“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:24-27, ESV
A few years ago my wife, Jenna, and I began the overwhelming process of looking for a new home. One of the first things our realtor encouraged us to do was to make a priority list of must haves. For those of you who have undergone this painful process, you understand what I am talking about. The only thing on my list was a study and screen porch. But most people get lost in the weeds and include in their lists things like kitchens, countertops, yards, etc.
While things like an updated kitchen, manicured lawn, a fenced backyard or new roof are important to some, they’re not the most important feature. The most important feature is the foundation…the unassuming bedrock upon which the entire structure rests. Even an excellently designed and constructed structure will not stand on a bad foundation. Although the structure will carry its loads, the earth beneath it may not.
Just like a house needs a solid foundation, so also our lives need a foundation. Matthew 7:24-27 shows Jesus describing to us this concept by telling a parable of two houses. This parable emphasizes a central truth we need to be reminded of during this time: a life built on Jesus Christ will endure.
THE LIFE THAT ENDURES IS BUILT ON A SOLID FOUNDATION
WISE PEOPLE BUILD THEIR LIVES ON THE ROCK
Verse 24 says, “Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who build his house on the rock.” Here Jesus illustrates how wise people live, and wise people are people who build their lives on the rock. Obedience to His Word is what Jesus commands. Jesus claims the only sure foundation for life is obedience to Him; and it is His promise that the life which is founded on obedience to Him is safe. He does not determine wise people by what the know. Instead, the Lord Jesus teaches that wisdom is what you do with what you know. Namely, wisdom is determined by how you respond to what He calls these “words of mine.”
Jesus says that everyone who hears the word and does what it says is like a wise man who built his house on a rock. What Jesus says is inseparable from Jesus Himself so that we do not simply hear Jesus’ words, but we hear Jesus. To build on the word is to build on Jesus. Christ himself is the Rock. According to this verse building your life on the rock means not only listening to the Lord Jesus, but out of gratitude for salvation received, putting His words into action.
Jesus speaks of two houses in verses 25 and 27, “and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house.” Each house looks secure in good weather. However, only storms reveal the quality of the work of the two builders. Only the most severe storm will show the differences.
THE LIFE THAT ENDURES IS TESTED BY STORMS
Down pours the rain against both houses –one on the rock and one on the sand, sudden winds bring up from the Mediterranean and the water-bed is dry no more. It begins to fill with water, first a brook – slow and sluggish, then a torrent, deep, swift, furious. So it is for every hearer of the word of God, whether wise or foolish storms of life surely come. You can be young or old. You can be foolish or wise. You can be righteous or wicked. You can build on the sand or on the rock. The storms of life will come and they come in various forms: COVID-19, trials, temptation, death, sickness, disease. They are unavoidable. We can never fully understand the depth of God’s goodness and sovereignty until we go through a storm. Can we say now in the midst of COVID-19, “Lord, I will praise you because you are in control of my blessing and in control of my troubles and because I trust in your sovereign, good, and wise hand?”
THE LIFE THAT ENDURES IS SAFE FROM DESTRUCTION
Two houses built by two men – one on the sand and one on the rock. Both were pounded with the onslaught of a storm. The rains fell, the winds blew, and the floods rose. But at some point the storm came to a halt. The storms of life will cease. Lord willing, COVID-19 will cease. The rain can only accumulate so much and the wind can only blow so long. The question you must ask is not how long will the storm last but how long will I stand?
PEOPLE WHO BUILD THEIR LIVES ON THE WORD WILL STAND
Verses 24-25 says, “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.” The house that the wise man built stood because it was founded on the rock. The house did not stand because of the skill of the builder, the quality of the building materials, the neighborhood it was in. The reason it stood is because it was founded on the rock! Notice the definite article in that phrase; it’s not ‘a’ rock, but ‘the’ rock. The Word of God is sufficient, inerrant, eternal. The Word of God will stand forever. His word will not move. Nor will it fail, fade, or fall away. For those who build their lives on the rock of God’s Word, they will endure the storms of life. Psalm 18:2 states, “The Lord is my rock.”
PEOPLE WHO DO NOT BUILD THEIR LIVES ON THE WORD WILL FALL
Verse 27, “And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” Any philosophy or worldview seems to work when life is easy and you are experiencing sunshine. But when the storms of life beat upon us, it’s only those who build on Christ that stand. One may say, “I have faced many storms on my own and stayed strong.” But what about the final storm? That storm that often comes with dramatic suddenness. The final storm, when life ends and you stand before the creator.
Everyone must ask, “What is the rock on which I build? Is my foundation sure?” The Bible says God is a rock and refuge for his people. Jesus later says he is the rock. They who have good foundations, and build solidly on them, endure; but they who have poor foundations and build poorly upon them are destroyed. Without standing on the word of Christ you will fall and not endure, and as the text says, “great will the fall be”!
At this moment Many are being pelted with severe storms of life; yet we can find rest and trust in the sovereign hand of a good God. May we all be able to say from the depth of our heart along with the hymn writer:
Authored by Justin Roper, Pastor at Charlotte Awake