Carpenter's Gallery

Chapter 3

The Foundation

The most important part of any building is the foundation.  A good quality foundation is necessary for a good quality building.  Without a foundation, the building has no stability; it will fall.  

When we look at the story of the construction of the temple, we can sometimes draw parallels between Solomon and Christ.  The following verses are a summary of the work of Solomon that also explains the work of Christ.

The work of Christ in laying our foundation.

“Now all the work of Solomon was prepared unto the day of the foundation of the house of the Lord; and until it was finished.  So the house of the Lord was perfected.”  II Chronicles 8:16

The words “it was finished” jump out as being significant since they were the last words spoken by Christ on the cross.  Consider the work of Christ on earth.  His entire life on earth was in preparation for the day when He would speak those monumental words, “IT IS FINSHED” from the cross.  

Now notice that it was by the work of Solomon that the house of the Lord was perfected, the word perfected means to be made complete, friendly, to be at peace. When the great work of Jesus was done and He spoke the words “it is finished”, we were made complete and given peace with God.  Instead of being God’s enemies, we became His friends.  The word Solomon means peace.2  The culmination of the work of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, was to make us complete and bring peace between man and God as He laid the foundation of the temple!  Instead of being enemies; through Christ’s work in the temple we can become friends.  

“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”  I Corinthians 3: 11

Not only is Jesus the One who did the work of laying the Foundation of the temple, but this verse tells us that Jesus is the Foundation of the temple.  Although we are not told of symbolic carvings on the foundation of Solomon’s temple, the verse above clearly states that Jesus Christ is our foundation.  Since Jesus is not literally a stone foundation, we know that the foundation is intended to be a picture.  We know that Jesus bears similarities to a foundation.  The verse also makes it clear that Jesus is uniquely our foundation, no other person provides such a foundation.

What functions does the foundation of a building perform?  How do the functions that the foundation of a building performs compare with how Jesus functions in relation to us as the temple building?

  1. Location.  First of all, the foundation defines the location of the building.

Foundations are carefully laid out and located, because once they are in place, they cannot be changed.  For hundreds of years, God carefully laid out the work of Jesus as prophets foretold how He would come and would die for our sins.  God’s Word cannot be changed.  Christ as the foundation for the temple was laid in exactly the way foretold.

The materials for the building are brought to the foundation.  The foundation cannot be moved to the materials.  In much the same way, we must come to Christ.  It is we who are out of location and must be brought to the Foundation, not vice versa.

The location of the temple was notable because it was on a major trading crossroads of the world.  God wanted everyone to see the temple building and find out who He was.  Solomon prayed at the dedication of the temple:

“Moreover concerning a stranger, that is not of thy people Israel, but cometh out of a far country for thy name’s sake; (For they shall hear of thy great name, and of thy strong hand, and of thy stretched out arm;) when he shall come and pray toward this house; Hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for: that all people of the earth may know thy name, to fear thee, as do thy people Israel; and that they may know that this house, which I have builded, is called by thy name.”  I Kings 8:41-43

In the same way, Jesus wants the spiritual temple to be visible to all.  Before He left this earth, He commanded:

“…Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”  Mark 16:15b

He wanted all men to know about the work He had done in laying the foundation of the spiritual temple.  He has asked us to go into all the world so that all men can see the spiritual temple.

2.  Foundations provide protection from decay.  Wood placed directly in the dirt or mud doesn’t last long.  Without Jesus, there is nothing to separate us from the sin of the world.  The rottenness of sin eats away at us, weakening and destroying us.  We may think we are good moral people doing the best we can to do right.  Sadly, it doesn’t matter how much good we try to do on our own.  Without Jesus, the heavy weight of our sin crushes us and rots us into powder, until we sink into a miry grave.

“He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.  And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God:  many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.”  Psalm 40:2-3

Notice how the protection from decay by being separate from the world is something that puts a song in our mouth; a song that people can hear.  The protection from decay works hand in hand with the location of the temple to let the world know who God is and that they can trust in Him.

3.  Foundations provide support.  Without Jesus, there is nothing to support life.  Only Jesus was able to carry the heavy weight of our sin.  

After He saves us, Jesus will carry our burdens.  Rest on the foundation.  Don’t try to bear the weight yourself.

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”  I Peter 5:7

“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows…” Isaiah 53:4

4.  Foundations define what is straight, plumb, square and true for the building.  Without Jesus, how quickly our lives become warped and crooked.  We lose all sense of what is right and true; we become disoriented.  Things that are wrong begin to seem right, and things that are right begin to seem wrong.  One must only take a look at our society today to realize this.  Because our society does not have Jesus as their foundation, many things that used to be considered wrong now are accepted by society as right.  It is possible to be in a house that has very crooked floors and not even know it because the walls and the rest of the house are also crooked.  The surrounding crookedness throws off our perception of what is straight.  Since we live in such a crooked society, we can not necessarily trust that what we perceive to be straight and level really is.  We need to make Jesus our reference of what is really straight and true and right.  Jesus is the Foundation that has been set level, square, and plumb.  He is our standard.  This verse tells us how the Rock is our reference of what is right.

