It was quite a vision of architectural mastery…my little nephew, Zachary, and his Uncle Scott had just completed a teetering tower of sand together. The globular “castle” was formed from wet, drizzled sand and stood about a foot tall complete with a small “moat” in the front of it. Zachary carefully placed small shells along its sides and top. Both were proud of their effort.
Not too much later in the morning, as Zachary was showing his cousin Ashley their masterpiece, the rising tide began to whittle away the base of the structure. We all watched helplessly as the tiny tower began to sag to its side and eventually collapse. Little Zachary’s eyes grew wide and we braced for his disappointment….”ooooooh nooooooo!” we heard him say, as he tossed his hands in the air in a gesture that seemed to ask, What happened?
His wise cousin Ashley explained to him that the foundation was just not strong enough.
While it is difficult to be at a beach and NOT write about all the Biblical applications found in the tremendous amount of sand, even I could not pass up this topic. Here in Hilton Head South Carolina the beaches are expansive. Wide swaths of packed sand lead down to gentle waves. I have never been on beaches so firm and flat. Joggers, walkers, bikers, and even families with strollers are moving across the beaches all day long.
It is easy to forget how precarious the ground below actually is, but by mid day beach chairs are sinking into the sand as if being swallowed by quick sand. No matter how firm you think the earth below you is, it will eventually give in to the incoming tide and become a gooey, spongy mess.
I think that is exactly the image Jesus may have wanted us to have when we read his words in Mathew 7: 24-27. “…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 when the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon the house and it fell; and great was the fall of it.”
Hearing the Word of God and failing to be obedient to it is as foolish as building a house on gooey, spongy sand. We will not be able to stand against the rising tides in life and I am pretty certain that we would all then find ourselves saying, “ooooh noooooo!”