“Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.”
This verse is a wonderful reminder of our reliance on God for all things. The Psalmist writes that if God is not involved in our efforts, then our efforts will surely fail. It doesn’t matter how hard we might work or how strong we might be, if God isn’t the source of it, it is in vain.
This verse brings to mind the parable in Matthew 7:24-27 of the house built on a foundation of stand. You probably know it, there’s a popular children’s song based on it. The story goes that a foolish man built his house on the sand. In good weather, the house was fine, but as soon as the rain and wind of a storm came, the foundation was swept from underneath it and the house fell. In contrast, a wise man built his house on a foundation of rock. It stood firm both in the good weather and the bad. The moral of the story is that it doesn’t matter how your house is built or what it is made of, if the foundation isn’t good, the house cannot stand.
In a similar way, the Psalmist reminds us that unless God is working through us in our efforts, unless our work, our behavior, and our lives are all carried out in pursuit of God’s will, then it is all sure to fail. There is only one thing that is always good, always strong, and never fails, and that is God. The only way that we can live our lives in a way that isn’t constantly disappointing, futile, and transient is to live for God. If our faith in is Earthly or material things, in other humans, or ourselves, we will be disappointed. There is no perfect person. There is no permanent thing. There is nothing that can satisfy but God alone. If we build our lives around fleeting and temporary things, our lives will constantly be falling apart. If we build our lives around God, our foundation will always be strong.
Storms will still come, windows may break, and the roof may leak, but the building won’t fall. God is the only solid foundation, the only rock worthy of building on. Build your life on him and him alone, and it will not be in vain.
Thank you for the solid ground that you provide. Please be the cornerstone of my life, of everything I undertake in this world. Be my foundation and my stability, and help correct me when I start to build on shaky ground.
In Jesus’ Name,