“He is the Rock, his work is perfect:  for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He.”  Deuteronomy 32:4

In the book of Daniel, the prophet describes his vision in which he saw Jesus: 

“Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in color to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude…and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption…and my face toward the ground.” Daniel 10:5-9 

In this vision, Jesus’ body was like beryl. Beryl is a precious stone, bluish green in color. When Daniel saw Christ, the Stone, he lost all strength and saw how corrupt he was before God. If we would let the Foundation Stone define what is right in our life, we must take a look at what Christ is like.  Have I really taken an honest look at who He is?  If I really see Him for who He is, I will lose all of my own strength and fall on my face, laying all my weight on the Foundation.  Do I reverence who He is?  Do I trust Him with all that I am, laying all my weight on Him?  How often do I do things in my own strength without thinking about who God is?

5.  Foundations provide anchoring against outside forces.  Without a foundation under a building, the wind from a storm will blow it over and ruin it; the water from a flood will erode the dirt out from under it and it will collapse, or the flood will carry it away.  There is nothing permanent about a building without a foundation, but if Jesus is your foundation you will have eternal life.  If Jesus is your foundation, you will never be moved.  When the storms of life come, make sure that your foundation is the solid Rock, Jesus Christ.

“And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not:  for it was founded upon a rock.”  Matthew 7:25

The type of material that has been used in our foundation:

Until now, we have been looking at how Jesus performs the functions of the Foundation.  Let’s now explore the type of rock used in the foundation of Solomon’s temple.  We will see how the type of rock used in the foundation is also similar to Jesus as our foundation.

“And the king commanded, and they brought great stones, costly stones, and hewed stones, to lay the foundation of the house.”  I Kings 5:17

In Solomon’s temple, the stones used in the foundation are described as “great stones.”  What greater stone could be used for the foundation of a spiritual building than the eternal God, the Rock Jesus Christ?

The stones used were “costly stones”.  What makes a stone costly?  

The Stone in the Foundation is costly because of transportation costs.  The greater the stone, the more it costs to move it.  Jesus, the greatest Stone of all, came from Heaven to Earth.  This is quite possibly a huge distance across outer space or across dimensions beyond our understanding.  The distance that the Stone moved that made it so costly, however, was when It had to be lifted vertically.  The Stone was lifted up onto the cross in order to be laid in place as the Foundation Stone.

The Stone in the Foundation is costly because of what had to be sacrificed to put it in place.  In order to come to earth to provide for our salvation and be set in place as our Foundation, Jesus had to lay down all that He had.  He was the richest king in the universe, but He left all the sparkling splendors of heaven and the power behind.  He came to a filthy rotten, sin-infested world to die for sinners like me.

“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”  II Corinthians 8:9

Jesus left all and took the place where I should have been, on Calvary’s hill:

Though glory, yet now gloom

Though Judge, yet now judged

Though praised, yet now mocked

Though joyous, yet now sorrowful

Though strong tower, yet brought low

Though worshipped, yet now despised

Though merciful, yet now cruelly punished

Though mighty fortress, yet now vulnerable

Though omniscient, yet now knowing only pain

Though omnipresent, yet now nailed to the cross

Though King of Kings, yet now condemned criminal

Though perfect, yet now loaded with my countless sins 

Though recipient of sacrifice, now the sacrifice Himself

Though wealthy beyond comprehension, yet now naked

Though omnipotent, yet now helplessly stumbling under the cross

Though Word of God, yet now led dumb as a lamb to the slaughter 

Though the great Rock, yet now shaken by earthquake and cleft for me

Though the Cornerstone of the foundation, yet now the builders reject him

Though holy, just and pure, now become sin for me

Though light yet now darkness comes upon Him

Though springs of living water, yet now thirsty

Though breath of life yet now life’s last breath

Though one with the Father, yet now forsaken

Though Creator, yet now His body destroyed

Though healer, yet now torn and wounded

Though lion yet now sacrificial lamb

Though the life, yet now death

Though heaven, yet now hell

But wait, one thing remains, untouched:

His love for me, who has done this to Him, and should have received his fate.

Love’s tenacious grip 

Love unrelenting no matter the cost

Love unending though pushed to the death

Love that refuses to let go.  He will not, no He will not, not, not let me go!

He gave up everything, but me.

The Stone in the Foundation is costly because of the grade of material used.  The Foundation of the spiritual temple is made of a perfectly flawless material.  This type of Stone is so durable that it will never flake off or wear away like other types of stone.  Have you ever walked through a cemetery and noticed that the older stones have worn away over time?  It is hard to read some of the inscriptions of those that are about a hundred years old or more.  Many famous old statues in the larger cities become covered with pollution and slowly wear away and lose their beauty.  This will not happen to our Foundation.

