Bricks and stones
After the flood God told Noah and his sons to multiply and fill the earth. So what did they do?
Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.”
And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar.Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” (Genesis 11:1-4)
Instead of obeying God they made bricks and then used those bricks to build a tower and a city to unify them and keep them from being dispersed in accordance with God’s command. I’m sure you know what happened next.
And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.”
So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. (Genesis 11:6-8)
Many years later God commanded Solomon to build a temple so the people would have a place to worship him.
When the house was built, it was with stone prepared at the quarry, so that neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron was heard in the house while it was being built. (1 Kings 6:7)
Solomon’s temple no longer exists but today God is building a different kind of temple.
As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious,you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:4,5)
Those who rebelled against God by building a city and a tower used bricks; God uses stones to build his temple, both the literal temple of Solomon and the spiritual temple he is building today. What is the difference between a brick and a stone?
Bricks are artificial, made by men. You won’t find any occurring in nature. Stones are created by God. They may need to be shaped so they will fit in their intended place but it is God who makes them.
Bricks are uniform and interchangeable. If you build a brick wall you can use any brick at any point in the wall. Each stone is shaped to fit in a specific place in the structure it is being used in. You must put it in the proper spot or it won’t fit.
When a person undertakes a major project he focuses his attention on the project as a whole rather than on the individuals who are involved in it. God cares about each individual and carefully prepares him for the role he has chosen for him. The stones for Solomon’s temple were prepared at the quarry where they originated; the stones for the house he is building now are being prepared on this earth. If our experiences differ from those of another Christian it doesn’t mean that God favors one of us over the other; it just means that God has a different place for each of us in his temple and is shaping each of us to fit that place. Rather than comparing ourselves with others we should concentrate on obeying God and allowing ourselves to be shaped for the place which God has prepared for us.