- Love and Liberty
Psalms 11 - ".....If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?...."
I’ve heard this passage being used to preach messages on “the foundations being destroyed in the US” and how much trouble we are in because of it. While it is true that the US is in trouble, the Kingdom that Christians belong to is far greater than the Kingdom of America. The Kingdom of God will never be destroyed; the American Empire most certainly will. If the American Empire is your foundation, you have reason to be afraid.
The setting for this psalm took place when David was in the palace with Saul. He was a young man playing the harp to soothe the troubled king. Saul turned on David because he was jealous of David; he hated him, he envied him, and he wanted him dead. David’s friends told him to run, but he didn’t. At least not then. He waited on the Lord and his directions. David looked at the king of Israel and things were not as they should have been. He cried: “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
There are perceived dangers and there are real dangers.
There is a perceived danger. Some think that the bottom can fall out for Christians, but that’s not true. That is a wrong perception. But there is a real danger. We often do not recognize the real danger because we get caught up with the perceived danger. For some this means that as the Government goes, or the Nation goes, so it goes for Christianity. Why do people think this way? Notice the picture David paints. The enemy has his bow, the arrow is on the string, and he is about to shoot the arrow and pierce David’s heart. This is how David described his situation. Saul was against him and wanted him gone. This was real, of course, but it seems that David may have been wondering how this affected the big picture in Israel. Things were not right in Israel, a nation set apart for God.
We usually perceive that the greatest danger is what we see, or what someone might do to us, or things that can happen to us. But the real danger is allowing ourselves to be affected by the perceived dangers to the point that we fail to walk in obedience to God. The real danger we face is not facing an enemy or a tough situation, it is failing to trust and obey the Lord. We want the Lord to rid us of all our Sauls, but it’s not the absence of enemies and difficulties that sustains us. It is a sanctifying faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that sustains us, whether our circumstances are good or bad. We must decide if we are going to spend our time worrying about all of the perceived dangers, or if we are going to seek the Lord. Eventually David did flee, but he left at God’s direction. We may need to act because of the dangers of tyranny, but we need to make sure we are obeying God in all that we do. There is no substitute for walking in obedience to the Lord – loving him and our neighbor. It is this foundation, if destroyed, that would spell doom for the world. Without Christians walking in obedience to the Lord and preaching the Lord's Word, the world has no hope.
Christ is the only foundation that will stand. All other foundations will crumble. No matter what happens to the Christian, he belongs to Christ’s Kingdom. We must choose the narrow way and remain on the narrow way.
2 Timothy 2:19: “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”
Christ is our foundation therefore our foundation can never be destroyed.
We talk to God about our problems, and then instead of looking for his wisdom in the Word, and following his wisdom, we sometimes draw our own conclusions that leave God out. We try to force our way instead of living by faith. I don’t believe this means we should sit back, cross our arms, and say, “Ok God, bless me”, I think it means what I have already stated. It is looking to God for wisdom and acting on his Word. It is obeying him regardless of the circumstances or consequences.
What is in store for our lives? For the wicked - all those who choose sin and self over the Lord - destruction awaits them. On the other hand, the Lord “tries” the righteous. He tests us. He seeks to prove us. Will we obey him? Will we continue in the faith? Or will we return to the ways of the world because it is more comfortable in the darkness? The Lord loves righteousness. Without holiness no man shall see the Lord. A man can start out following Christ, but he can become a partaker of the wrath of God that awaits the children of disobedience. Some Christians deny this, but Paul spoke these words to Christians. The Christian life is not about God being there to fix all of our problems; he is working in us both to will and to do his good pleasure. He is working in us that we might enjoy the peaceable fruit of righteousness. So whose agenda are we following? The Lord’s or the Empire’s?
What do you love? What do you set your affections on? Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Notice the phrase in verse four. I remember reading an explanation about this years ago. “His eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.” His eyelids try us? What does that mean? Notice what we often do when we want to focus on something. We squint our eyes. The figure of speech used here speaks of the fact that God squints his eyes and he focuses on the lives of Christians. He knows our problems, he knows our weaknesses, he knows what is going on in our lives. He is looking on us so that he can mold us into the image of Christ. We have his attention unlike those who refuse to submit to him.
No matter what goes on around us, if we have given ourselves to Christ, our foundation will never be destroyed.