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This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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In The News: Founded on the Rock

ImageLast Monday President Obama delivered a speech on the economy at Georgetown University. In the speech, he was asking the American people to be patient as his administration seeks to deal with a sluggish economy, and to change the “foundation” upon which the economy rests. Notice the following quote, as reported by the Associated Press:

“We cannot rebuild this economy on the same pile of sand,” he said, invoking a Biblical reference to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. “We must build our house upon a rock. We must lay a new foundation for growth and prosperity a foundation that will move us from an era of borrow and spend to one where we save and invest, where we consume less at home and send more exports abroad.”

While some may have doubts as to whether his actions mirror his rhetoric, we will leave such discussions for a more appropriate forum. It is the purpose of this article to note the President’s reference to Jesus’ words.

It is not uncommon for politicians to make references to the Bible, or to quote from it. The Bible is familiar to the populace, and politicians get a “bump” of good will when they acknowledge its wisdom. It is rare, however, for them to treat such quotes in a proper context. This can be destructive on occasion.

While Obama’s point is a logical use of the quotation — we, after all, do not want to build our economy upon a foundation that will dissolve when challenges are encountered — the foundation to which Jesus refers is a different thing altogether. Note the actual text, taken from Matthew 7:

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall” (vs. 24-27).

The foundation is the teaching of Jesus. Those who follow his teaching are wise, and building their spiritual house upon a solid foundation. This is true with each individual, and the same could be said of nations as well. Look to the prophets as an example. God continually sent men to the nations (including Israel) to admonish them to heed His words. When they refused, God first chastised them, and then brought judgment upon them. He works the same way today.

Its fine to hatch economic theories designed to fix what is ailing our economy. But, what ails our nation runs far deeper than this. A good leader will look to the words of Jesus, and call the nation to repentance. If this is done, the nation will be blessed by God. If it is not, the end is inevitable, no matter the efforts men may make. “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him…” (Acts 17:26-27a).