Foolish sand ∙

Foolish sand ∙

Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. – Matthew 7:24

Matthew 7:24-27

 24 Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.

 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.

 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand.

 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.

The world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, is a skyscraper in Dubai, UAE. Work began on the building on January 6, 2004. It was completed on October 1, 2009. It is 2722 feet tall and has 163 floors.

Such a structure required a deep and solid foundation. The Burj Khalifa’s foundation is made up of 192 piles of steel and concrete that go nearly 17 stories into the ground.

You need to build down to build up. It begins with a suitable location. Who would be moronic enough to build in a flood zone or a dried-up riverbed? The ultimate folly found in construction is giving no thought to the location or foundation.

The same is true in spiritual formation. Building a strong, vibrant spiritual life also requires a firm foundation. Sadly, most people never give their spiritual foundation any serious consideration. They just start building haphazardly, a little here and a little there. When the storms of life come, it can lead to disaster.

Wise choices begin by asking wise, probing questions. Upon what are you building your life? What is the safest most secure choice? Does your trusted foundation have a fiduciary responsibility for your welfare?

Advice is plentiful. Bad, deficient advice is even more plentiful. Some will say to follow your passion. Others will say to seek wealth and material success, which will lead to a life of ease. Some people will counsel to pursue love, find the right person, and settle down. Regrettably, as fallen creatures living in a fallen world, even the best advice is often flawed.

Each child of the King must seek the best wisest counsel available. Choose your advisor well. The Scriptures are full of satisfied, successful counselees. The Father, and His Son the Lord Jesus Christ, have a solid track record that spans the millennia.

The Lord Jesus Christ provides the best of all counsel. Listening to His teaching and acting upon it, provides a sure foundation for life.

REFLECT & PRAY

“Joyful obedience to Christ creates a firm foundation for living. Those who obey out of love for Jesus build a solid life for themselves of strength and endurance. Terrible storms may hit them, but they can never destroy them.” (Stanley).

Father, help me to hear, reflect upon. and obey the words of the Lord Jesus Christ.

INSIGHT

The Sermon on the Mount was given near the Sea of Galilee. The soil surrounding the Sea of Galilee consists of alluvial sand. It was hard on the surface during the heat of summer. But during the winter, when rains came, the alluvial surface of sand would become soggy and unstable. However, approximately 10 feet below the surface of the sand, there was bedrock. To build a stable structure, a wise builder had only to dig down to the bedrock and begin there.

“Houses built on bedrock would be able to withstand the floods. Excavations in the late 1970s in the region uncovered basalt stone bedrock that was apparently used for the foundation of a building in antiquity” (Wilkins).

Before the modern age, before the invention of planet-killing nuclear weapons and existential dread, natural disasters were people’s greatest fear. The Ancient Middle East was subject to periodic famines and earthquakes. But the most common and frequent natural catastrophes were floods. This is the cultural background against which the Lord Jesus Christ spoke. His audience knew well the dangers of building on a poor foundation.

Matthew 7:24-26

 24 Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.

 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand.

When the Lord Jesus Christ closed the sermon on the Mount with the parable of the builders and the foundations, He did not pull any punches. When He spoke His words were direct, plain, clear, penetrating the soul and spirit. They are intended to create a bit of discomfort, stimulate reflection, and spur self-evaluation.

Lord Jesus Christ describes two individuals, one had chosen wisely, and the other has been a fool. The Greek word translated as fool is moro. Moro describes someone devoid of wisdom, good sense, or sound judgment. The English word moron is derived from moro.

He explained that the wise man excavated down to the bedrock. He built his house on a firm foundation. The foolish man built a similar structure upon the sand. The foundation of one man’s house is solid, and that of the other is unreliable. Strong rains and consequent floods reveal the quality of the foundation upon which the structure was built. The fool’s thinking was literally way too shallow.

“The man who builds his house upon the shifting foundation is likened to the person who hears Jesus’ words but who does not put them to practice. The man who builds his house upon the rock is likened to the person who not only hears Jesus’ words but also puts them into practice. The difference between the two houses is therefore likened to the difference between obedience and disobedience” (Carson).

Becoming familiar with the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ is vital. But familiarity and even agreeing with Him is insufficient. It is one thing to hear what He said and even approve of it, it is quite another to obey and put it into practice.

Everyone that hears His words, either responds positively and follows through, or responds negatively and does not. There are no other options. There is no middle ground. The storms of life reveal the strength of the foundation upon which we have built our lives.

The Word of God is the owner’s manual for the human race. We “do” His words by making them our guidebook, our manual for life, and building our lives upon them.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 1-15-2

© Dr. H 2022

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