“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 the house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it,” (Matthew 7:24-27, ESV).
When Jesus said this the region was known for torrential rains that would bring floods since the region is extremely dry and doesn’t get a lot of rain so the ground would have a hard time absorbing the rain. The storms were one of the few things that would reveal the quality of the homes that were built at that time. Some would withstand the torrents, others would be found wanting.
One thing was certain. Storms come. It wasn’t a matter of if, but rather when. Ultimately there is an eschatological storm coming:
“Precisely because they have misled my people saying, ‘Peace,’ where there is no peace, and because when the people build a wall, these prophets smear it with whitewash, say to those who smear it with whitewash that it shall fall! There will be a deluge of rain, and you, O great hailstones, will fall, and a stormy wind break out. And when the wind falls, will it not be said to you, ‘Where is the coating with which you smeared it?’ Therefore thus says the Lord God: I will make a stormy wind break out in my wrath, and there shall be a deluge of rain in my anger, and great hailstones in wrath to make a full end,” (Ezekiel 13:10-13, ESV).
We will all have to stand before God one day and give an account of what we did with his Son Jesus. Did we reject Him or did we stand before God justified not based on our own righteousness but Christ’s having received Him as Lord and Savior?
There are other storms that we face as well. Life brings a lot of challenges – financial, relational, physical and the like. It isn’t a matter of if, but when. The wisdom in this passage says that if you put Jesus words into practice you are wise. You are building your life to withstand anything that comes your way. So faith in Christ and obedience to His word will not make life easier, but will give you the wisdom and perspective to come through those challenges and make wise decisions.
The contrast that with the foolish people who hear Jesus’ words and does not put them into practice. This is pretending to have faith, merely an intellectual commitment or trying out Jesus here and there in life when it suits them. It is like the person who talks about having faith, but having no fruit.
All of our “houses” look secure in good weather. It is when the storms in life when it will be revealed if we are wise or foolish. Build your life on Christ and His word, not your own will and you will be able to withstand the coming storms.
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