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”  Hebrews 13:8

Another reason the Stone is costly is that it is so rare.  In the verses from Daniel, we saw that Jesus with his 

beryl-like appearance is a precious Stone.  Diamonds are expensive because they are hard to find.  There are only a few places on earth where they are mined.  If you could go outside and gather them by the bucketful off your driveway, however, they would be worthless.  Jesus Christ is a costly Foundation because He is the only Stone of His kind in the entire universe.

“Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.”  Isaiah 44:6

God loved us so much that He gave us a rare and precious gift unlike any other.  He gave us His Son, the only Stone of its type, to become our Foundation.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son…”  John 3:16

These factors alone make the Stone of our Foundation incredibly costly, but we also see that the stone of the foundation was “hewed stones.”  This is what really makes the Stone used in our foundation expensive beyond measure.  Jesus Christ was hewn on the cross.  He gave His life that He might be hewn into the perfect shape to become the Foundation.  Because of His selfless sacrifice, we can be a part of the temple of God.  Praise God that He rose again victorious and stands solid as the Foundation of a glorious new building whose Foundation will never fail!

“For who is God save the Lord? And who is a rock, save our God?  The Lord liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation.”  II Samuel  22:32,47

When my wife and I were searching for a house to buy, we saw first hand how important it is to have a good foundation.  We toured houses that had floors that sloped at a steep angle.  Some of the houses had big cracks in the walls, especially around the doorways.  One had big cracks in the foundation.  When we saw these things, we knew that this was not the house we wanted, even though it may have been in a good location and was decorated nicely inside.  A house with a poor foundation is in trouble.  Eventually it is going to fall apart, and there is not much you can do with it.

“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”  I Corinthians 3:11

Are you attempting to lay some other type of foundation for your life?  According to this verse it can’t be done.  If a person is not resting on Jesus as his Foundation, in other words trusting Jesus to save him and hold him up, then maybe he has deceived himself into thinking that there is some other foundation that he can use.  Maybe he does not see any cracks around the doors yet.  Maybe he does not see the floors sloping yet, but if Jesus is not the foundation, the building will not be sound over time and eternity.  What kind of foundations do people try to build their lives upon if Jesus is not their foundation?

  • Are you resting on your education?  The foundation of education washes away when you encounter a situation for which education did not prepare you.
  • Are you resting on your family or friends?  This foundation crumbles when they betray you or become angry at you or move away or die.
  • Are you resting on your business or money?  This building blows away when the winds of a recession, inflation, a lawsuit, or a competitor take their toll.
  • Are you resting on religion?  Religion crumbles and melts away like nothing when a person stands before God at the fiery judgment.  The only thing that will stand the heat there is the Foundation Stone, Jesus Christ.  
  • Are you resting on your intellect or self-discipline or character or good works or any other thing you could be or do?  If so, your foundation is wood; it is temporary; it will rot away to nothing.  Even though it looks good today, it will not last long.

What will happen to your foundation when the floods of physical death wash against your soul?  No other foundation can withstand what the Rock, Jesus Christ, can withstand.  There will be situations for which education cannot prepare you.  Your family can be taken away from you; your business can fail; the economy can falter; you can grow old and lose your health, and die.  But if Jesus is your Foundation, He will hold you fast through it all. 

“He is the Rock, His work is perfect…”  Deuteronomy 32:4

He is the Rock that anchored Job when he lost everything but his life.  Job’s family, his wealth, and his health were taken.  His friends turned against him, and he went through great physical suffering.  Through it all Job clung to the Rock saying, 

“Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him…”  Job  13:15

Jesus is the Rock that anchored Noah when everyone in the whole world except his family drowned in the flood.  Jesus is the Rock that sheltered Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednigo from the heat when they were cast into the fiery furnace.  If you are trusting in something other than Jesus to be your foundation, your life is much like the houses my wife and I looked at that had weak foundations.  Maybe that crack in the wall doesn’t seem to matter.  Maybe the sloping floor doesn’t seem so bad.  But when the howling storm crashes down against the house with all its fury, will you be left clinging to the Rock?  He will hold you, and He will not, no He will, not, not, not let you go.

Picture of Ed Brill
Ed Brill

Mr. Brill has spent many years as a tool engineer for plastic injection molds working closely with craftsmen. This experience has given him unique insight into the character traits involved in craftsmanship. His engineering background has taught him to sort through things not readily apparent and get to the heart of the real issue. Mr. Brill has done a good deal of work on buildings, having remodeled an old house and having been on the board of trustees and then as a deacon at his church for many years. He has been a student and teacher of the Bible for many years as he serves in his local church.

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