through His Word
by Brad Simon
Imagine for a moment that you are sound asleep at night and a loud clap of thunder suddenly wakes you. You hear the wind outside rustling through the trees and rain begins to fall. The soft pitter patter of raindrops begins to lull you back to sleep, but then the wind and rain intensify. The howling wind blows around your house and the downpour of rain is deafening.
Then you feel it. Could it be? No, of course not. You were only dreaming, you reason. But there it is again. Your house is moving!
The cracking of plaster is heard echoing through the house. Then the loud explosion of splintering lumber and bursting pipes. And your house comes crashing down around you! Far too late you come to the realization that your house was built on a foundation of sand.
This is the illustration that Jesus used to close His longest recorded sermon. Matthew tells us that Jesus went up a mountain to get away from the multitudes. When His disciples, His followers, came to Him, He began to speak (Matt 5:1-2). Three chapters later He finishes His teaching with these words.
“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. It collapsed with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27 CSB)
Which foundation are we building our lives on?
Both builders in the parable could represent followers of Christ, both Christians. The difference for them is not concerning salvation, but obedience after salvation. Jesus isn’t speaking in a literal way but figuratively. The house they built is a reference to building a life, establishing values, and making decisions. It is concerning our philosophy of life. Do we have a Biblical view of life built on the solid rock of God’s Word, or a worldly view built on the shifting sands of human philosophy and opinions?
Both builders faced a storm of rain, floods, and winds. Again, the storm is not to be taken literally but symbolically. It represents the storms of life. Jesus is telling us how to build our lives so that we can withstand the trials and calamities of life in this world.
Both builders listened to and heard the words of Jesus, the only difference is one little word. Jesus said, Everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man (v.24). Then He said, Everyone who hears these words of mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man (v.26). The difference is the wise man acts on what he hears, and the foolish man doesn’t.
We can listen to storm warnings on the radio and TV all day long. But unless we get up out of our chair and do something, we will not be prepared, and tragedy may strike.
The same is true of the Christian life. We can listen to all the sermons in the world and read and study the Bible every day, but unless we apply the teachings to our lives and do what God instructs us to do, we act foolishly and don’t give our lives a sturdy foundation. If we do not trust Jesus enough to apply Biblical truth to our lives, then we will not be prepared to handle the storms of life. However, a builder who is wise hears the Word of God, applies it to his life, and as a result, stands firmly through turbulent times.
When Moses instructed the nation Israel preparing them to enter the promised land, he said, “There will be a blessing, if you obey the commands of the Lord your God I am giving you today” (Deut 11:27 CSB). Throughout the Old Testament we read times when Israel obeyed God’s Word and followed Him. God kept His promise and blessed the nation, and they were successful.
In the first century as the church was beginning to spread, James, a leader in the early church and half-brother to Jesus, wrote these words. But be doers of the word and not hearers only, … the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer who works—this person will be blessed in what he does (James 1:22, 25 CSB).
All throughout the history of the Bible, God instructs His followers to apply His instructions to their lives, and He has promised many wonderful benefits to our lives if we are obedient in doing so. As 19th century evangelist and pastor R.A. Torrey said, “Blessings lie in the direction of obedience to God's commands. They are but signboards that mark the road to present success and blessedness and to eternal glory.”
Our spiritual foundation is vital to life. Spending time with God and submitting to His wisdom enables us to build a solid foundation based on His values. Then when difficulties and uncertainties in life happen—when the floods of life overwhelm us—we can stand firm on the solid rock of God’s Word and experience peace and joy and stability.
In the comments below, share how God has blessed your life due to your obedience to His Word, even if a storm continued to rage around you.
Copyright © 2021 by Brad Simon
With a unique blend of storytelling and Bible exposition Brad Simon has shared God's Word for over forty years, and currently shares Biblical lessons on the podcast Monday Morning Inspiration. Originally from Illinois, Brad and his wife Debbie have made Spartanburg, SC their home. Brad is a retired Master Jeweler and was a popular speaker and author in the jewelry industry. His one guilty pleasure is being a fan of St. Louis Cardinals baseball.
Discover Brad’s Bible Teaching Ministry and Daily Devotional post at http://BWSimon.com.
Listen to the weekly podcast Monday Morning Inspirations at http://ChristianGrowthMinistry.com.
Follow Brad on Facebook at https://facebook.com/BradSimonTeachingMinistry.
truth, faith, obedience, storms, adversity, victory, Brad Simon, Lighthouse Bible Studies