This is a continuation of the post “What Will You Build Your Life On (Part 1).” If you haven’t read that one first, feel free to hop on over.
Last time, we looked at how the wise man and the foolish man built their homes on rock and sand. Let’s compare the two, shall we?
The soft ground (also called “sand” in the children’s song) is probably desirable in many ways. Number one reason? It’s easy—you don’t have to dig through rock. You don’t have to worry about the headache of building a foundation. That would make it cheaper and less stressful.
The rocky ground is challenging for the same reasons. It’s difficult—you have to put forth a whole lot more effort to achieve the same result: a house. A house on rock would require blasting and digging down deep in order to anchor the house to something. A process that is harder, more expensive, and maybe more stressful.
However, a house with a foundation is something that will stand not only the test of time but also all the storms and floods that attack it. Something the house on the sand will never endure.
So, again, I ask you:
What will you build your life on?
There was a man in the Bible who had to make a choice, a choice whether to live on the rock or on the sand. His story is in 2 Kings 22. At this time, the time of King Josiah, the people of Judah had LOST the Word of God.
Literally. They lost the Word of God and had no idea where to find it. Can you imagine?
Then, one day, the high priest located it. Hilkiah, the high priest, said to the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord.” Where he found it, I have no idea. In a dusty corner? Even more perplexing is how they lost it in the first place. What did they do in the house of the Lord if not study the Law? (More on that later…)
The point is, they’d lost the Book of the Law and now, suddenly, the high priest found it and gave it to the secretary.
Who reads it!
Which, of course, meant he had to tell King Josiah right away. He went to the king and said, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And then he read it to the king.
Can you imagine the power of the words that rolled off the secretary’s tongue? The power that the Book of the Law would have on someone whose heart was seeking but had never heard its message? When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes. THAT’S how powerful the words were. He commanded Hilkiah to “Go, inquire of the Lord for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found. For great is the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.”
King Josiah, who was only a teenager or at most in his twenties at the time, was cut to the heart. And it changed his life. He ended up making a covenant (promise) before the Lord to walk in His ways and keep His commandments with all his heart and all his soul and to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book.
Throughout the rest of the chapter, King Josiah set out to rid Judah of anything that God did not mandate in the Book of the Law. There were vessels made for other gods like Baal and Asherah that were kept within the temple of the Lord. Within the temple of the Lord! King Josiah had them taken out and burned. There were priests who burned incense to Baal, and the sun, moon, and stars—he got rid of them. There were even male prostitutes in the temple of the Lord, and obviously he kicked them out as well. He removed statues dedicated to false gods and destroyed alters, tombs, and pillars that were not mandated by the Book of the Law.
Without the Word of the Lord, Judah had gone so wrong in their beliefs. And King Josiah had had a choice to make. He could’ve continued in their false religion—building his house on the sand. Or he could stand up for truth, for what God truly asks of His people—building his house on the rock.
It’s a scary notion, this idea that these people were living out their lives, happily having no idea that their lives were built on sand. What is your life built upon? Rock or sand?
Jeremiah the prophet, a contemporary of King Josiah, puts it this way in Jeremiah 5:30-31:
An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?
What will you build your life on?
Continue reading part 3 . . .