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Jeremiah 23:29

Is not my word like fire, says the LORD,
and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?

Like fire and a hammer

The largest stone in the foundation wall of the massive expansion of the temple mount undertaken by Herod the Great is 43 feet long and weighs 570 tons. It is beyond me how they cut such stones and placed them in position, but the quarrying of such stones is what comes to my mind when I hear God say through the prophet Is not my word like fire, says the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?”

I suspect God isn’t concerned with turning rocks into gravel, but with the foundation stones upon which the city is built, and with the stonework of the walls and palace and temple. There is great power in the living voice of God that speaks both judgment and grace. But this is not just about power; it is about God as the builder of a holy city, a faithful people, a just community, a city of peace. It is the New Jerusalem God is building – and the word is his fire and hammer, his tools for crafting a holy people and a reborn world.

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