Dec 16, 2020, 2:45 PM
The rainy season always sparks a period of anxiety for those whose houses lack a solid foundation -- just because they had not factored in the element of adverse weather – something that is not under our control. The elements – wind, water and fire – have the ability to turn our investment into rubble in a twinkle of an eye. People who live in hurricane-prone areas at a particular period in time are usually tormented by the thought that they can lose their properties to either strong winds or heavy downpours; whereas those in dry areas run the risk of their properties being engulfed in flames. In either case, such occurrences can be devastating to say the least. To witness your dwelling place razed to the ground and having to start all over again is not mere fiction.
Jesus used this image of the way and manner we build our houses to put a message across to His audience – most of whom were the Pharisees and Sadducees, the religious leaders of the day. He had just finished teaching the people who had gathered to listen to him. “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on a rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
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. The rain came down, the streams rose, the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27)
Whilst this parable may be wrapped in total simplicity, it carries a lot of meaning to guide us in our everyday living. In essence, Jesus is calling us to learn obedience to the word of God. Our Lord Jesus was addressing this message to a group of religious leaders who were not listening closely to the Word of God, both in the person of Jesus and the written word. In fact, He was saying, ‘Listen to me for I am that Rock.’
A cursory look at the parable reveals that both persons built houses; and both houses were exposed to the same vagaries of the weather – rain, water and wind. The difference lays in the test that they faced and how they survived the challenges. The first house withstood the storms unscathed. The storms of life had no impact on its ‘well-being
because the house was built on a rocky foundation. In the worst of circumstances, the first house that was built on rock smiled at the storm. It came out of it intact because it had listened to the word of God. His word becomes the standard for anyone who is willing to listen to the word of God and put it into practice.
The second house which was built on sand represents those who are not listening and who will build their houses on sand, ignorant of the fate that is reserved for them. This category of people deliberately put themselves at risk. Their houses will collapse with a great crash.
It is important how we take the word of God; lightly or seriously, the end result is what matters. There are always consequences for choosing the way of disobedience. The Bible clearly teaches that someone reaps what he or she sows. You cannot sow maize and expect to reap groundnuts. When we practise what God’s words says, it is likened to building our houses on a solid foundation which Satan’s attacks cannot cause to crumble.
James, in the epistle that bears his name, expounds a bit on how we react to God’s word. “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word and does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it – he will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:22-27)
This world as we know it will pass away, only God’s kingdom will last. Nothing can bring it down; it is like a mountain that is steady and unshakeable. It will withstand the blast of fire, flood of water or strong winds. We cannot afford to put our trust in what will be destroyed. Christ’s kingdom cannot be shaken, why not build on it starting now.
The Word of God requires us to choose where we build our houses -- on something that is temporary or something permanent. Throughout the Bible, which is a collection of God’s words, we understand that we can no longer be indecisive, sitting on the fence as it were. We have to take a stand. It is purely on the basis of our obedience to the word of God that we will be rewarded with eternal life.
God sent innumerable prophets to reach out to us in a bid to keep us focused. It is at this stage that we must determine where we will be spending eternity. God does not desire that anyone of us should perish.
Remember, the devil is also relentless in his bid to draw those who are unwary into his dragnet. Indeed, Satan is busy peddling his wares. He is busy campaigning for souls that would by their disobedience to God keep him company in hell. It is time you take a decision to resist him and turn your attention to the only true God who has the ability to save your soul eternally.
Remember the devil is roaming around like a lion looking for someone to devour. Do not let that be you. Refuse to be a part of the statistics of Satan’s victims. Trust and obey for there is no other way.