I have been reading an interesting book, ‘Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes, Cultural Studies in the Gospels’, by Kenneth E. Bailey. It explains why Jesus did what he did and said what he said according to the Jewish culture of that day and what they knew. I highly recommend this book for reading.
It has been many years since I have sang this song complete with actions. “The wise man built his house upon the rock and the rains came tumbling down. The rains came down and the floods went up and the house on the rock stood firm. The foolish man built his house upon the sand and the rains came tumbling down. The rains the came down and the floods went up and the house on the sand went splat. …”. Luke 6: 46-49. I enjoyed making a loud clap representing the house that went splat.
This song came back to me when I read what this book said about the parable of the two builders, one builder built on the sand the other on the rock.
We might not fully understand this with or construction equipment but the Israelite's understood the foolishness of building on the sand very well. In the middle east the ground is clay. In the dry summer season it turns very hard, impossible to dig out by hand. They called it bronze clay (Lev. 26:19). Anywhere from 6” to 10 feet under the clay is bedrock.
The wise builder would dig down to this bedrock then lay his field-stone walls, with mud for mortar. People who chose to build in the summer, because the weather was warmer, had to dig through the tough bronze clay which was almost impossible. The ground was hard, it had the appearance of a firm foundation, one might build on it, but the winter rains would come and turn this hard ground into a soup mix of mud. The stones would tumble down as their false firm foundation disappeared.
If we build our life on the rock of Jesus when the storms of life come crashing in we will be able to withstand them and stand firm. A good example of building on the sand was a few years ago when the storm of the economy came crashing down because people, banks and the government stood on the foundation of their large homes, money and greed and that foundation came tumbling down, taking the world with it.
As the song continues, “build your life on the Lord Jesus Christ”. We tend to forget and at times, especially during the storms we forget to let Jesus be our rock, instead worry, strife and frustration tend to be our rock or our sand.
Prayer - Lord Jesus we are people who forget, just like sheep forget. Help us Lord to pray to you and let you be our rock our firm foundation.
3:42 PM | Category: | 13 comments