Stephen Shaffer

READ : Habakkuk 2:7-14

Woe to him who builds a town with blood . . . ! (v. 12)

My extended family is building a new barn. Before they begin building, contractors take soil samples to determine how deep, how wide, and what kind of foundation to lay. Clay-rich soil would mean a different foundation than sandy soil. A strong foundation will allow the barn to last, while a weak foundation might mean it crumbles while we are still using it. A building needs a strong foundation.

In building their empire, God said that the Chaldeans had laid a foundation in bloodshed. The Chaldeans had built their city and their empire upon their strength, their greed, and the blood of those they killed to achieve it. At the time of the prophet Habakkuk, the building looked in fine shape. The Chaldeans were strong. They ran through and over anyone who got in their way, including the people of Israel. As long as they got to their goal, it didn’t matter. But God saw their bloodstained foundation and pronounced judgment on the Chaldeans. Babylon itself would soon crumble and fall.

God sees our foundations as well. In our desire to achieve our goals, we can be tempted to run over or through people. A life, a career, or a home built on a weak foundation will not stand forever. God calls us to a different way. We are told that the “stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone” (1 Peter 2:7). We are called to build on a firm foundation: Jesus Christ.


Lord, build my life on a sure foundation. Amen.