Box of Rocks

a bowl of mineral stones

Dumber Than a Box of Rocks

When I was going to school, we did not have “political correctness.” At one time or another, I was literally called every name in the book. Really. If you can find that book, I’m sure there’s nothing in there that I haven’t been called, but I survived.

One thing that I was called in my childhood was, “You’re dumber than a box of rocks.” Perhaps this verbal pummeling contributed to my life-long commitment to learning something in every subject. From the history of the Olmec tribe in what is now present-day Mexico to the recent success in physics where they were able to “freeze” an electron, I had striven to raise the collective knowledge of a box of rocks.

So, I find it interesting that John the Baptist seems to imply that the Pharisees were dumber than a box of rocks. John the Baptist was the last, and the greatest, of the Old Testament prophets. And, the Old Testament prophets are known as guys that didn’t pull any punches and most definitely were not politically correct. Here’s the passage:

Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 

Luke 3:8

Between the Lines

Granted, he didn’t say they were more spiritually challenged than hard, compacted minerals. But having, myself, been called “dumber than a box of rocks” I can see this between the lines. 😉

And John the Baptist’s derision didn’t stop with these statements. In the previous verse, he had already called them, “You brood of vipers!” This seems to be a popular taunt as Jesus also called to the Pharisees, “You brood of vipers!” And the topic of rocks comes up again during Jesus’ triumphal entrance into Jerusalem, when He tells the Pharisees:

And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He [Jesus] answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

Luke 19:39–40

Again, when I read between the lines it seems like Jesus is saying that the stones know who I am; if the people didn’t praise me, these rocks would. So where does that put you on the spiritual awareness gauge? Yep, dumber than a box of rocks.

Now you may call me insensitive and calloused to bring again to our attention the name calling that every prophet participated in. It seems that they were saying what God was thinking. I’m reminded of a joke about the difference between an artist and a crazy person:

An artist walks into a McD’s bare naked and wonders what people are thinking. A crazy person walks into a McD’s bare naked.

Good News

Do you remember the things Elijah said to the ungodly prophets of Baal?

And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” 

1 Kings 18:27

Perhaps your god is “relieving himself.” That’s rather harsh, but not as much as what happened after God exonerated Himself. Elijah killed the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah. 

So my point for this post is not to be derisive, not to taunt wicked people, and certainly not to do any kind of physical harm to anyone. My point is that we should never cower in fear from wicked people. We should never question our beliefs when wicked people write wicked things about us or people like us. And we certainly should never retreat from God’s call upon our lives when wicked people challenge us, confront us, or call us socially inappropriate names. We just need to remember that they’re spiritually dumber than a box of rocks. 😀 

Photo by Susan Wilkinson on Unsplash


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