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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

WISE AND FOOLISH BUILDERS

Matthew 7:24-27 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house on a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. (See Luke 6:47-49).

Jesus delivered one of the greatest sermons ever preached. That He could more readily be seen and heard, the sermon was delivered from a mountain, to His disciples that had gathered to hear his message. It has been descriptively referred to as "The Sermon on the Mount", and was recorded and preserved for our benefit in Matthew, chapters 5, 6, and 7. Jesus gave the parable of the "Wise and Foolish Builders" at the close of this great lesson for mankind. It tells us, not only the importance of hearing, or reading His words, but the necessity of being obedient to His teaching in order to receive eternal salvation offered by God through His Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. There will be many on Judgment Day that will profess to have heard the gospel of Christ and believe Jesus to be the Savior, the Son of God, but are lacking in obedience - they heard God's will in the message of Christ, but did not do it. To these Jesus will say, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (Mat. 7:23). In this lesson, the parable of the wise and foolish builders is used to teach this truth from God's word.

A wise man is one that is prudent and exercises good judgment in all he does. He is well informed, having a broad range of knowledge, experience, and understanding. Given the task of building a house for himself, how would the wise, prudent man respond? No doubt he would choose a floor plan having sufficient space to accommodate his needs and the needs of his family. Likewise he would select quality building materials suitable for the type house he was building and having long life expectancy. He would be assured that all beams, columns, joists, rafters, and walls would be have engineering specifications that would support the structure. Finally, he would search for a suitable building site. Ideally, it would be in a neighborhood in the vicinity he wanted to reside. He would test the ground, and finding just underneath a layer of soil, solid rock, the wise builder would be well pleased, knowing that his new house would be constructed on a firm foundation. The test came soon after his home was completed. A storm brought torrential rains, floods, and winds. The house passed the test. It withstood the elements. It was built on a firm foundation.

A foolish man is one having little or no good judgment as he conducts his everyday life. He makes unwise, imprudent decisions. Given the same task of build a house for himself, how would he respond? The selection of his floor plan, the quality of his building materials, and the soundness of his engineering design would all be doubtful and given little attention. Even if his planning were passable, what would happen if he gave little consideration about his site selection? If he chooses a home site based only on its convenient location, he may make a foolish choice. Suppose he ignored the fact that the base of the site on which he built his house was sand, and completed his new home on that foundation. It too, would soon be tested by a storm. Rains, floods, and violent winds would test it, and regardless of how well constructed the house was, the foundation would fail and give way because it was sand. The house would fail the test. It could not withstand the elements because it was built on an unstable, shifting foundation of sand.

Which home would you trust to protect your physical life? No doubt, it would be the one build on a solid foundation, capable of withstanding the elements of nature. How safe is your spiritual life? On what foundation does it stand? The wise man heard the word of God. So did the foolish man. The wise man obeyed the word of God. The foolish man was not obedient. Your spiritual house should not be built on hearing the word of God alone. Hearing and obeying the word of God is the solid foundation on which you should build your spiritual home. Assuredly, it will be tested by the temptations, trials, and tribulations of life, but it will stand. This, Jesus says, we should learn from the parable of the wise and foolish builders.