Here in the Sandhills of northwestern Nebraska, we are familiar with the properties of sand. While the hills are pretty, especially at this time of the year, and plentiful (so much sand that we just pile it up!), and while productive, giving lush grasses for pasturage, recent heavy rains remind us that they are not always permanent. These heavy rains have caused erosion in some areas. Sand moves, causing deeper washes and the filling of cattle guards and stock tanks.
Like those of our text, if you have put up a shed without taking time to put it on a solid foundation, you know of the devastation that shifting sand can cause. When we do not listen to advice, Experience teaches us to build on solid and sturdy foundations.
While sand is plentiful and does have certain commendable properties, providing a stable foundation on which to build is not one of them. Our text applies this principle to our lives; it identifies obedience to God's Word as being the critical element to building our lives on a rock, a stable foundation. Failing to be obedient, is likened to building on sand. It is not how much Bible you know, but how much you obey that effects your life. "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." James 4:17 KJV
Note that the storms of life come upon both buildings (in all lives), the difference in the outcome has to do with the difference in the foundations. Where are you building? Upon what are you founding your life? When the storms come, and they are certain to come, will you withstand the tempest, or will you life fall to pieces?
Edward Mote, a carpenter, penned the words to a poem which he carried in his pocket as he visited a friend and his sick wife. The host looked for the family hymn book but could not locate it. Mote removed the verses from his pocket and offered to sing them poem. The dying wife was greatly comforted by the message. Hoping that they would be a blessing to others, Mote had a thousand copies printed for distribution. In 1863, William Bradbury composed the familiar tune to which we sing the hymn, "The Solid Rock", today.