I read this verse the other day and noticed something rather odd. Have a look:
Andsaid unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the LORD which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God. Joshua 24:27
This isn’t the only place the Bible talks about minerals listening:
Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. Deuteronomy 32:1
Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. Isaiah 1:2
Now that’s some strange stuff! But pretty cool for geologists and astronomers.
Turns out this is only the beginning of what the inanimate [unconscious] world does in the Bible. You might remember this first one from Palm Sunday:
And [Jesus] answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. Luke 19:40
And who can forget what happened when Abel was murdered:
Genesis 4:10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.
But there’s more!
For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it. Habakkuk 2:11
If my land cry against me, or that the furrows likewise thereof complain; Job 31:38
Well so far things have been rather distressing for the poor planet. Let’s see what it does when Jesus returns to set everything right again!
Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: Psalm 96:12a
Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity. Psalm 98:8-9
The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God. Isaiah 35:1-2
Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the LORD hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. Isaiah 52:9
For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Isaiah 55:12
Sure, we are the only part of God’s creation made in His image, but God cares about everything He makes. Even the misuse the ground goes through because of sin today will one day be corrected.
Am I likely to start talking to the gravel out back now? Probably not, but these ideas give a whole new dimension to this verse:
Because the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Romans 8:21