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. Matthew 7:26
Towering dunes along the north shore of Silver Lake put nearby homes at risk of sinking into shifting sands. Though residents tried moving mounds of sand in efforts to protect their homes, they watched helplessly as well-built houses were buried right before their eyes. As a local sheriff oversaw the cleanup of a recently destroyed cottage, he affirmed the process couldn’t be prevented. No matter how hard homeowners tried to avoid the dangers of these unsteady embankments, the dunes simply couldn’t provide a strong foundational support.
Jesus knew the futility of building a house on sand. After warning the disciples to be wary of false prophets, He assured them that loving obedience demonstrates wisdom (Matthew 7:15–23). He said that everyone who hears His words and “puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock” (v. 24). The one who hears God’s words and chooses not to put them into practice, however, is “like a foolish man who built his house on sand” (v. 26).
When circumstances feel like shifting sands burying us under the weight of affliction or worries, we can place our hope in Christ, our Rock. He will help us develop resilient faith built on the unshakable foundation of His unchanging character.
How does obedience demonstrate your trust in God? In what areas of your life are you standing on the shifting sands of disobedience to Him?
Jesus, please help me develop resilient faith. Empower me to demonstrate my trust through loving obedience to You.
The last section of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7) contains the parable of the wise and foolish builders (7:24–27). It’s important to note that this parable begins with the word therefore, a word which always connects what follows to what directly precedes it. It indicates a consequence or a result. Readers are to back up and consider what was written in the preceding verses.
What precedes the concluding parable of the Sermon on the Mount is the entire sermon, not merely a few verses. Jesus’ challenge isn’t simply to live a morally rigorous life, but to live as citizens of the kingdom of heaven and to let our lives reflect the reality of God’s rule in our hearts. This parable is Jesus’ challenge to His listeners to put His words into practice. They’re to base their lives on Him and His teaching, for all other foundations shift and blow away.