March 18, 2007
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Matthew 7:24-27 – Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. (ESV)

In the media, many have seen depicted the disasters that have occurred in recent years. I have viewed some satellite images of the seafront before and after a tsunami that took place a few years ago. An image taken before the disaster showed buildings right on the seashore. They must have known that seasonal storms would come and cause damage to the houses. Maybe they hoped that in such an event, they could be repaired and restored. Maybe they had no other choice. Who knows?

From the subsequent havoc caused, it is evident that no one expected, or prepared for, a mountain of water to come and inexorably wash away not only the buildings but, by the vastness of the surge, everything, even the very seafront on which they stood. Today, post-tsunami, there is a new shoreline where the access road once ran up to the backs of the houses. The comparison of the before and after pictures is one that is painfully striking and an eye-opener to the enormous forces involved.

Jesus talked about building a house on the rock. His audience knew well the properties and attributes of sand and rock because they were part of their everyday environment in the Middle East. They knew about seasonal flooding, but I doubt that they had seen the likes of a tsunami in their time. Today, the recent disaster has given a fresh perspective to my western eyes on the total destruction that is possible.

When becoming Christians, we put our faith in Jesus, the Rock, because we knew that it was, and still is, right to do so. Nothing can wash us away from His love and care while we reside on the Rock.

But have we quietly relocated from the Rock to the sands of the waterfront, no longer trusting in God's grace, but in something else?

Prayer: Lord, today, by the power of the Holy Spirit, please breathe into our hearts and minds afresh, so that, like Mary listening at Jesus' feet, we may put aside the distractions of the world and rest in the simplicity of Your grace and love. Jesus, we rejoice that You are the Rock and that there is no other name by which we must be saved. Amen.

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About the author:

Rod Marshall <roderickmarshall@yahoo.com>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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