Del Tackett

by Del Tackett


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Don’t Say: If the Foundations Are Destroyed, What Can the Righteous Do?

 

In today’s Psalm 11, we find a verse that I believe has sometimes been misused. Here it is:

“If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”

Occasionally, you will hear it quoted to support a cry or plea regarding what is happening in our nation. The purpose is to rally listeners to stand against the forces that seek to destroy our national foundations, which I believe were primarily biblical and wise foundations. And, I agree that it is good to call the Remnant to stand strong against evil forces. That is one of the reasons I wrote the “7 Threats” series. 

But is this a misapplication? I believe so and would like to offer an alternative understanding. Let’s look at its context:

In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to my soul,
    “Flee like a bird to your mountain,
     for behold, the wicked bend the bow;
     they have fitted their arrow to the string
     to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart;
     if the foundations are destroyed,
     what can the righteous do?”

The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord's throne is in heaven… Psalm 11:1-4a

The Psalm then goes on to talk about God’s sovereignty, His omniscience, omnipotence and righteousness. It speaks of God’s hatred for the wicked and those who love violence and that He will rain coals upon them and it is they who will be destroyed with fire, brimstone and a tempest. It ends with this: 

For the Lord is righteous;
he loves righteous deeds; 
the upright shall behold his face.

Do you see what God is saying to us through David in this Psalm? This is not a Psalm of “woe is us”. This is a Psalm that is saying, “Look, God is on His throne! He sees all of this. The wicked will be destroyed. Don’t say to my soul ‘flee’ or ‘what can the righteous do if the foundations are destroyed’!

Dear Remnant! We are a people of hope even in the midst of the deepest, darkest storm. We are pilgrims in a strange land where evil often seems to flourish and triumph; where the righteous are often pursued and persecuted. Did not our Lord say this would be the case?

But in the midst of this, we never, ever lose sight of who God is and whose we are, and the true course of God’s larger story. Yes, we will stand for Truth. Yes, we will fight against evil and the forces that seek to destroy God’s design and purposes. But do not get caught up in the enemy’s lie: “You have lost! Give up! Flee! Your foundations are destroyed, what can you do?!

In the Lord we take refuge. He is on His throne and He dwells within you. Stand strong... even if you are the last man or woman standing. 

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

Soli Deo Gloria!

Comments

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  • Kim Pasby

    Kim Pasby

    Amen
  • Michael Phelps

    Michael Phelps

    Thank you for that encouragement!!
  • Rick Shultz

    Rick Shultz

    Amen! Totally agree with you. I cannot help but be reminded that we (Bible study class that I teach) have just completed an eight-month study on the Revelation of Jesus, and no matter how bad we think it is now, FAR worse is yet to come. And YET, the book is just oozing with hope and encouragement to, and specifically written for the benefit of, ANY who would believe in Him. Thank you, God, for your GRACIOUS plan. Thank you Jesus, for your complete, gracious fulfillment. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for helping us to hear, believe, and appreciate it.
  • Lynn Hubbard

    Lynn Hubbard

    This is so well said! We have been talking about this in our home group and many were feeling helpless and hopeless about our nation. This voices so clearly my thoughts that God is in charge and it will all work out! Blessings, Lynn H
  • Teddy Craig

    Teddy Craig

    The righteous? Yes, those who believe Yehovah and their faith is counted to them for righteousness! What can they do as the foundations of law and order have collapsed? Continue to believe Him, trust in Him, wait upon Him; for, for all those who do, He will come and reveal to them His Yeshuah! Those who are His will see His face! The time is drawing near! As we go up His fire will fall upon America!
  • James  Culp

    James Culp

    Excellent article. If you read the account of the prophet Daniel, he never lost sight of God even though he was in captivity in a foreign and pagan country . He never whined and complained about being in captivity, instead he stayed focused on God and was able to do some miraculous things. There has been to much pie in the sky evangelism presented to too many believers and not enough on how to deal with life in a realistic God centered way. We discussed this recently in our house group that maybe we should be telling young converts to start reading the book of Jeremiah instead of the book of John. Give praise unto the only wise God!
  • Robert Hott

    Robert Hott

    Great reminder not only of God's faithfulness to his people, but also a good reminder to be careful about taking Scripture out of context. Same issue with Psalm 121:1 "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help." It should be a question, not a statement, exegesis from Mother Superior in "Sound of Music" notwithstanding. Our help certainly does not come from the hills or "high places" where God's people often chose to worship other gods, but from "He who guards Israel, who neither slumbers nor sleeps.
  • Elaine Grenon

    Elaine Grenon

    Your words are so encouraging. We must continue to remain faithful to Him. Encouragement is what we need at this time. I am encouraged to go forward and tell others and share your thoughts on Psalm 11. May the Lord richly bless you and your family - Elaine Grenon
  • Manny Vazquez

    Manny Vazquez

    Today, our Group, which I have led since 2014, began the journey through the Engagement Project. In our discussion after the video, many in the Group discussed the sobering thought that we are now a remnant. They spoke of the darkness they all see in the world. I listened as the discussion continued for several minutes. I then spoke up and told them that while there is now a remnant of believers in the world now, our LORD Jesus spoke of a Great Harvest in the end. Maybe, I said, the world needs to become much darker so people will come to the end of themselves. God Himself will save whom He wants. And as a faithful remnant, we need to be fully prepared for God to use us wherever we are placed by Him in this world.
  • Jim Freeland

    Jim Freeland

    We win! Dump the loser mentality and press on . .

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