Asa [Abijah’s] son reigned in his place. In his days the land had rest for ten years. And Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God. He took away the foreign altars and the high places and broke down the pillars and cut down the Asherim and commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, and to keep the law and the commandment. He also took out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the incense altars. And the kingdom had rest under him. He built fortified cities in Judah, for the land had rest. He had no war in those years, for the Lord gave him peace. And he said to Judah, “Let us build these cities and surround them with walls and towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours, because we have sought the Lord our God. We have sought him, and he has given us peace on every side.” So they built and prospered. And Asa had an army of 300,000 from Judah, armed with large shields and spears, and 280,000 men from Benjamin that carried shields and drew bows. All these were mighty men of valor. II Chronicles 14:1b-8 ESV
[Jesus said:] Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 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. Luke 6:47-48 ESV
When someone builds a skyscraper, the first thing that has to happen is to lay the foundation. The foundation of a very tall building usually has to go very deep. It needs to rest on the bedrock that is sometimes far below the dirt at the surface of the ground. To reach the bedrock, the builders have to dig far down through layers of sand and clay to clear them out. A skyscraper is very heavy, and it would sink in the softer soil above the bedrock. For example, the Empire State Building in New York weighs about 350,000 tons! Laying the right kind of foundation is the important first step in building a skyscraper.
In Judah’s kingly dynasty a man named Asa became the king. Asa made a very good start to his reign. He cleared the false gods and goddesses and their places of worship out of the country, just the way the sand and clay is cleared out of a skyscraper’s foundation. Asa wanted to build his kingdom on the solid foundation of serving and obeying the true God. God gave him peace and rest from war, and he was able to strengthen his kingdom by building fortified cities with walls and towers and building up his army.
We have a solid bedrock foundation that we can build our lives on, and that foundation is Jesus. Jesus came to teach us the ways of his Heavenly Father, but he did much more than that. He followed God’s ways perfectly in our place, and he took our sins on himself. He died for our sins on the cross, and on the third day he rose again from the dead. Jesus’ death and resurrection from the dead is what we build our lives on. Any other foundation that we might build our lives on is like sand or clay, and it will cause us to sink and fall. It’s through Jesus that we have life with God, a life that goes on forever.
Dear Jesus, thank you for being the solid foundation of our lives and faith. Amen.