Friday, June 9, 2017

Clay Versus Rock Foundations

UV 2293/10000 Clay Versus Rock Foundations
The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.
Psalm 37 v 31

The foundations of any building or structure is its most vital part. For a human being, our feet are like the foundations. The feet are symbolic of our basic beliefs, values and principles that govern and guide our lives in its various dimensions. In Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the glorious statue that started with precious stones and metals adorning the head but when it came down to the feet of that statue, it had feet partly of clay. The feet of clay are symbols of weak foundations. If any pressure is applied on the feet or a stone strikes it, the whole edifice of life would collapse. The rise and fall of individuals, societies as well as nations is due to the feet of clay or weak foundations. Britain in the wake of the recent election is a case in point. The nation departed from its foundations: the hearts of the local people have long turned cold towards God and their basic faith leading to low or no attendance at churches and the churches being sold to be bars or restaurants and so on. A similar plight awaits Europe with the basic values of marriage, family and faith greatly eroded in virtually all the member nations of the European nations with few exceptions.

But once we imbibe the word of God into our hearts as the law that governs our lives, it has a way of travelling upwards to our heads to influence our thinking and downward to our feet to give us rock-like foundations. The foundational beliefs in the existence of God, that He is loving, just and merciful as described in the Word gives each of us a sense of security and strength. The belief that we are created in the image of God to be loving, just and merciful like God will keep us from contemplating violence against one another. The belief that marriage is God-ordained and children are a gift from the Lord will sustain our marriages and families through thick and thin of life. The belief that God is perfect and that we should aim to be like Him will enable us to catch up with excellence or constant and continual all round improvement of our lives and that of others. The Word will determine our basic values- the things that we should give priority to in our lives. The Word will also give us guiding principles to help us negotiate the various circumstances of life. It orders or re-arranges our thoughts, words, actions and conduct so that it comes together as a harmonious whole. Our beliefs, values and principles that are Bible-based are what gives us the feet of mountain deer that climb great heights and perilous slopes.

Scripture-knowledge does not pre-empt us from falling but it gets us back on our feet whenever we fall. We do not go into a downward slide or a free fall. Many people who do not have this kind of strong foundations or feet can go into deep depression just due to one factor going wrong in their lives. Many marriages break down over a single argument. Children go astray after a single incident of being enraged with their parents over something. Successful actors and businessmen have committed suicide over a single failure or disappointment. In contrast, the sound foundations of scripture gives us a long term and eternal perspective on every conceivable situation of life. It gives us wisdom not just to develop our capabilities but also our copabilities or the ability to cope with the inevitable, the unforeseen, the adverse. Beliefs, values and principles based on scripture give us the resilience or the bounce back ability. When we rely on human thought, philosophies and such like, these are like building a house on shifting sand. These are subject to constant change and revision. In any case, when a machine or computer is manufactured, we do not rely on a manual written by it but on a manual made by its inventor or creator. Likewise, we human beings need to depend on a manual written by the Creator in His infinite wisdom and not written or thought of by any of us finite creatures.

Prateep V Philip

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