GLEANINGS FROM THE SCRIPTURES
WHERE ARE WE BUILDING?
By Keith L. Estes
My Son, Paul, and I, were looking for a relative's home in Tempe, Arizona and stopped to ask for direction. The man told us to cross the river and go a mile and turn right. We continued to drive but never came to a river. Finally we stopped again and inquired about the river. "Oh" the man said, "You're way past the river!" We replied that we hadn't seen any river. "Well," he said, "When you went over the bridge, that's where the river is but there's no water in it in the summer time."
This reminds me of a story Jesus told about a man who built his house on the sandy soil in the dry riverbed. Take just a moment of your time to read His words.
"Not every one that, saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth, the will of my Father which is in heaven...THEREFORE whosoever HEARETHthese sayings of mine, and DOETH them I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it."
In Palestine, in summer, many of the rivers dried up altogether and left a sandy riverbed empty of water. But in winter, after the September rains had come, the empty riverbed became a raging torrent. Now many a man, looking for a site for a house, found an inviting stretch of sand and built there, only to discover when the winter came that he had built his house in the middle of a raging river that swept the house away. But the wise man searched for rock, where it was much more difficult to build and where it was hard labor to cut out the foundations. But when the wild winter weather came his toil was amply repaid, for his house stood strong and firm and secure. In either form the parable teaches us the importance of laying the right foundation for life. The only true foundation for life is obedience to the teaching of Jesus.
Barclay says, "that the foolish builder wanted to avoid toil. He could not be bothered to dig into the rock. The sand was much easier, and much more attractive, and much less trouble. He wanted the easy way. It may be easier to take our way than it is to take Jesus' way but the end is ruin. It may seem hard to take Jesus' but it is the way to security here and hereafter.
"The foolish builder was short-sighted. He never troubled to think what his chosen site would be like six months afterwards. In every decision in life there is a short view and a long view. Happy is the man who never barters future good for present pleasure. Happy is the man who sees things, not in the light of the moment, but in the light of eternity.
"When we learn that the hard way is often the best way, and that the long view is always the right view, then we will found our lives upon the teaching of Jesus and no storms will ever shake them."
The elements of the parable, the ROCK, the RAIN, and the WINDS, were utilized for both the foolish and the wise builder. The bedrock foundation is what made the difference.
Reference: Matt. 7:21-29, The Holy Bible, The Daily Study Bible by Barclay. The Westminster Press, Philadelphia Pa.
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