19th March 2012

Dig Deep

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord’, and do not what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
Luke 6:46-49 (NIV)

In the illustrations I’ve seen for this parable, there’s a big stone building on the high moral ground and a flimsier house below. It looks very obvious from the outside which one is which; the only surprise is that someone would choose to perch their dwelling on such an exposed, craggy outcrop.

Reading the parable, though, it looks as though there might not be quite so much of a contrast between the two houses. There’s nothing to say they weren’t built of similar materials, to a similar size and even on similar areas of ground.  The difference only shows up in disastrous weather conditions.

Following that analogy, I imagine two people whose lives pretty nearly match. They both build the same sort of lifestyle and say the same sort of things. Maybe they both work hard, go to church and support charitable concerns; and both have a good solid reputation in their community. Both then go through the same sort of crisis, and one of them gets knocked out by it, while the other stands firm.

The difference, in the parable, was in the foundation of each house. One man “dug down deep” until he reached bedrock, to lay his foundation. The other built his house without any depth to it. They both said “Lord, Lord” to Jesus, one of whose titles is “Rock” (I Corinthians 10:4; II Samuel 22:2), but only one of them actually belonged to him.

Whatever we do, whatever roles we find ourselves filling, and whatever situations we enjoy or endure, let it be on the right basis with God or not at all. The second house in the story was a complete loss. This parable is a warning to make sure the foundation touches rock—to dig down deep and make sure that what you do in life connects with God.

Prayer
Lord, let me hear your words and live in loyalty to what you have said.
Amen

Study by Fiona Jones

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