Summary: Jesus stressed the importance of laying a good foundation for your life. But WHY should I be concerned with my life's foundation, and HOW can I make sure I've laid the right foundation?
Several years ago there was a new housing subdivision in Mesquite, NV. It was a beautiful building project and absolutely brand new… but there was a problem. Several months after many of the families had moved in, serious cracks began to develop in the driveways and roads, and there was a constant disturbing smell of methane gas coming from ground
What was wrong? Well, it seems the builders of the subdivision had built about 8 of the homes directly on top of a landfill –and that landfill was about 20 feet beneath the living rooms of these homes. Things got so bad the floors shook and the walls began to crack… and houses began to sink into the ground.
Obviously – someone had forgotten the importance of building on a good foundation
Now, renovators of older houses will tell you that there are 2 things they look for when they decide to take on a project. First, they want to know if the roof sound, and second they want to make sure the foundation is solid. They can fix just about anything else… but if either of the roof or the foundation is bad they won’t even look at the house.
Here in Luke 6, Jesus tells us to pay close attention to our foundation. Jesus tells us the wise man “dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.” But the fool “built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”
ILLUS: In the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus used a much similar illustration. But in that sermon He spoke of the wise man building his house on a rock whereas the fool built his on sand. Now, in the days of Jesus, that was a powerful piece of imagery. His audience could picture a man building his house on the sand where he would lose it to a massive flood. You see, back that day, much of the water in Israel came down out of the mountains. And when there’s a heavy rain in the mountains it came down in a flood, and you could pretty well tell where the water was going to flow because there were dry river beds (called wadis) where the waters thunder down toward the sea. When there were no floods, the river bed was flat and easy to build on… but a wise man would never do that.
Here’s a video I found online that gives you an idea of how foolish such a construction job would have been: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yCnQuILmsM (timestamp 1:09-1:54)
Now, why would anybody in their right mind build on dry riverbed if that’s going to happen? Well, apparently someone who would do that would not be in their right minds. They’d not be very smart. In fact, the only motivation for building a home on those river beds would have been laziness. It was flat, easy ground and housing construction wouldn’t take much effort.
But notice what Jesus said about the wise man: he “dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock”. The wise builder had to work hard to make sure his foundation was secure.
ILLUS: Years ago my daddy built a house into the side of a hill. And he wanted to make sure that the basement of the home (which was the foundation of the house) had “6 bag cement”. Have any of you ever heard of “6 bag cement” (some of the older members had). That was an old farmer’s way of saying he wanted enough bags of cement in the mix to make sure that the foundation would be strong and solid. All the time that mom and dad lived in that house, there was only one minor crack that ever showed up in that basement because dad built his house on a firm foundation.
Now, everybody in Jesus’ audience understood the absurdity of a person being so lazy that they didn’t even bother to think about how or where he they built their house. But, of course, Jesus wasn’t talking about a “Stick-built home”. Jesus was talking about the kind of foundation you build your LIFE on.
Just to be clear, as long as it doesn’t rain, it doesn’t matter what kind of foundation you build on. But sooner or later… it’s going to rain. It doesn’t matter if you’re a righteous man of God… or a selfish godless atheist… the rain is going to fall And what Jesus is saying is saying is this: There will come a time when you’re going to struggle. A time when the wind will blow, and the rains will fall, and the floods will beat upon your life, and you’ll feel like everything is falling apart. And HOW you build your FOUNDATION is going to make all the difference of whether or not you can stand in the midst of those storms.