How Firm A Foundation?
“How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!”
They call it the “leaning tower of Pisa” for good reason. The campanile—or freestanding bell-tower—of the cathedral in the Italian city of Pisa, leans noticeably to one side.
Prior to some restoration efforts in the early 2000s, the tower listed to an angle of 5.5 degrees. Today it leans at 3.9 degrees—meaning the top of the tower is displaced some 12 feet from where it would be if the structure were perfectly vertical.
There has been a great deal of controversy over the years concerning the identity of the architect. You have to wonder if the tower’s lean has anything to do with that. The tower’s tilt began during its construction, caused by an inadequate foundation, and ground too soft on one side to support the weight of the structure.
What architect would want his signature on that project?
The leaning tower testifies to the vital importance of a solid foundation for any construction endeavor.
The great old hymn How Firm A Foundation testifies that, in God’s Word, and more particularly in the faithfulness of its Author, believers have a firm foundation.
His promises to be our refuge, our supply and our deliverer—you can absolutely build your life upon them.
Through the prophet Isaiah, God spoke of the One who would be the cornerstone of this foundation: “So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic’” (Isaiah 28:16).
Jesus is this cornerstone. He teaches: “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock” (Matthew 7:24-25).
He painted a contrasting picture, as well: “But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash” (Matthew 7:26-27).
May we give thanks this week for the solid footing our God has given us in Jesus Christ. May we give thought to our part in the construction of his dwelling place—our lives.
How well are we hearing and putting into practice Christ’s words?
My prayer this week – Gracious Heavenly Father, I’m thankful you chose me before the creation of the world to be your child. I am thankful for the foundation of your Word in my life. Will you help me to be more firmly established upon it, hearing and practicing, that my life would stand straight—an example for others to see?