The Wise Foundation

The Wise Foundation


The tallest building in the world since 2009 is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. It stands at 2722 feet tall. That’s over half a mile in height! It has 160 floors and is twice as tall as the Empire State Building in New York City. That is an incredibly tall building. How is it possible that a tower so tall can stand so securely? The secret to the stability of this record-breaking building is found underground. Before upward construction began, workers spent a year digging and pouring the massive foundation that supports this building. The foundation contains 58,900 cubic yards of concrete, weighing more than 110,000 tons, and its foundation consists of 192 piles buried more than 160 feet deep. The Burj Khalifa is safe because its foundation is solid.

Now, compare the Burj Khalifa to the leaning tower of Pisa. No one ever intended for the Tower of Pisa to lean. Construction on the tower began in AD 1172, and a mere five years later, when they added the second floor, one side began to sink, causing it to lean. It began to lean because it was constructed with an inadequate foundation. The foundation was only 10 feet deep! This shallow foundation proved insufficient to hold the weight of the 183-foot marble structure in Pisa’s soft soil. Corrective reconstruction efforts on the ground around the tower continued until 2008 to prevent the tower from toppling over. Now, the tower of Pisa is one of the world’s most popular tourist attractions, all because of a flawed foundation. 

The difference between the Burj Khalifa and the Tower of Pisa has everything to do with their foundations. And these two buildings serve as a reminder of one of Jesus’ most well-known parables. It’s called the parable of the Wise and Foolish Builders (Matthew 7:24-27; Luke 6:46-49). According to this parable, two different men decided to build a house. One of the men was “wise,” and the other was “foolish.” After construction was completed on both structures, a storm came, and the foolish man’s house was destroyed while the wise man’s house was spared. What determined whether they were wise or foolish builders?

Was it their objective? No, because they shared the SAME OBJECTIVE. Both of them endeavored to build a house.

Was it the storm? No, because they experienced the SAME STORM. Rain fell on both houses, floods rose against both houses, and winds beat against both houses. We don’t read about different storms. We have one storm affecting both houses.

Was it the location? No, because they built their houses in the SAME LOCATION. The text does not specify this, but it does imply it. Since both men are subject to the same storm, we can infer that they were constructing in close proximity to one another.

The decisive difference between the builders was that they built on DIFFERENT FOUNDATIONS. We’re told that the “wise man” built his house on a rock foundation while the “foolish man” built his house on a sand foundation. These two guys are identified as wise and foolish based solely on their choice of a foundation.

I think we can all relate to these guys. In one sense or another, we are all trying to build a home. Thus, we all have the same objective. Some variables may exist, such as the TOOLS we have available (i.e., finances; support from others), the TIME FRAME of construction (i.e., our current stage of life), and the SCOPE of the project (i.e., single or married; the number of children). But in the end, all of us are constructing a home, whether it be for ourselves or our family.

Additionally, we are all constructing homes in the same location because we are all constructing homes on this earth. It doesn’t matter if your home is here in the United States or in a Third World Country; we are all constructing in a fallen world. Do you know what that means? Our construction projects are never going to be perfect.

Finally, all of us are going to face storms as we build. You cannot avoid storms. Your storm may be a scary medical diagnosis, an extramarital affair or divorce, an economic setback, the loss of a family member, or a severed relationship. Regardless of what the storm entails, everybody is affected by a storm.

Since we all have the same objective, construction location, and expectation of experiencing storms, we too will be distinguished as wise or foolish based on our foundation choice. And the only wise foundation choice is God. We’re told in Psalm 127:1, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” Solomon’s words indicate that without God’s involvement in constructing our homes, we will not build our homes wisely. Thus, Solomon’s words imply that the foundation on which you build your home is the most critical step of construction. And there’s only one foundation that guarantees success, a foundation built on the family’s relationship with God.

So, we must ask ourselves whether or not we’re constructing our homes wisely or foolishly. And the answer to that question is contingent on whether or not God is the foundation of our home. So consider how much emphasis biblical study and prayer receive in your home. Consider how much your family prioritizes being physically present for worship services. Consider your family’s level of involvement in kingdom activities like fellowship, service, and evangelism. And consider how your family’s financial decisions reflect a God-first mentality. 

When it comes to your home, are you building the Burj Khalifa—a skyscraper built to last and serve as a home to people? Or are you constructing the leaning Tower of Pisa—a tourist attraction constantly trying to fall over and routinely needing to be repaired?