Today, Tuesday October 25
“If the Foundations are Destroyed”
“In the LORD I put my trust; How can you say to my soul, "Flee as a bird to your mountain"? For look! The wicked bend their bow, They make ready their arrow on the string, That they may shoot secretly 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; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men. The LORD tests the righteous, But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates. Upon the wicked He will rain coals; Fire and brimstone and a burning wind Shall be the portion of their cup. For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; His countenance beholds the upright.
It's difficult to determine the historical background of this Psalm. David was often in danger, whether in the court of Saul (1 Sam. 19:1), in the wilderness being chased by Saul, or during the rebellion of Absalom, his son. David did flee from Saul's court and hide in the wilderness for perhaps ten years, and he did abandon Jerusalem to Absalom and take refuge over the Jordan, both of which proved to be wise moves. But during the crisis described in this psalm, David did not flee his post but remained on duty, trusting the Lord to protect him, and He did. Whatever the crisis, the psalm teaches us that we must choose between fear (walking by sight) or trust (walking by faith), listening to human counsel or obeying the wisdom that comes from the Lord (James 1:5).
One commentator said that the Lord allowed David to face every human crisis and emotion that we all face so that as he wrote his prayers of anguish in the Psalms, and his delight in worship and praise, we could relate to him and make these our prayers and praise too! We should find great comfort and encouragement as read and meditate on them daily!
In verse 1, David is facing a crisis and his counselors immediately told him to leave Jerusalem and head for the safety of the mountains. They didn't seem to have faith that the Lord could see him through (see 3:2 and 4:6). It's right for us to flee from temptation (2 Tim. 2:22) as Joseph did (Gen. 39:11-13), but it's wrong to flee from the place of duty, as Nehemiah was invited to do (Neh. 6:10-11). The leader who flees needlessly from the crisis is only a hireling and not a faithful shepherd (John 10:12-13). Beware of listening to unwise counsel. Put your faith in the Lord, and He will protect you and direct your paths.
In verse 2, "For, look", suggests that these counselors are walking by sight and evaluating the situation from the human perspective. (See 2 Kings 6:8-23.) It's good to know the facts, but it's better to look at those facts in the light of the presence and promises of God. David’s enemies were attacking him with lies and deceit. This verse reminds me of Ephesians 6 where the devil shoots his fiery darts of lies at us when we are standing for the Lord.
In verse 3, we are asked the question, “If the foundations are destroyed what can the righteous do?” The foundation of society is built on truth and justice, and when truth is questioned or denied, and justice is not being carried out, the foundations of our lives and society shake (Isa. 59:11-15). Law and order, truth and justice, can only take place where there is mutual trust between individuals because of the foundation of God’s Word and Jesus Christ. And when we have individual respect, and a sense of responsibility, because we know we are accountable to a Holy God, and that there will be a future judgment, we have a firm foundation that will produce peace and security.
So, “What can the righteous do?” For years I used this verse to say that if we allow the foundations of our nation and society to be destroyed there is nothing we can do. We can just throw up our hands in despair. That is definitely the wrong answer! If I had looked at the next verse, 4, I would have found the right answer! “The LORD is in His holy temple, The LORD'S throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men.” We can remember that God is still on His throne and we can trust Him and do all we can by His grace to lay the foundations again!
It is our responsibility to do all we can, to personally dig deep into the Rock, Jesus Christ, and build the foundations of truth and justice for the next generation. Don’t Give Up!!!! Jesus still reigns!!!!