Jeremiah 10:23 – I know, O Lord, that a man’s way is not in himself, Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps. NASU
I like building things. Some of my past projects have included multi-level decks, bookcases, cabinetry, various remodeling of homes and even general contracting my home. While I haven’t been able to do as much as I would have liked, hopefully I will be able to do more in the future.
It may have escaped the notice of many that the holy bible contains messages regarding building in both new and old testaments. In 1 Corinthians 3, the apostle, Paul was addressing the growth of the church, using an agricultural illustration he mentioned that he planted, and Apollos watered and yet it was God who caused the growth. As he continued with his letter, he switched to a building process in that he, “like a wise master builder,” lays the foundation and another will build upon it. The foundation, however, must be none other than Jesus, the Christ. Whatever is built will be tested and it will either stand or fall, based upon its ‘construction’ as the temple of God.
In Psalms 127:1, we are told that “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it, Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain.” This passage of scripture holds a critical message for us who would follow the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Everything must be under the control of God and His direction or it will bear nothing of true value for us. As we walk through life, we will have to make decisions that require discerning God’s will and we need to seek it to be pleasing to Him, and in the event of a failure, make necessary course correction when it is detected.
This principle is found in several places in scripture. As we consider the great flood of Genesis we need only reflect on the instructions for Noah in building the Ark. The specifications of its size, layout, and materials to use were dictated by God and in Genesis 6:22 we read all that God instructed, Noah did. As a result, Noah and his family were brought safely through it, able to survive a worldwide flood that destroyed all that have ‘breath of the spirit of life in its nostrils” (7:22). This was not by any power of Noah, but rather in the faith he had in God to deliver on His promises. Another perfect example would be the provision of a dwelling place for God upon Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. God gave specific guidance for the building of the ‘tent of meeting’ or Tabernacle and all it contains as well as practices for worship and sacrifices. The faithful obedience of the Israelites brought about the presence of God in the building of the Tabernacle and eventually in the temple in Jerusalem. It was only by the power of God that these were able to accomplish their purposes.
On the other hand, we see another example in Genesis 11, that is not ‘endorsed’ by God where man began a building project. This project by man was intended to ‘reach into the heavens’ and to make a name for themselves. God looked down us what was unfolding and in Genesis 11:6 and we read what He thought about it when He said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them.” (NASU) What was God’s response? He destroyed the tower man was building, confused their language in which they spoke, and they were scattered abroad. Are you ready to let Him build the house of your life? We would do well to heed the word of the psalmist and realize that the control of God over our very lives is the only way to live… here as we prepare for the home He has prepared for the faithful for all eternity.
Copyright © 2018, Nolan P. Rutter