Build Your House on a Rock

4 Mins read

Wisdom is one of those words in the Scriptures that is seen a lot, yet the definition is often unknown by many. Wisdom has a tendency to be a lofty word, regarding which the Christian may think something like, “Yes, I need to have more wisdom in my life.” But then this same Christian goes from reading about wisdom in the Bible to not knowing how to lay hold of it – or not even really knowing what it is. Wisdom is to be prized and sought after, but on earth, is it? Wisdom will direct and guide the life of a Christian, but how do you find it? Is wisdom something that is only to be had by some of the spiritually elite who have reached the heights that some may never reach? What is all the hype about wisdom in the Scriptures, and is there a simple approach to this topic that could even be understood by the littlest of children?

Wisdom illustrated in everyday life

Most likely, all of you who are reading this have a great deal of experience with riding in a car. As you get into a car, you know that there is something in the car called a seatbelt. This seatbelt is designed to keep the passengers of the car safe in the event that the car that you are riding in is involved in a car accident. Therefore, as you step into a car, one of the next things that you do is buckle your seatbelt. That is wisdom.

However, let me describe this by breaking down the different parts of the story. As you get into the car, you have a prior knowledge about seat belts that you are bringing with you. You already know about cars and the way they work. You already know that car accidents happen and that seatbelts are designed to keep you safe. All of that so far is knowledge. In other words, you have a great deal of knowledge concerning the situation you are entering into. But then, you choose to actually sit down and buckle your seatbelt. In this scenario, you exercise wisdom. Simply put, wisdom is the application of knowledge. This definition is helpful and leads to a good understanding of what has at times been a confusing topic.

To further illustrate this point, while you may have knowledge about cars, there are people in the world who do not. Imagine this person getting into a car for the first time. This person would not know about car accidents and seatbelts. As a result of this person’s lack of knowledge, he would not be able to exercise wisdom at this point. He would first need to know about car accidents or seatbelts before he is able to come to the conclusion that using a seatbelt is a good idea.

Wisdom illustrated in the Scriptures

In the book of Matthew, chapter 7, verses 24-27, Jesus gives an illustration of wisdom. In this portion of Scripture, Jesus tells us that the wise man is one who builds his house on the rock, and the foolish man is the one who builds his house on the sand. In the book of Proverbs, the wise man and the foolish man are often contrasted. These two men set out on a different course and end up in a different location each time. The wise man is praised, while the fool is condemned.

As in our example of the car and seatbelt, the same approach to understanding wisdom can be seen in this portion of Scripture. When one builds a house, the foundation is an essential component if he wants it to stand. It could be said that the foundation is the most important part. It is also the first part. If this part goes wrong, then everything that follows will be wrong too. Having knowledge about foundations and how to properly build a foundation and where to build a foundation will lead someone to making the wise decision (thus building his house on a rock). However, if someone does not have knowledge of foundations and how to build foundations and where to build foundations, then, most likely, he will not make the wise choice. Another option is that this person could choose not to apply the knowledge that he has concerning foundations (thus building his house on sand).

While Jesus is illustrating His point regarding wisdom, He also tells His listeners the following: “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock” (7:24). Jesus is saying that those who are wise are those who hear the words of God and do them. Thus, the wise man applies the knowledge that he has received to his life. Jesus goes on to say, “And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand” (7:26). Jesus here is saying that the foolish man is the one who hears God’s words and does not do them. Thus, the foolish man does not apply the knowledge that he has received to his life.


As you look at these two illustrations and the words of Jesus, what you can know is that when you read God’s Word, study God’s Word, listen to God’s word being taught, etc., you gain a knowledge of how God desires for you to live. This places you in a position to exercise wisdom. Exercising wisdom is not just for the spiritually elite. If you read that the greatest commandments are to love God and others, when you go and do that, you are making a wise choice and exercising wisdom. Read God’s Word, then go out and do what it says, and grow in wisdom.

Final prayer

Father, I thank You for helping me to grow in wisdom. Help me to know what Your Word says and to apply it to my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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