It was a strategic time for Jesus to talk about this -- right after He chose the 12 apostles and rthe Sermon on the Mount.
Israel -- much of the land is full of clay so it gets very hard. They would have built homes in the summer because winter is the rainy season. The problem with summer is that the clay would make the soil like "bronze." It would take a lot of work to dig a foundation. It would be tempting to take a shortcut. But shortcuts would mean the house would be in danger of sliding off the foundation during the rainy season, during the floods (which would definitely be coming).
The clay turns to mud. If the house isn't anchored down it will slide off.
In the valley the builders might have to dig down 10 feet to hit bedrock. They had to go all the way to bedrock or the foundation would not be solid. On the top of a ridge it might just be down to 2 ft.
Jesus used parallel rhetoric.
Good -- hear Me and do it.
Floods will come.
Both builders know the right way to do things. One chooses to do the right thing. The other doesn't.
"Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scoffers
who rule this people in Jerusalem.
15 You boast, “We have entered into a covenant with death,
with the realm of the dead we have made an agreement.
When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by,
it cannot touch us,
for we have made a lie our refuge
and falsehood[a] our hiding place.” Isaiah 28:14-15
All the gods of Egypt were gods of death. Isaiah tells them they had chosen death gods rather than the God of life.
So this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation;
the one who relies on it
will never be stricken with panic.
17 I will make justice the measuring line
and righteousness the plumb line;
hail will sweep away your refuge, the lie,
and water will overflow your hiding place.
18 Your covenant with death will be annulled;
your agreement with the realm of the dead will not stand.
When the overwhelming scourge sweeps by,
you will be beaten down by it." Isaiah 28:16-18
Isaiah is talking about the coming Messiah. Jesus' crowd would have known about this prophecy. When Jesus says to build on Him they know He's calling Himself the Cornerstone.
Jesus has given us all the materials. Jesus has given us all the plans. We have a choice on how we build.
There is heaven and hell. Choose the foundation. Choose heaven.
Jesus probably was a bit frustrated as to why people just don't do what He says. Just do the right thing.
We've been given everything. There's nothing God can't do through us if we let Him. We have to hold ourselves to a higher standard. Yes, we have to dig through the clay. It's hard work!
“As for you, son of man, your people are talking together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, saying to each other, ‘Come and hear the message that has come from the Lord.’ 31 My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to hear your words, but they do not put them into practice. Their mouths speak of love, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. 32 Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice." Ezekiel 33:30-32
Jesus is not an entertainer. We have no excuse.
Building on the Solid Rock.
1. Dig deep into the Word, get a solid foundation so that when challenges come, we stand (Hear the Word). We each have to build our own foundation, our own faith house.
2. The storms are coming.
3. Build on that foundation (Do what I say).
Our lives need to be laid out in the foundation. Work on till it is finished. Houses are never finished. Hear Me and Do My words.
Just do what He says.
Am I building on the rock?
We're all unfinished.
What are we doing now?