When the Foundations are Being Destroyed

August 19, 2009 at 9:43 am | Posted in Devotional thoughts | Leave a comment

Psalm 11:1-3.  Verse three of this psalm is an interesting verse, and I have heard it often quoted in the context of our culture.  “When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?”  I have always heard this verse cited as a reason to take up arms in the political fight against the moral decay in our culture.  Certainly the reason for the moral decay we see around us is the attack of wicked people, and that is also the context of this statement.  Note the previous verse that says “the wicked bend their bows; they set their arrows against the strings to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart.”  I appreciate those who take an active political role in fighting the destruction of our moral foundation, and I see more of that destruction today that ever before in my lifetime.  However, this poem is not about taking up arms.  Those who advocate such a fight need to find another verse for a rallying cry.  This passage is about finding our refuge in God.  Read the first verse: “In the LORD I take refuge.  How then can you say to me: ‘Flee like a bird to your mountain?’”  David, who wrote this poem, is not calling men to fight in the battle of the foundations; he is stating the best and first thing to do when the foundations are being destroyed.  We don’t first flee to the mountains, nor do we first take up arms in the political battle; the first thing we must do is take refuge in God.  Verse three is not a call to arms but a call to refuge!  First, take refuge from the battle in God, from that reference point further steps can be determined.

          Two more thoughts on the battle for our moral foundations:  First, as Christian people, we can’t fight the battle of the foundations ourselves; we simply are not strong enough to fight it.  However, when we find our refuge in God, he can fight that battle for us, and we can more clearly see our part in it.  Second, since studying church history, I’m not convinced that God always wants us fighting that battle on the political front.  The church has almost always done better spiritually when an evil regime is in power. Who are we to say that God’s kingdom will move forward better when the government is righteous?  Such thinking denies the pattern of history and can easily confuse our worldly kingdom with God’s kingdom, as though the USA was God’s kingdom on earth.  Let’s commit to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness.

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