Matthew 7:27
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
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7:21-29 Christ here shows that it will not be enough to own him for our Master, only in word and tongue. It is necessary to our happiness that we believe in Christ, that we repent of sin, that we live a holy life, that we love one another. This is his will, even our sanctification. Let us take heed of resting in outward privileges and doings, lest we deceive ourselves, and perish eternally, as multitudes do, with a lie in our right hand. Let every one that names the name of Christ, depart from all sin. There are others, whose religion rests in bare hearing, and it goes no further; their heads are filled with empty notions. These two sorts of hearers are represented as two builders. This parable teaches us to hear and do the sayings of the Lord Jesus: some may seem hard to flesh and blood, but they must be done. Christ is laid for a foundation, and every thing besides Christ is sand. Some build their hopes upon worldly prosperity; others upon an outward profession of religion. Upon these they venture; but they are all sand, too weak to bear such a fabric as our hopes of heaven. There is a storm coming that will try every man's work. When God takes away the soul, where is the hope of the hypocrite? The house fell in the storm, when the builder had most need of it, and expected it would be a shelter to him. It fell when it was too late to build another. May the Lord make us wise builders for eternity. Then nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ Jesus. The multitudes were astonished at the wisdom and power of Christ's doctrine. And this sermon, ever so often read over, is always new. Every word proves its Author to be Divine. Let us be more and more decided and earnest, making some one or other of these blessednesses and Christian graces the main subject of our thoughts, even for weeks together. Let us not rest in general and confused desires after them, whereby we grasp at all, but catch nothing.Jesus closes the sermon on the mount by a beautiful comparison, illustrating the benefit of attending to his words. It was not sufficient to "hear" them; they must be "obeyed." He compares the man who should hear and obey him to a man who built his house on a rock. Palestine was to a considerable extent a land of hills and mountains. Like other countries of that description, it was subject to sudden and violent rains. The Jordan, the principal stream, was annually swollen to a great extent, and became rapid and furious in its course. The streams which ran among the hills, whose channels might have been dry during some months of the year, became suddenly swollen with the rain, and would pour down impetuously into the plains below. Everything in the way of these torrents would be swept off. Even houses, erected within the reach of these sudden inundations, and especially if founded on sand or on any unsolid basis, would not stand before them. The rising, bursting stream would shake it to its foundation; the rapid torrent would gradually wash away its base; it would totter and fall. Rocks in that country were common, and it was easy to secure for their houses a solid foundation. No comparison could, to a Jew, have been more striking. So tempests, and storms of affliction and persecution, beat around the soul. Suddenly, when we think we are in safety, the heavens may be overcast, the storm may lower, and calamity may beat upon us. In a moment, health, friends, comforts may be gone. How desirable, then, to be possessed of something that the tempest cannot reach! Such is an interest in Christ, reliance on his promises, confidence in his protection, and a hope of heaven through his blood. Earthly calamities do not reach these; and, possessed of religion, all the storms and tempests of life may beat harmlessly around us.

There is another point in this comparison. The house built upon the sand is beat upon by the floods and rains; its foundation gradually is worn away; it falls, and is borne down the stream and is destroyed. So falls the sinner. The floods are wearing away his sandy foundation; and soon one tremendous storm shall beat upon him, and he and his hopes shall fall, for ever fall. Out of Christ; perhaps having "heard" his words from very childhood; perhaps having taught them to others in the Sunday school; perhaps having been the means of laying the foundation on which others shall build for heaven, he has laid for himself no foundation, and soon an eternal tempest shall beat around his naked soul. How great will be that fall! What will be his emotions when sinking forever in the flood, and when he realizes that he is destined forever to live and writhe in the peltings of that ceaseless storm that shall beat when "God shall rain snares, fire, and a horrible tempest" upon the wicked!

27. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house—struck against that house;

and it fell: and great was the fall of it—terrible the ruin! How lively must this imagery have been to an audience accustomed to the fierceness of an Eastern tempest, and the suddenness and completeness with which it sweeps everything unsteady before it!

Effect of the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 7:28, 29).

