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The wise man built...

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 5:16 pm    Post subject: The wise man built... Reply with quote

Having just completed a major building project at the seminary, I am freshly aware of all that went into the construction, most of which is covered up. Visitors in our David M. Rogers Hall of Mission will see the painted walls, the global and artistic elements on display, and the engaging interaction of faculty, staff and students in the halls. But underneath them are those huge metal beams set on footings below the surface of the ground. Footings of concrete and rebar. We prepared not only for teaching and learning but also for earthquakes and storms.

Jesus told a simple story about two men who built houses, one on "a rock" and the other on sand. Bedrock in the Middle East has for centuries been the ultimate foundation for buildings. You can dig through layers of urban life on mounds called "tels" and find evidence of a relentless effort across millennia to build on rock. Bedrock brings stability, permanence, strength.

Not surprisingly, the most common metaphor for God in the Psalms is Rock. He is also Fortress and Refuge. One word for refuge is metsuda - the name of the famous rock outcropping we call Masada. It is only God and His words that endure. We either live with strong spiritual footings in a world of storms (the only world there is), or we live in a shelter that lasts only until the major storms come. No rebar, no concrete, nothing underneath. Brief bursts of success. Fleeting signs of permanence. But then the house goes down. We’ve seen a tsunami take out vast residential areas in Asia. We've seen urban areas crumble with earthquakes in Turkey and Haiti. We've also seen great leaders go down in every part of the world. Lives built around power, sex or money.

Some of us are facing hurricanes with stronger winds than we've ever felt before. Most storms don’t come with enough warning. We just find ourselves huddled up in whatever we built. And that turns out to be as good as whatever we build on.
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