Consequences of a Bad Foundation
Two people were killed and 29 people injured when a section of the Tongaat Mall collapsed during construction on November 19 2013.
After 27 years the Queen Isabella Causeway, the longest bridge in Texas, between Port Isabel and South Padre Island, collapsed. On September 15th 2001 a tugboat pulling barges crashed into the supports of the causeway plunging vehicles and their occupants into the Laguna Madre.
Only two of a number of horrific examples of the consequences of using inferior building materials.
Habakkuk 2:12 CEV
“You’re doomed! You built a city on crime and violence.”
The New International Version of Habakkuk 2:12 introduces us to the third of five woes, “Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed and establishes a town by injustice!”
Do you remember the first two?
- We saw the first of these woes in verse 6 …. ‘extortion’.
- And the second was in verse 9 …. ‘unjust gain’.
- Today we look at the third woe …. ‘bloodshed’.
- What do you understand by the term ‘blood money’?
The Mirriam-Webster dictionary defines ‘blood money’ along these lines:
- money paid in compensation to the family of a murdered person
- money paid to a hired killer
- Can you think of any ways that people are earning blood money today?
- How about miners dying of a disease caused by their poor working conditions?
- Or politicians murdered by members of an opposing party?
- Can you think of any others?
History reveals how often someone rose to a position of power and authority through the shedding of blood. Perhaps by getting someone else to do their dirty work for them.
Cities Built on Blood Money
God denounces those who established a government or built a city with blood money.
Remember the very first murder recorded in Scripture? Cain murdered his brother Abel. He then built a city (Genesis 4:17).
This particular denouncement is specifically against the Babylonians as can be seen in the NIrV translation of our text,
How terrible it will be for the Babylonians! They build cities by spilling the blood of others. They establish towns by committing crimes.
The city of Babylon was built with blood money. The Babylonians built their cities using their captives as forced labour. Many lost their lives under their cruel slave drivers.
Built on Jewish suffering
We also read in the Old Testament how thousands of years ago, the Jews were slaves in Egypt. The country was being built with blood money. The children of Israel had been in Egypt for generations since Joseph’s day. However, they became so numerous, that the ruling Pharaoh feared their presence.
He feared that one day they would join forces with Eygpt’s enemies. Gradually, he forced the Israelites to become his slaves. And he put them to work on building the grand cities of Egypt.
Then, we read, God met up with Moses in Midian and said,
“I have seen how my people are suffering as slaves in Egypt, and I have heard them beg for my help because of the way they are being mistreated. I feel sorry for them, and I have come down to rescue them from the Egyptians.” (Exodus 3:7,8a CEV)
We know that under Moses and Aaron’s leadership at the time of the Exodus, the Israelites were set free to return to the Promised Land.
Built on God
Psalm 127:1 reminds us that there is only one secure and safe foundation,
Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. (ESV)
- In what ways may we build a house in vain?
Just as there is a right way and a wrong way to build a city, so too there is a right way and a wrong way to build a career, a home, or a family.
In a parable, Jesus tells about what will happen if a builder takes a shortcut. If they don’t do a proper survey of the land, the building will be in danger of collapsing during storms or disasters.
“Anyone who hears and obeys these teachings of mine is like a wise person who built a house on solid rock…. Anyone who hears my teachings and doesn’t obey them is like a foolish person who built a house on sand.” (Matthew 7:24, 26 CEV)
So what is the correct foundation for our lives?
According to the words of Jesus Himself, our foundation needs to be upon His teachings.
Paradoxically, the only remedy for our crime and the violence-infested world is the shedding of blood. We have been bought with Blood money! The blood of the only One who can offer us true safety and security.
In instituting what we observe as, Communion, Eucharist, or the Last Supper, Jesus said:
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” (Luke 22:20 NIV)
“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. (Matthew 26:28 NIV)
Jesus Christ paid the price for your sins and mine by shedding His precious blood on the cross of Calvary. He paid blood money for us!
What a wonderful Saviour!!!
How firm is your foundation?
Is there an area you need to start working on today?
We often sing that ancient hymn, The Church’s One Foundation is Jesus Christ, the Lord. Click on this link and sing the words, thinking about their meaning as you sing.
If you haven’t yet read the background to the prophecy, please do. It will benefit you throughout this series of studies.