Building a House

Do you remember the Sunday School song about the wise man and the foolish man?

The wise man built his house upon the rock, (repeat)

And the rains came tumbling down! 

 

The rains came down and the floods came up, (repeat)

And the house on the rock stood firm. 

 

The foolish man built his house upon the sand, (repeat)

And the rains came tumbling down! 

 

The rains came down and the floods came up, (repeat)

And the house on the sand went SPLAT! 

 

So build your house on the Lord Jesus Christ, (repeat)

and the Blessings will come down. 

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I remember singing this with a group of kiddos.  They loved overemphasizing SPLAT!  (I did too!) And if the song’s stuck in your head now, sorry about that;)

I sang this song throughout my life, and I’ve always taken to heart “So build your house on the Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessings will come down.”

Jesus should be the foundation of all – your life, your family.  Build your house on Him and the blessings will come down.

But, recently, God’s been opening my eyes to the passage in Matthew 7 upon which this song is based:

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7: 24-27

This passage comes at the end of the Sermon on the Mount  – the longest sermon by Jesus in the Bible.  Before giving this illustration about house building, Jesus teaches about  murder, adultery, divorce, oaths, loving your enemies, being salt and light, giving to the needy, prayer, fasting, treasures in heaven, loving others, worry, judging others, asking and seeking Him, and false prophets.

Whew!

So, in verse 24 when Jesus refers to “these words of mine,” he’s referring to the entire Sermon on the Mount. (Matthew 5-7 )

Everyone who hears Jesus’ teaching on these topics and puts them into practice is like the wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rains came down and the floods came up, the winds blew and beat against the house, yet it didn’t fall.   It’s foundation was rock solid.  It stood.

And then a warning from Jesus to those who hear his words but do NOT put them into practice:  He will be “like a foolish man who built his house on sand.”  The rain will come down, the floods will come up, the winds will blow, beating against the house, and the house will fall with a great crash.

You can build your life on Jesus, hearing and APPLYING his words or you can only hear and not apply.  The choice is yours.  But, be warned:  Storms will come, and when they do, the one built on Jesus will stand.  The one built on self will crash.

As I read this passage again and again, God also opened my eyes to some elements I’d never considered.

Storms, floods, and winds come upon on the wise and the foolish.  I don’t know how I missed this before.  In my mind, especially as a child, storms weren’t supposed to come to those who love Jesus.  After all, if I am hearing and applying all Jesus says about all those things…anger, worry, loving others…then I won’t be hit by storms.  The rains and beating winds won’t affect me. Wrong thinking.

Jesus says the rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

The storms come to the wise and the foolish alike,  but those who build their foundation on Jesus – the rock – will stand firm in the storm, leaning on Jesus for help, and obeying his commands.

I also noticed that the wise and foolish “houses” might look similar on the outside.  When I pulled into my driveway today, I noticed I couldn’t see my home’s foundation. It’s buried below a beautiful brick exterior with a cute green front door.

There are five other houses in my neighborhood that look almost identical to mine.  They may have a different front door or driveway, but they mostly look the same.  Mine may be built on sand; another on rock.   We can’t know for sure which house is built on sand and which is on rock until the storms come.

So it is with us.  We hear sermon after sermon, read book after book, dressing ourselves up with biblical knowledge and memorized scripture.  We can attend church and lead groups.  Our “house” may certainly appear we have constructed it upon the rock.

But, we can’t construct our foundation on hearing and knowledge alone. While a great place to start, God’s word says…

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. James 1:22

Similar to the warning Jesus gives in Matthew 7:  26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.

We must hear and practice his word, building our “houses” – our characters, our lives – upon Jesus.  We must seek Him always, knowing that a house that only “looks good” on the outside will not stand when the storms come.  It will crash and go SPLAT.

If you’ve constructed your “house” on sand or feel as if you’re moving away from the rock and to the sand, you can begin rebuilding today.  Then, when storms come – and they come for us all – you won’t crash.  You will stand firm in Him – the rock.

Comments

  1. AnnMarie Dixon says:

    Very thought provoking and deep. Need to read and internalize this because God is delivering some poignant truth to us. Build your house upon Jesus and you will withstand trials and tribulations because His peace will transcend our circumstances. To do otherwise is to fall flat on our face. Jesus we need you, we are nothing without You.

    Thanks for this article Sarah.

    • Thanks so much, AnnMarie! I’ve withstood a few trials only because I’ve built on the rock, but admit that from time to time I shift toward sand. Sand always seems easier:)

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