“…you shall not build it of hewn stone; for if you use your tool on it, you have profaned it.”
– Exodus 20:25
To hewn was to shape rock or wood by “cutting with blows of a heavy cutting instrument.” As God gave instruction for an altar, He did not want it built with human-made instruments. It could be that the iron in the tools stood for war, while God stood for peace. Maybe iron implements used in war represented the taking of life, while God wanted to be viewed as the life-giver. Since the Lord referenced idols here, it more than likely is God’s desire that none of the stones even have a hint of representing anything worth worshiping.
While being built, the people were to use the raw materials that God had provided. They were not to shape them by their own design and cut them to size to fit where they wanted them to go. They were to use the Lord’s instructions and not their own.
The Bible says the human heart is desperately wicked and the mortal mind leans on its own understanding. Not only that, we go our own direction when all along God has given us clear instructions and paths for our lives through His Word.
Jesus wants His church built, and His people taught. That is very often our hearts as well. However, more times than not, we veer from the original design. We put our hands on what the Lord has implemented and established, and we shape things into what we want, not what He wants. When we do that, the work of man becomes more important than the worship of God.
The Lord said, “In every place where I record My name, I will come to you, and I will bless you.” That is the promise, but has it been fulfilled in your life yet? Has His name been recorded as Savior in your heart? And if it has, are you allowing Him to fulfill His promise to you?
If you claim to be a Christ-follower yet are not seeing His peace in your life, could it be that you are using your own materials? Are you attempting to build what you want rather than what He said? It is never too late to go back to the original blueprints in God’s Word. Replace the hewn stones you carved and set up and begin building with what He has provided. His design is the only thing that will stand.
“Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock.”
– Jesus (Luke 6:47-48)