Saturday, August 8, 2020
Words of the Week – What is a House?
By Larry Buford, Contributing Writer
Published July 4, 2018

                Larry Buford (Courtesy photo)

When a house is not your home! What house do you love more than the House of God? Is it the house of your job; money; sex; gambling; drugs; entertainment idols?

Ever been to a casino and heard the expression “the house always wins?” Regardless of whether or not you are addicted to gambling, that dwelling place called “house” could not possibly be your home – especially after you’ve lost your shirt!

Sometimes we find ourselves “housed” in situations like debt, drugs, a bad relationship, a bad job – you name it; but because we’re camped there does not mean it’s home. As the song says, “A House Is Not A Home.”


Throughout the Bible, the word “house” is used in various contexts. For example, John 14:2 says, “In my Father’s house [there] are many mansions.” Really!?

By our contemporary definition, a mansion is considerably larger than a house; so how can many mansions fit into one house?

Genesis 28:17 says Joseph used bricks for a pillow, had a dream, and when he awakened, called the place “the house of God.” Joshua said, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Was he speaking of just those in his own household, or of those kindred spirits who were serving the true and living God? Perhaps he was referring to himself, his body, and the indwelling Holy Spirit.

What is a house? There are many hermeneutical answers from theologians and scholars that suggest the English translation of the Greek term is a dwelling place (e.g. house, home, household), but perhaps there is a broader meaning.

Could “house” be a lifestyle or a system? Remember the story of Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16:27 – “Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father [Abraham], that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house…” Other versions say “to my father’s family” because he mentions his brothers; but it seems he may have been talking about a lifestyle – the same lifestyle that led him to a place of torment instead of Paradise. A lifestyle of ignoring and rejecting God’s commands.

What house do you live in? What house do you love more than the House of God? Is it the house of your job; money; sex; gambling; drugs; entertainment idols? What is in your life or what lifestyle have you chosen that you worship more than God who created you?

Jesus is our strong tower; our arc of safety if we receive Him into our lives. Let us turn to Him. Remember the fabled story, “The Three Little Pigs,” where one pig made a house of straw; another made a house of sticks; and yet another made a house of bricks? The big bad wolf blew down the houses made of straw and sticks; but could not blow down the house made of bricks (sound familiar?), which was like a strong tower. What would happen if the wolf (the adversary) paid a call on your house today?

If you are caught up in a so-called house of cards, you can be made free from it and set on a firm foundation. God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son whom we call Jesus. He has prepared a home for those who believe. His “house” (system, economy) is our true home. Our temporal dwelling on this earth may take us from house to house, but if we believe, heaven can be our home if we give our hearts to God. Home is where the heart is.

Larry Buford is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer. Author of “Things Are Gettin’ Outta Hand,” and “Book To The Future” (Amazon). E-mail:

Categories: Religion
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