By Pastor Tim Nappe – Reaching the Unreached – West Africa
If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3)
It is hard to believe that King David wrote these words over 3,000 years ago! They sound like they could have been written here in 2021. We have been hearing variations of this same question over the last weeks and months.
Many of the foundations of our nation and culture have been assaulted by the issues of our times. Foundations that we have been depending on for centuries have been damaged and eroded by the ravages of disaster and disease.
Democracy and capitalism, concepts that we considered to be bedrock solid, have been questioned and challenged. Our medical and pharmaceutical institutions, the best in the world, have been pushed to the brink trying to address the pandemic. Our economy has fluctuated with uncertainty. Our educational system has been rocked. Local, state and national governments have been floundering as they have tried to meet the challenges that we are facing. Churches have had to cut back or even close the doors to worshippers. Travel has been curtailed and discouraged.
Even the personal resources that we depend on have been stretched to the limit. Confidence, trust, faith, hope, community, family, neighbors — these resources have been running thin for many. Discouragement, depression, isolation, loneliness, hopelessness, fear and despair have been growing. Some, young and old, have even given up and given in to suicide.
Anger, frustration, criticism and even violence has been breaking out as a result of the dissatisfaction and unhappiness in our communities. Government officials, school boards, police, store fronts and businesses have borne the brunt of the attacks and frustration. Emotions are running high as the alternatives dwindle.
And still the same 3,000-year-old question echoes, “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Where do we turn? How do we continue to live out our faith and bear witness to our God in the midst of the anguish and turmoil around us?
I can’t help but think that God is up to something. It is not that God sent the hardship, but God is able to use the difficult circumstances to bring about a positive result that will accomplish His will and purpose in the world. I believe that God is demonstrating the futility of trusting in things of this world.
You cannot rely on government to save you or deliver you from evil. It doesn’t matter if you are talking about a democracy, a monarchy, a dictatorship or total anarchy, none of them provide the ultimate answer.
Economies, whether capitalism, socialism, communism or total self-reliance — none of them are sufficient.
Putting your faith in doctors, drugs, career, insurance, community, education, wealth, materialism or anything else of this world — none of them will bring the deliverance that you seek when faced with overwhelming adversity.
We are being forced to come to terms with the insufficiency of our strength, intellect and ability. When everything else fails, where do we turn? “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” It is not a new question. And our contemporary situation is not the first time that humanity has faced the issue.
King David goes on to answer his own question in the next verses of Psalm 11, “The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven. His eyes behold, his gaze examines humankind. The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked.”
If you have been wondering where God is during all of this turmoil, He is right where He has always been. He is seated on His throne in heaven. He is still in control. He has not abandoned us. He is still watching over His creation. He is still listening to and responding to the prayers of His people.
And He is watching over and examining all of humankind. He is using this adversity to test and refine us. All people, the righteous and the wicked, are being confronted with the same questions. Where are you going to place your trust? Who or what are you going to depend on? When your back is against the wall, where do you turn for your ultimate security?
There are all kinds of insufficient answers to that question. And there is only one place where your needs will be met. Putting your faith in Christ is the only source of peace. May God be with you.