Digging into “the wise man built his house upon the rock”

I think anyone who has spent any amount of time in Sunday school or church knows that song, “A wise man built his house upon the rock.” It’s a cute song with a great message – build your house on the rock, or Jesus (Matt 7:24 – 27). It’s fair to say, that’s a reasonably straightforward message to understand.

However, as I was reading my bible the other morning, I saw a slight difference in that familiar song in a different part of Scripture that I had never noticed before:

“They are 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 6:48 – 49, emphasis mine

Same, same but different

This may not seem like a big difference. But after thinking a bit about it, the Luke verse really clarifies the Matthew passage significantly. Not that the two verses are in conflict with one another. Rather the two passages deepen the understanding of the other. For someone to build their house on the rock, that would inherently require someone to “dig down deep.” And considering the geological landscape of Israel, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say if someone built their house on the ground without a foundation, that would be the equivalent of building it on sand.

Maybe it’s just me, but in my head, whenever I thought about this passage, I always assumed someone built their house on top of a rock that was projecting on top of the surface of the ground (i.e. no one had to dig anything) versus the ground which was full of beach sand. Anyone else?

But when you read these two passages told by Jesus from the same story together, again, they clarify each other. In order to have a good, solid foundation, you must be willing to dig. In Israel, there are definitely projecting rocks all over the place. However, the implication here is that to have a sound foundation, one must be ready and willing to dig, and to “dig down deep.”

Digging down deep

Digging is a lot of work. It all sounds great in theory, but in practice, it’s just simply hard. In addition, digging a foundation is not only difficult, but it takes a lot of time. After reflecting on that fact, I realized how Jesus was pointing to the reality that it is important for us to work and dig into Scripture so that we can be well established on the Rock of Christ. That couldn’t be more true right now in our cultural context. Minimally, it’s important for us seek the Rock of Christ. But if we want to stand firm when the rains and storms come (and come they will), we need to be willing to do the work of digging, and digging deep into Scripture.

Busy, busy, busy

The busyness of life is something I personally really struggle with. Clearly, I have a lot to do with the size of our family! In addition to the everyday responsibilities I have, there’s always something vying for my attention and it’s extremely easy for me to get distracted. Even as I may be doing “good things” and I have really good intentions, they may not always be the “best things.”

Obviously, we can’t be in the Word all day. That would be impractical and irresponsible, especially if we have other God-given responsibilities that we have been called to take care of. However, the more consistent we are and intentional in our “digging,” the better. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and our sanctification takes a lifetime. But it’s one consistent step at a time that will take us to our destination.

Intentional, consistent digging

So with all that being said, I encourage you to take some time to dig deep into Scripture and build your house on the foundation of Christ. Storms are brewing. Our greatest weapons don’t have anything to do with the Second Amendment (although the Second Amendment is a huge blessing we should never give up!). We must know how to fight the battles that are looming before us. And we won’t have a clue what to do unless we have been steeping ourselves in Scripture. Whether that’s for 5 minutes a day or 3 hours a day, just start and stay consistent. The LORD is faithful to bless our every effort!

And of course, remember to teach these things to your children. Talk about the Word “when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deut 6:7). Fill your children’s minds with Scripture, Truth, and the beautiful things of this world. There are so many great books to choose from that will help you affirm biblical convictions to your children, in tandem with the Word of God! Check out these that we offer here at MHM, and be your children’s biggest encourager to reach and strive towards knowing the LORD more every day.

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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