Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; whoever believes will not act hastily. Also I will make justice the measuring line, and righteousness the plummet; the hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters will overflow the hiding place.” (Isaiah 28:16-17)
Isaiah 28 is an amazing chapter. It begins as a rebuke to the drunkards of Israel and continues as a confrontation of the leaders of Israel. These men hid in their “covenant of death” and their “refuge of lies.” In response to such wickedness, God laid out a different plan – His plan. Therefore, He said, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation.” In contrast to the weak, narrow foundation of the wicked (“we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood we have hidden ourselves,” Isaiah 28:15), God has a solid foundation for our life – “a stone for a foundation.”
What is this foundation? 1 Peter 2:6 applied this passage directly to the Messiah, Jesus Christ. He is the foundation for our lives, and only with a secure, stable foundation can anything lasting be built. Anything “added on” to the house, not built upon the foundation, is sure to end up in wreckage.
Who lays this stone? God said, “Behold, I lay in Zion.” Therefore, it is God’s work. We are unable to provide the right kind of foundation for our lives, but God can lay a foundation for us. We are asked to behold God’s foundation, appreciate it, wonder at it, value it, and build our lives upon it.
The more you look at it, the better it is. You see that it is “a tried stone.” Our Messiah was tried, was tested, and was proven to be the glorious, obedient Son of God in all things. You see that it is “a precious cornerstone.” Our Messiah is precious, and a cornerstone. The cornerstone provides the lines, the pattern for all the rest of the construction. The cornerstone is straight and true, and everything in the entire building lines up in reference to the cornerstone. Finally, you see that it is “a sure foundation.” Our Messiah is a sure foundation, and we can build everything on Him without fear.
Since God used the picture of a building with the image of “a stone for a foundation,” He continued on with that theme. He would make “Justice the measuring line, and righteousness the plummet.” In God’s building, it isn’t just as if He establishes the cornerstone and then walks away and allows the building to be built any way it pleases. Instead, He keeps the building straight with justice and righteousness.
Anyone not build upon this foundation will come to tragedy. As Isaiah said, “The hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters will overflow the hiding place.” The ungodly leaders of Jerusalem “made lies their refuge,” and found a hiding place “under falsehood” (Isaiah 28:15). But the storms of life and God’s judgment would sweep away their refuge of lies and their hiding place. They had built on the wrong foundation, and would therefore see destruction.
It might be that Jesus had this passage in mind when He spoke the words of Matthew 7:24-27. Don’t be like the foolish man; build your life on the sure foundation. If your life is on that sure foundation – then thank Him for it and enjoy it today!