Student or Learner
What's the meaning of this idiom?
Is it when you try to do something that's gonna go to pot anyway?
To build one's house on sand
Matthew 7:24-27 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
The Wise and Foolish Builders
24"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. 25The 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. 26But 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. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."
Palestine is naturally a land of hills and mountains, and as a result, it is subject to violent rains and sudden floods. The Jordan River annually swells to dangerous levels and becomes rapid and furious. The streams that run through the hills can suddenly swell with rain and spill tremendous amounts of water onto the plains below, sweeping everything before them. Houses erected within reach of these sudden deluges—especially those founded on sand or other unreliable foundation—cannot stand before them. The rising stream shakes a house to its foundation and erodes away its base until it falls. Rocks are common there, however, so it is not hard to find a solid foundation.
With this in mind, Jesus concludes the Sermon on the Mount by illustrating the benefit of obeying His words. It is not enough to hear them; they must be obeyed. He compares a person who hears and obeys Him to a man who builds his house on a rock. Introducing the Parable of the Two Builders (Matthew 7:21-28), He says, "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man" (verse 24). He then describes this wise man as building his house, that is, his whole life, on the rock of genuine subjection to God. Conversely, the disobedient use unfit material as the foundation of their lives.
In this parable, Jesus describes one who hears His words and does them as a man who, when building his house, digs his foundation deeply and upon rock. When a flood threatens it, the house remains intact on its secure base.
Jesus' metaphor in the parable is apt: A man's character is like a house. Every thought is like a piece of timber in that house, every habit a beam, every imagination a window, well or badly placed. They all gather into a unity, handsome or grotesque. We decide how that house is constructed.
Unless one builds his character on the rock-solid foundation of God's Word, he will surely be swept away by the flood now inundating the world. As I Corinthians 3:11 says, "For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ."
Of the two builders in the parable, one is a thoughtful man who deliberately plans his house with an eye to the future; the other is not a bad man, but thoughtless, casually building in the easiest way. The one is earnest; the other is content with a careless and unexamined life. The latter seems to want to avoid the hard work of digging deep to ensure a strong foundation, and also takes a short-range view, never thinking what life will be like six months into the future. He trades away future good for present pleasure and ease.