“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say? Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.” Luke 6:46-49 (NKJV)
I know virtually nothing about construction work of any sort. When I help with things like this I always make sure those in charge know that at best I bring a strong back and a weak mind. I can lift and carry, but that’s about it.
However from what I understand about construction the foundation is probably the most important part of the building. If the foundation is weak it really doesn’t matter how well constructed the building is, eventually there will be problems. On the other hand, if the foundation is sturdy and well constructed the building has a greater chance of holding up to storms.
I think it’s pretty much the same with our lives. What we choose as the foundation of our lives will determine how we make it when the storms of life come. If we choose an unstable foundation it won’t matter how our lives look, we still won’t be able to make it when the floodwaters of troubles hit our lives. But if we build on the right foundation we will have sturdy ground to stand on as we try and weather these storms. This is basically what Jesus was telling us in this text.
It is my understanding that the climate in Israel is usually very dry, so when it rains it takes a while for the ground to absorb the water. When there are heavy rains it would often cause a flood. Because of this a builder had to be very careful where he chose to build at. During the summer months there were a lot of places that seemed like a really good place to build a house, but in the winter it would flood horribly. If the house was not constructed properly with a good solid foundation it would be destroyed in the flood.
When building a house a builder had a choice to make. He could dig down deep and lay a secure foundation for his house or he could just build without a foundation on top of the sand. Strangely enough there were cases where people would stomp around on the top of the ground, determine that was good solid ground and then get to building.
What Jesus is getting across to His hearers is that just as a builder has a choice about the foundation for his house, we have a choice about the foundation for our lives. We can build our lives on shifting sand that will not allow us to weather the storms of life, or we can build our lives on a solid foundation that will withstand the storms of life.
Since Jesus said that the house that withstood the storm was built upon a rock, we need to figure out what is the rock He is talking about. We could say that God is the rock we are building our lives on. It is common in Scripture, especially in the Psalms, for God to be described as a rock. The Pharisees often said that their lives were built on God. We could also say that the rock is Jesus. Peter mentions that Jesus is the chief cornerstone (1 pet 2:6), while Paul says that Jesus is the rock (1 Cor 10:4).
However as we look at what Jesus said in this passage it is clear that the rock Jesus is speaking of is the Word of God. What Jesus is telling us here is that the life that withstands the storms of life is one that is built on the Word of God
Out of all the inspired writers probably no one did a better job of explaining why God’s Word should be the foundation of our lives than the Apostle Paul.
and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:15-17 (NKJV)
Paul begins by telling us that God’s Word shows us our need for salvation and points us to Jesus as the way to receive this salvation. Then Paul reminds us that God’s Word isn’t a human invention. The main reason the Bible is a rock that we can build our lives on is that it isn’t a book filled with human opinions and thoughts. It is a book that comes from the mind of God and is meant to change the heart of man. Paul then gives us four major purposes of God’s Word.
It teaches us what is true. Since all truth is God’s truth, for something to be true it cannot contradict Scripture. The Bible can be a solid foundation because it is a book of truth.
It shows us what is wrong in our lives. If we want to know what it is we are supposed to be doing or not doing we need to read the Word. The Bible perfectly reveals to us the heart, mind and will of God. We will never know if our hearts, minds and will is matching God’s if we don’t read His Word. The Word will show us when our hearts, minds and will is out of step with God.
It teaches us to do what is right. Have you ever been around a “Negative Nellie”? A Negative Nellie is someone who has the “spiritual gift” of fault finding. No matter what you are doing, they can find fault. The problem with Negative Nellie’s is that they never help you fix the problem. They are just there to point out that the problem is there. God’s Word is not a Negative Nellie. Not only will it show you what is wrong, it will teach you how to take what is wrong out and replace it with what is right. It does this with both what we believe and how we live.
It equips us to serve God. The Word of God is able to prepare us to serve God. Whatever it is that God wants us to do, His Word can equip us to do it in a way that brings Him honor and glory. We will never be able to effectively be able to serve God without taking the time to study God’s Word.
If we want our lives to be built to last, we must build on the right foundation and that foundation is the Word of God.
For further study read Psalm 19:7-8.
What “is” God’s Word?
What does God’s Word do?