“Stones not Bricks: You are the Standard for Normal” -Joshua Dale, guest post

My friend Joshua blogs over at http://tommarroww.wordpress.com/.  We met last year when we both ended up in the same small group.   Joshua has studied Hebrew for many years.  He’s helped open my eyes to how incredibly rich the scriptures are.  Although Joshua is very knowledgeable, I also feel like he is one of the most humble people I’ve met.  Today he’ll help us look at scripture on a deeper level, but in a way that is completely applicable to life.   I hope this post vibes with you the way it did with me.

You are the Standard for Normal

Everywhere a person turns, he is confronted with ‘normals’ and ‘averages’.  Anyone who deviates too far from these standards is treated to correct the ‘problem’.  Where does this concept come from?  More important, what is God’s take on this?

The concept goes back thousands of years to bricks and stones.

Bricks are first mentioned in Gen 11:3.  3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. KJV

After the flood, people gather together under the direction of Nimrod in rebellion to God’s commandment to fill the earth (Gen 1:28, Gen 9:1).  They build a city with an obelisk (similar to the Washington Monument) so that they would not be scattered across the earth.

The next mention of bricks isn’t until Ex 1:14 after Pharaoh enslaved Israel:  14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour. KJV

What are the characteristics of bricks?

  • They are all made the same
  • They are made by people
  • They are made of the earth
  • They are made with straw (back then) (Ex 5:7) which is related to the Hebrew word for ‘son’ (another article)
  • They represent slavery
  • They are used to build the kingdoms of men

Stones are related to bricks in that they are made of the earth yet they are very different.

What are the characteristics of stone?

  • They are all unique
  • They are made by God
  • They are made of the earth
  • They represent the children of God/ Abraham (Luke 3:8)
  • They are used to build the altar of God (Ex 20:25)
  • They represent the unity of God (av (אב) is ‘father’, ben (בן) is ‘son’, aven (אבן) is ‘stone’ or ‘rock’)

The core of our society is Babylonian/ Egyptian.  Our society, one aspect of ancient Babylon, expects us to be bricks.  From the time we are young, we are taught how to do things ‘the right way’, stand in line, how to dress for success, and expected to be ‘normal’.  If you don’t fall within a certain weight range, you are over/ underweight.  If you don’t have a bunch of friends, you’re not popular.  If you don’t make so much money and have x type of things, you’re not successful.

It is easy to see these things in society yet what may not be readily obvious is the Church system, religious Babylon (Rev 18; spec. v. 13), is the same way.  “This is how you worship”, “Ten Steps to Walking like Christ”, and “There are no Mavericks in the Kingdom of God”.  (The first two mentioned in and of themselves are not bad; it’s the expectation that a person must do those things to worship and walk like the Messiah.)  If you don’t dress a certain way, you’re immodest or a Satanist; if you drink or smoke you’re not a good Christian; if you don’t agree with the Church you’re a heretic; non-Christian music is of the devil.  And so on.

All of this is to produce bricks, slaves (look at Church history).  Jesus dealt with the same thing in his day.  Hence why he said,
Matt 11:28-30
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. KJV

Who has God created you to be?  The people who have the most impact in both the Kingdom of God and the world are stones.  Look at Abraham, Samson, Ezekiel, Jesus, Paul, Martin Luther, Isaac Newton, Nicola Tesla, Albert Einstein, and Katy Perry.  None of the above were counted as ‘normal’ by their society or religious system.

You are the standard for normal.  God made you who you are.  If you are not who God made you to be, then from His perspective, you are abnormal, scientifically: a mutation.  So what if you don’t raise your hands and make a joyful noise at the top of your lungs to a praise song.  If God created you with the gift of encouragement, then that is your worship.  If He created you with the ability to study and write, then that is your form of worship.  Everything you do is worship.  The real question is who are you worshiping?

Who are you?  That is who you need to be.  Organizations and their members won’t like you.  They will tear you down, call you a heretic, chew you up, spit you out, and walk all over you.  They have made men their god.

The heart of the matter is love.  The two greatest commandments upon which all other commandments are built are commandments to love (Lev 19:18, Deut 6:5, Matt 22:37-40).  If who you are, what you do, how you look, how you talk is not contrary to love, there is nothing wrong with you.  You are the standard for normal, never forget that.

The meaning of life, why you are here is to live life and enjoy it (Ecc 11:9).  If we are not enjoying life, we are not living.  If we are not living we feel dead.  When we feel dead, we are unhappy.  And when we are unhappy, we become depressed.  When we are depressed, our appetites (for life and deriving enjoyment from it) go numb.  After our appetites go numb, we are dead though we are alive.

The purpose of life, what we are supposed to do, again, Solomon says, “Fear God and guard his commandments for this is the purpose of mankind for God will bring every action into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.”  (Ecc 12:13-14)  In Hebrew, purpose is ‘kol’ (כל) which is all, whole, everything, sum.  Guard is ‘shomer’ (שמר) which is to keep, protect, guard with your every breath of life.

You have a life to live.  The four things above, in order: love, fearing God and keep His commandments, enjoying life, and measuring who you are and how you express yourself by who God created you to be, is the door to life like you never imagined (I personally testify to this).  Everything you do will be a blessing to others and make a positive difference in their life (though they may not see it that way).  You will be giving of your abundance, not your lack.  Be the stone God created you to be.


5 thoughts on ““Stones not Bricks: You are the Standard for Normal” -Joshua Dale, guest post”

  1. “The four things above, in order: love, fearing God and keep His commandments, enjoying life, and measuring who you are and how you express yourself by who God created you to be, is the door to life like you never imagined (I personally testify to this).”

    I think when I first read this sentence, the “christian filter” I’ve been trained to have was worried you were saying these things were necessary for salvation. However, I realized that wasn’t the point. But this DOES make sense of why the law of God ever existed in the first place. There was a reason, and, like you said, it’s to be able to experience LIFE…

    mmmm, good stuff. So ya know how some of the stuff I’ve shared that you’ve been confused by…well in your words, what I think it all comes down to is that I’ve slowly been changing from a brick into a stone.

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