Sand can have the appearance of stone, but time, pressure, and descending rain will soon tell if we build to last. It takes more TIME, it demands more ENERGY, it requires greater INVESTMENT of resources to build with “rock”. But with sand, we can quickly get the results we want to see without having to wait as long, and without having to do the work of leveling the ground, clearing the land, hauling in the materials, and laying them properly to withstand the pressure of what will be built. We can much more easily dump a pile of sand and shape it into what we want. It may look glorious and provide a good thrill at first, but it will soon lose its shape, and worse yet, it will lose its capacity to support what it was intended to support simply because it was not built properly.
All of us, at one time or another, have experienced the frustration, setbacks and expense of having to fix something that wasn’t done right the first time. Haven’t we? And it is always to the shame of the builder, when through the test of time, it becomes evident that corners were cut, cheap materials were used, and “care-full” consideration wasn’t given up front to ensure the structure would last the test of time.
Jesus said, “Whoever hears these sayings of Mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” Matthew 7:24-27 NKJV
This was the parable Jesus used as His closing for the well known Sermon on the Mount. The sermon which in our Bibles, starts in Matthew 5:1 and runs through Matthew 7:29. The sermon which contains the beatitudes, which speaks to our attitude while building. The sermon which includes the reminder that we are salt and light, which reminds us that everything we do is seen by the world around us and should testify of the wisdom and glory of God. I could go on and on. But basically, these were His instructions for building a strong life, a strong business, a strong marriage, a strong relationship, a strong ministry, a strong family, etc. And at the close of all this, He says, (and of course, I’m paraphrasing) therefore…he who does these things, and builds according to the manner, the character, the heart, the integrity that I value, I will liken him to a wise man who built on rock vs sand.
A wise man is translated to mean someone who is thoughtful, prudent, and mindful of one’s interests. It implies someone who is discreet, manifesting a cautious character. A foolish man, on the other hand, doesn’t just mean someone who is lacking intelligence. It is translated to mean someone who is lacking reverence for God. “And great was its fall”. Because what was built now affects other people.
The application of this can really hit many different areas of our lives. I’m writing this mainly because I feel it’s a timely word for many of us and no doubt, we are all in different places in our walk. Building various things, establishing various things. So I would simply ask, What are you building right now? Is the wisdom of God evident in your building plans? Have you thought through carefully who all this will effect? And is what your building made to last? Are you seeking wise counsel? Are you taking time to clear the ground and level the area? Are you patient enough to take the appropriate, necessary time to build? Are you trusting God enough for resources to invest in the right materials instead of cutting corners? Will what your building be able to withstand the wind and the waves?
Yes, it takes more time, demands more energy and requires greater investment. But if not only for the satisfaction of a job well done, please remember, that as children of God, all we do – all we build – carries a greater weight of influence on it because it ultimately reflects to the world around us the excellence and wisdom of our God. For the glory of His great name, may the plans and work of our hands bring Him all the honor and the glory that is due Him, and may the impact of what we do live on in eternity.
Thank you for taking the time to read,
Linda G. Riddle