A Tale of Piggies and Builders (sad subtitle: I Never Knew You)

Just Thinking…….

 

 

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“Little pig, little pig, let me come in.”
“No, no, not by the hair on my chinny chin chin.”
“Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house in”

Remember?  The three little pigs went out into the world and each built a house.  The first  built one of straw and the wolf blew it in.  The second pig built one of sticks, and it was the same scene.  But the third pig….. now that was an entirely different story.  The  house  was built of bricks, and try as he might, the big bad wolf could not  blow it in.

Today in church, we read a similar story, but this time it was two builders.  The first man, a foolish man, built his house on sand.  The storms destroyed it.  The second builder was wise and built his house on a firm foundation: rock.  The storms could not blow it over.

I’ve often wondered about this. The piggies all seemed to have access to the same building materials. Yet two of them chose fragile materials and only one choose the more permanent brick. The builders were working on a similar structure: a house. Yet one chose a foundation that was open to shifting and blowing, while the other secured the home to a rock.

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I remember singing a little song when I was a kid; it went like this:

The Wise Man Built His House

The wise man built his house upon the rock
The wise man built his house upon the rock
The wise man built his house upon the rock
And the rain came tumbling down
Oh, the rain came down
And the floods came up
The rain came down
And the floods came up
The rain came down
And the floods came up
And the wise man’s house stood firm.
The foolish man built his house upon the sand
The foolish man built his house upon the sand
The foolish man built his house upon the sand
And the rain came tumbling down
Oh, the rain came down
And the floods came up
The rain came down
And the floods came up
The rain came down
And the floods came up
And the foolish man’s house went “splat!”

We had all the vigorous hand motions to go with the song, and every movement just helped to engrave the song into my mind.  But the real message of the song didn’t become clear to me until much later.

The Hubs and I built a house, and oh! what a house!  It was a passive solar home, and we custom designed it and built it.  It looked solid and substantial.  But a few years after we built it, a crack developed in the foundation.  We paid engineers to analyze and correct the problem.  The soil had compacted during a drought and that allowed the foundation to sink.  It didn’t sink much, but even a little led to the crack.    The foundation held, the house still stood, and we continued to enjoy many good years there.

It could have been worse.  When we were in Fairbanks, Alaska, we saw a home that had been built on permafrost.  When the family moved in, the activities of daily living, such as laundry, cooking, showering, breathing, had started the permafrost meltdown.  The entire home imploded as the foundation turned to water.  It was a beautiful home, but built on the wrong foundation.  (Disclaimer:  this photo is not the house we saw, which was owned by the University of Alaska, but shows a similar sinking home.)

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Our pastor today led us in studying Matthew 7: 24-27 a little more closely as we considered the importance of foundation in our beliefs.  Here are the probing questions he asked us:

1.  Is Jesus one of many,  or the one and only?

2.  Have I decided for Jesus, or committed to Jesus?

3.  Do I know about Jesus, or do I really know Him?

4.  Am I more focused on the outside,  or on the inside?

5.  Am I a self empowered fan, or a spirit filled follower?

These are some of the foundational questions that I must ask myself if I believe myself to be Christian.  The Matthew passage is the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus was instructing the crowds in this new way of kingdom living.  But it had to be based on something solid and true.

Here’s the passage:

Matthew 7:24-27

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But 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. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

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And here  some observations:

1.  Verse 25 does not say on “A” rock.  It says on “The” rock.  Big difference!  “The” points out one particular rock, not just one of many rocks.  And remember, Jesus calls Himself the rock.

Matthew 21:42                                                                                                                                                                             42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:

“‘The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
the Lord has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes?

1 Corinthians 3:11
11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

2.  The storm assaulting the house came from all directions: from above, from below and from direct hits.  The rains came DOWN; the floods came UP, and the winds BLEW and BEAT.  I’ve been there.  I’ve experienced those days when I felt as if I was being attacked from every possible direction.  Those were the days that I just wanted to cover my eyes with my hands and then run and hide under my blankets.  Ever go through a tornado or hurricane or monsoon?  Even hiding under the blankets is no good if the house careens off the foundation.  There’s very little comfort in knowing that everything could topple in a moment.

3.  Matt. 7:24 starts with the word “therefore”.  A pastor once told me that when I see the word “therefore,” I should ask myself what it is there  for.  Well,  in this case, I look back to verse 21.  It is chilling. Some folks are being turned away from eternity with Jesus because they never knew Him as Lord.  They called Him “Lord”, but the words made no difference if the relationship was not there.  Did they think that they had secured the relationship and secured eternity?  This is when I reflect again on the builders.  Why would a builder waste money and time and energy building a house on shifting sand?  Why deliberately set himself up for failure?  Is it possible that the builder saw the firm, packed sand and thought that it would work?  Is it possible that those in the last days desperately crying out “Lord!” thought that certain rituals or observances would work?  And then when the storms come, the truth is revealed.

4.  What is sand?  Each grain of sand is a tiny miniature rock, and is a particle of an original rock, but it is NOT the rock.  The sand in one way looks like rock, but it can never in and of itself be the original rock.   It’s a fragment.   Perhaps this is where the deception lies.  We build faith on something that looks somewhat like Jesus, but it’s not Jesus.  That is faith based on a fragment and not on the whole.

5.  So…… the foolish piggies built houses of straw and sticks and they came tumbling down in the bad breath of the bad wolf.   The foolish builder built his house upon the the sand foundation, and it came tumbling down in the winds and storms.  What was the foolishness of the people that Jesus was talking to in the Sermon on the Mount?  Well, in chapter 7 of Matthew alone, they were judging others without looking at their own situation.  They were not asking and seeking in the right places.  They were streaming toward and through the wide popular gate and ignoring the narrow more difficult gate.   And they were not recognizing deception from those that they wanted to trust.  Foolish….. foolish….  And then they cry out “Lord, Lord!”  and with sadness, the Father has to say, “I never knew you.”

Oh Father!  Clear the foolishness out of my life!  I want to be firmly bound to the Rock; I want to withstand the storms that life throws around me.  Help me to be not so judgmental.  Help me to seek You in the right place: Your Word.  Help me to journey though the narrow gate.  Help me trust in You only, and be aware of deception.  Father, forgive me.”  Amen

To God Be The Glory……..

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Excellent Diana~ “On Christ the solid rock we stand, all other ground…is sinking sand~”

    • And now, dear Sharon, I’m singing! Thank you; I always cherish your kind words and encouragement!


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