Ver. 26,27. There are and will be others, that, as foolish builders, run up a house in haste, without looking to the goodness of the foundation, and happen to build it upon loose ground. So they flatter themselves with the hopes of the house in the heavens not made with hands, 2 Corinthians 5:1, without looking to the bottom and foundation of these hopes, whether they be such as Christ hath warranted or not; but either build their hopes upon God’s infinite mercy, or the sufficiency of Christ’s merits, or their own works, hearing the word of God, and performing some other duties of religion, never regarding to live to the obedience of the will of God. And the same event will be to these men as to such foolish builders; their building may stand a while, but when a day of visitation, or death, or sharp afflictions or temptation, comes, then their house, their hopes, all fail and perish in a moment, because they had no good foundation, Job 8:13,14 Job 11:20 27:8 Proverbs 11:7.

And great was the fall of it: their misery and calamity shall be the greater, by how much their hopes have been the stronger, the disappointment of their expectation adding to their misery.

And the rain descended, and the floods came,.... Such builders, and such a building, cannot stand against the violent rain of Satan's temptations, the floods of the world's persecutions, the stream and rapid torrent of their own heart's lusts, nor the blowing winds of heresy and false doctrine, and much less the storms of divine wrath and vengeance. They are in a most dangerous condition; they cannot support themselves; they must fall, and great will be their fall; their destruction is inevitable, their ruin is irrecoverable. The Jews make use of some similes, which are pretty much like these of Christ's.

"R. Eliezer ben Azariah used to say (z), he whose wisdom is greater than his works, to what is he like? to a tree, whose branches are many, and its roots few, "and the wind comes", and roots it up, and overturns it; as it is said, Jeremiah 17:6 but he whose works are greater than his wisdom, to what is he like? to a tree, whose branches are few, and its roots many, "against which, if all the winds in the world were to come and blow", they could not move it out of its place: as it is said, Jeremiah 17:8.''

Again (a),

"Elisha ben Abuijah used to say, a man who hath good works, and learns the law much, to what is he like? to a man that "builds with stones below", and afterwards with bricks; and though , "many waters come", and stand at their side, they cannot remove them out of their place; but a man who hath no good works, and learns the law, to what is he like? to a man that "builds with bricks first", and afterwards with stones; and though few waters come, they immediately overturn them.''

The same used to say,

"a man who hath good works, and learns the law much, to what is he like? to mortar spread upon bricks; and though , "the rains descend upon it", they cannot remove it out of its place: a man that hath no good works, and learns the law much, to what is he like? to mortar thrown upon bricks; and though but a small rain descends upon it, it is immediately dissolved, and "falls".''

(z) Pirke Abot, c. 3. sect. 17. & Abot R. Nathan, c. 22. fol. 6. 1, 2.((a) Abot R. Nathan, c. 24. fol. 6. 2.

And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
Matthew 7:27. καὶἄνεμοι: exactly the same phrases as in Matthew 7:25, to describe the oncome of the storm.—προσέκοψαν: a different word for the assault on the house—struck upon it with immediate fatal effect. It was not built to stand such rough handling. The builder had not thought of such an eventuality.—ἔπεσεν, καὶ ἦν ἡ πτῶσις αὐτῆς μεγάλη: not necessarily implying that it was a large building, or that the disaster was of large dimensions, like the collapse of a great castle, but that the ruin was complete. The fool’s house went down like a house of cards, not one stone or brick left on another.

Allegorising interpretation of the rain, rivers and winds, and of the foundations, is to be avoided, but it is pertinent to ask, what defects of character in the sphere of religion are pointed at in this impressive parabolic logion? What kind of religion is it that deserves to be so characterised? The foolish type is a religion of imitation and without forethought. Children play at building houses, because they have seen their seniors doing it. There are people who play at religion, not realising what religion is for, but following fashion, doing as others do, and to be seen of others (Matthew 6:1). Children build houses on the sea sand below high-tide mark, not thinking of the tide which will in a few hours roll in and sweep away their houselet. There are men who have religion for to-day, and think not of the trial to-morrow may bring.

27. the rain descended, &c.] In the original both the tense and the position of the verbs give great vivacity to the description.

Matthew 7:27. Καὶ ἦν ἡ πτῶσις αὐτῆς μεγάλη, and great was the fall of it) It was great indeed, for it was entire. We see, from the present example, that it is not necessary for all sermons to end in a consolatory strain.

Matthew 7:27Great was the fall of it

The conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount. "Thus," remarks Bengel, "it is not necessary for every sermon to end with consolation."

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