisors at the construction site had become enraged at receiving such a stone from the carvers. It was so obviously flawed to them, so apparently misshapen, that they had become offended.

“What manner of man would be so brazen to send such a stone to the holy site?”

Indeed, the site was so holy that the stones weren’t even shaped there. The massive stones were all cut and finished at the quarry, as no sound of axe or iron tool was allowed inside the temple. So, it was no wonder that the men were offended at its presence.

In their disdain, the supervisors overseeing the site commanded the stone to be thrown into the Kidron Valley. The Kidron Valley was a deep valley beside the Temple Mount that had become a sort of dumping ground for the construction site, containing broken stones, parts of donkey carts, and assorted rubble. There were a few dissenters, but by and large, the workers were more than happy to comply with the decree and ergo put the entire embarrassing matter behind them.

Work continued at the construction site, while the nation of Israel prepared for the opening of the grand structure. There would be prayers, and praises, and shouts of hosannas in the streets. No longer would they come to a tent to worship; they would have a temple to worship their God.

As construction neared completion, and as the time of the opening approached, work seemed to reach a fevered pace. Suddenly, a fury of anxiety enveloped the worksite, as one of the workers ran up to the head foreman.

“Sir, we’re missing a stone.”

At first, the supervisor seemed unshaken. “A missing stone? Where? Show me.”

The beleaguered worker responded. “It is the cornerstone.”

A look of horror overcame the supervisor. The cornerstone is a special stone that is laid at the front of a building in the corner, usually during a special opening ceremony. It is considered to be the most important stone, and a building cannot be completed without it.

The workers were beside themselves. How could the carvers have forgotten the cornerstone?

Just when hope seemed to fail them, and when all seemed lost, one of the workers remembered the stone that was discarded into the Kidron Valley.

The workers hastily retrieved the stone from the valley, while the supervisors realized the mistake they had made. They had discarded the most rare and beautiful stone of all.

The tale of the rejected stone - the rock of offense - has been told and retold throughout the land of Israel for many generations. Indeed, the saying is well known, even to this day.

"See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame." Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, "The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone," and, "A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall."

1 Peter 2:6-9

Member Comments
Member Date
DeAnna Brooks11/08/04
John, this brought freshly to my mind "The Mistaken Stone." Such a powerful message, personally, is carried in the stone the builders rejected. One I would do well to meditate on throughout each day. Lord, give us eyes to see "the rejecting" woven into my own day. And give me the strength to 'pull you up from the valley' and place you as the corner stone in my own life.
God Bless, John....I love what your words stir in my heart.
darlene hight11/08/04
Great entry!Throwing out the cornerstone,how often do all of us doing that in our little insignificant building projects.
Lynda Lee Schab 11/08/04
Once again, a wonderful piece! Although I've heard the saying so many times, I have never thought about what it really means. Thanks for this awesome (and much needed) word this morning.
Blessings, Lynda
Corinne Smelker 11/08/04
I could see immediately where you were going with this - but it is so well written - bravo!
Lucian Thompson11/08/04
John, this article is so well crafted. It really shows this moment in time in an interesting and thought provoking way. Very enjoyable read.
Lois Jennison Tribble11/08/04
Great job of breathing life into a phrase we frequently use thoughtlessly. This is good for a read, and then a re-read.
Debbie OConnor11/08/04
Great job, as always! Powerful message, beautifully worded.
Deborah Anderson11/08/04
Another good one John. Well done. God bless you.
Mary Elder-Criss11/09/04
You certainly put a whole new spin on this familiar scripture for me. As usual, excellent writing. Thanks for sharing. Blessings! Mary
Carolyn Greene11/09/04
Your topic selection was excellent and your writing easy to follow.
Rita Garcia11/09/04
John, As always I am in awe of your gift for writing. I am thankful you use your talent to glorify Him, and enrich the lives of others. Blessings, Rita
Verlie Ruhl11/11/04
Wonderful work; good insight, and great writing. I like how your story emphasizes the way so many Old Testament events were a foreshadowing of Christ.
Joanne Malley11/11/04
I loved your application for the theme this week. Good writing as usual--and thanks for the insightful bible lesson.
Blessings, Jo
Kenny Paul Clarkson11/13/04
John, This was a well-crafted piece of art; vivid application of biblical truth. Also, I took a look at your article on stem-cell research. Excellent material.