“At the king’s command they quarried out great, costly stones in order to lay the foundation of the house with dressed stones.” – 1 Kings 5:17
“…if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” – Psalm 11:3
“…he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.” Luke 6:48-49
“According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.” 1 Cor 3:10-15
“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” 1 Timothy 6:17-19
Scripture is replete with construction references, and foundations are especially important to God. “Foundation” is referenced more than 80 times in Scripture.
When we look at the verses above, we see a lot.
In 1 Kings we see that in order to build the temple, they first laid stones that were “great” and “costly.” In construction, laying the foundation for a large building will be 30% or more of the project. The foundation is critical and once laid properly, the intended infrastructure goes up relatively quickly.
The project planners for the temple did not cut corners. They assembled a massive labor force to hew massive stones for use in the foundation. This building was intended to stand for all time, and therefore, the foundation would be up for the task.
In Luke Christ gives us one of the most famous exhortations on wisdom of all time. The wise person is careful about where he “builds.” The most important issue is the foundation.
In 1 Corinthians Paul demonstrates the multigenerational aspect of our mission. Paul and the apostles have laid a foundation, and we are called to be careful how we build upon it.
Last, in 1 Timothy Paul shares that our actions on earth are laying a “foundation” for us in the next life. Apparently, we will build in the next life, but our “structure” will only be as good as the foundation that we have laid in this life.
Which brings us to today’s question: what foundation are you laying? Perhaps we first need to ask, “are you laying a foundation at all?”
Too many men in our society are spending their days constructing other people’s dreams, visions, and plans. They are doing nothing that creates a foundation for the next generation. Their children are destined to endure the same struggle that their fathers have suffered. Namely, they will get an education in a field unrelated to their parents and begin from scratch to build a life and a career, most likely constructing another man’s household just like their father did.
Men take this path for a variety of reasons. Most take it because this is what they were taught to do. They were never told there is a much better way. However, men stay on the path because they need immediate gratification. They need to “pay the bills,” and laying a foundation means hard work with little reward in the early stages.
These men are building a house on the sand. Too many in this economy have found how quickly such a house can come crashing down. It would serve our generation well to observe the temple builders and the level of effort and time put into establishing a lasting foundation. We have become the temple, and our lives deserve the kinds of costly and great stones used in the original.
Biblical men should have a multi-generational vision for their family. They should be laying a foundation that can be built upon by their children. The child of a Biblical man should have a distinct advantage over the children of pagans since they will be adding to what has been done rather than starting from scratch. The grandchildren should be virtual light-years beyond their contemporaries.
Are you developing a foundation that will be the starting point for your children? Or are you involved in labor that builds nothing for your family while establishing a foundation for someone else?
If you are laying a foundation, what sort of foundation is it? Are you laying a foundation that will position you to have the maximum rewards in the next life? Are you working to build up a worldly system or a Biblical one?
As Biblical men, we must be conscious of such things. We must be striving every day to build upon what our faithful forefathers have provided. We must be steadfast in extending their vision. Moreover, we must be casting a vision for our families and establishing a foundation for the next generation to build upon.
Ponder today: what foundation are you laying? Because, as the Psalmist laments, without foundations, what can the righteous do?