House on the sand, House on the rock

House on the sand, House on the rock

Way back in April 1963, twenty French pilgrims were making their journey a long but narrow gorge, popularly known as “The Pass”.  Four elderly pilgrims were being driven in a vehicle while the rest were on foot. 

Suddenly, there was a trickle of rain, then a cloudburst that sent flood waters gushing down the surrounding hills. Within minutes the waters hit “The Pass” turning into a roaring river carrying away all the pilgrims like twigs on a river.

An eyewitness told TIME magazine “We saw the pilgrims swept away by the torrent.  In an instant they all disappeared in the flood waters raging along at perhaps sixty miles per hour”.

The Holy Land is filled will many gullies, gorges and ravines. That is why people who built their houses alongside always anchored their houses firmly on the rock to ensure they are not swept away by flash floods.

Against this scenario, Jesus told a parable of “A wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.

The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”(Mathew7:24-27)

Only when our lives are firmly founded on God and anchored firmly on His Word we can face the storms of life.

Those who merely listen to the scriptures and not put them into practice can be compared to the man who built his house upon the sand.

Those who anchor on the rock, experience blessings like those promised in the book of Deuteronomy “If you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the LORD your God and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul; then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil. 

I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied” (Deuteronomy 11:13-15).“I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction.  Choose life.” (Deuteronomy 30:15).

To claim the promises of God, we need to seek Him in all humility. To build our lives on the rock is to unceasingly acknowledge that there is a power beyond us. To build on the sand implies trust in our own human power.  The great spiritual writer and mystic Thomas A. Kempis wrote “It is more important to be humble than to know the definition of humility”. Build on the rock. It is safer to be in a storm with God than anywhere else without Him.  

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