advertisement

Just dropping by ... ‘The Wise Man and the Foolish Man’

Yevet Tenney for Progressive Dairyman Published on 18 October 2016

A few Sundays ago, I spent some time in the nursery at our church with my two granddaughters, Hazel and Darcy. Hazel is 1, and Darcy is 2. Like the other six or seven children in the nursery, their eyes shone with delight as they milled through the toys and played with each other.

The toddlers, of course, grabbed what they wanted even if it brought tears of protest from another child. They climbed up on folding chairs and stood on them, not realizing the danger. That is what toddlers do, but the teacher kindly lifted them down and reminded them to be careful and to be kind and share.

When snack time came, they gathered around a table and ate Goldfish crackers and apple slices. They were very civilized for toddlers. Only a few crackers sailed through the air, only a few apple slices landed on the floor, and only two children went through the garbage scavenging when the snack time ended. They are such unpretentious and uninhibited little people.

We sang a song that I learned when I was not more than a toddler. It was written in 1948 by Ann Omley. The song, of course, was based on a parable of Jesus.

There are two accounts of the parable in the Bible, one from Matthew and one from Luke. They recount the parable in different words, but the message is the same. Wise men build on the rock while foolish men build upon the sand. Matthew recounts the parable this way:

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 every one 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.
—Matthew 7:24-27

Luke’s account:

And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:

He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.

But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.
—Luke 6:46-49

Both accounts talk about building on a sure foundation ... rocks versus sand. Rocks are solid and have endured a great deal of adversity, while sand is porous and unstable, can be blown around by the slightest wind and can be washed away with very little water.

It is clear: No matter how well you build the rest of your house, the foundation is the most important – so it is with nations.

The founding principles of our nation were built on rock-solid Biblical values. They didn’t shift with every wind of doctrine. The Constitution was firm and reliable, based on truth.

It stood the test of time but is now being eroded by doctrines and philosophies that are based on theories that shift with the opinions of the public.

The true principle of strong families and marriages has given way to the doctrine of “my choice.” The clear-cut concept of gender identity has given way to the doctrine of “I am who I want to be.” The idea of equality has become a battle over the “haves and the have nots.”

Work ethic has nothing to do with it. Private property rights are degenerating into “what’s yours is mine.” National pride, unity and patriotism have become a war of racism and divisiveness, a constant war of “me, myself and I” against time-worn traditions.

Our religious liberties are becoming a rapidly deflating beach ball batted back and forth by candidates who seem to have no clue what they are playing with.

I am surprised that we can’t see how those philosophies are as unstable as sand on a windy desert or a beach. How can a nation of gender-disturbed people teach children to be strong fathers and mothers for the next generation?

How can people destroy national pride and patriotism without engendering civil strife and weakening our national security? How can a nation abandon the God of this nation, even Jesus Christ, and still expect to be protected in perilous times? How can we build our house upon the sand and not expect to get washed away?

Right now, many in our nation are like toddlers climbing on dangerous precipices without any guard rails, and our teachers/leaders/media are not warning us of the danger. They are stirring the pot of anger and divisiveness.

They are allowing us to grab whatever we want, no matter how it hurts the people around us. They are not quietly reminding us that kindness and sharing is the way to peace. They are helping us to give up our firm foundation of individual rights and laws for a castle of sand.

What is to be done?
Jesus taught: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)

Jesus marked the path of peace, and it was recorded in the scriptures. The principles He taught were clear and easy to understand. The trouble is, we don’t spend enough time reading the map.

We cannot know His way unless we read His map and walk His walk. The map He left contains the true principles that govern success and happiness in this life. People who follow the map will be the most content and peaceful of people, because the truth has made them free.

Truth cannot be altered or be changed by opinions and debates. The consequences of sin will still follow those who disbelieve just as quickly as those who believe. Truth is the truth, and that is that. It is like a toddler standing on a chair.

She may not know that it hurts to fall off the chair, but the truth of the law of gravity will not be altered because she does not know or believe. Truth is truth whether we believe it or not.

We must, as a nation, turn to the God of this land in prayer. We must work daily to build our families’ ability to follow God’s map. That is our only hope. The little song I sang as a child is still a great song to help our families build houses upon the rock of Jesus Christ.

“The Wise Man and the Foolish Man”

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 rains came tumbling down.

The rains came down
and the floods came up,

The rains came down
and the floods came up,

The rains came down
and the floods came up,

But the house on the rock 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 rains came tumbling down.

The rains came down
and the floods came up,

The rains came down
and the floods came up,

The rains came down
and the floods came up,

And the house on the sand fell flat.

So build your life
on the Lord Jesus Christ,

So build your life
on the Lord Jesus Christ,

So build your life
on the Lord Jesus Christ,

And the blessings will come down.

The blessings come down
as your prayers go up,

The blessings come down
as your prayers go up,

The blessings come down
as your prayers go up,

So build your life on the Lord.

library.timelesstruths.org/music/the_wise_man_and_the_foolish_man  end mark

Before commenting on our articles, please note our Terms for Commenting.

LATEST BLOG

LATEST NEWS