Thinkin’ Out Loud: Building Houses On The Sand

By Lewis Willis

Well, Pat Boone used to sing about writing love letters in the sand. If one has the right to be writing love letters, I guess sand is as good a place to write them as any. Perhaps it would be better, since the evidence of those loving commitments wouldn’t be around for long, sand being what it is. However, writing letters in the sand and building houses on the sand are two entirely different propositions.

Did you see the news film shot during the floods that struck the California coast recently? It was a pitiful site to see -one can only imagine the anguish of the people immediately involved. Some homeowners had actually built their big, beautiful homes on the sandy beach of the Pacific Ocean. Films showed those large edifices literally falling in heaps when the floods and stormy winds unrelentingly beat upon them. I am reminded of the following words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon 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 everyone 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 (Matt. 7:24-27; My Emp., L.W.)

I can scarcely imagine a physical circumstance that so nearly parallels something our Lord said while He was on this earth. City councils authorized the issuance of building permits to those California residents to build their houses on those sandy beaches. Of course, those city councils won’t come in and re-build those houses that were foolishly built on such a flimsy foundation. That is the homeowner’s problem.

One thinks of all of the spiritual permission that human counsels give to build spiritual houses on unstable foundations. When those houses are tested by the storms of life and the winds of judgment, they, too, shall fall in the greatest and most tragic fall of all. The authors of this human counsel will not concern themselves with, the tragedy of all of those fallen houses. They will be too busy trying to extricate themselves from the ruins of their own houses that have collapsed about them. Again, the spiritual homeowner has a problem, with no opportunity to re-build.

How good is our vision? Can’t we see the truth that Jesus spoke? A foolish man builds his house on sand. A wise man builds his house on a rock. When tested, one stands – the other collapses. We saw a demonstration of that truth when we saw those California films.

The truthfulness of our Lord’s physical example establishes the truthfulness of His spiritual point. Each of us is building his own spiritual house. These houses will be tested! If we have been wise, heeding the sayings of our Lord and doing them, our houses will stand. On the other hand, if we have been foolish, not heeding or doing our Lord’s sayings, our houses will fall. And great will be the fall of them.

Guardian of Truth XXVII: 14, p. 433
July 21, 1983