Ep039: Psalm11: Foundations are Crumbling. What to do?

Hi. I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray with Me”.

Psalm 11 asks, “When the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Wherever we turn, we see foundations crumbling and destroyed.
– society violates the ten commandments,
– politicians lie and scam,
– churches value relevance over godliness,
– celebrities celebrate evil,
– moral relativity trumps old fashioned values,
– standards of conduct yield to sloppiness,
– scholars sow confusion instead clarity.

Decay and fragmentation are overtaking western civilization, permeating politics and business and church life. We smell the rot. We see the weakness. What can the righteous do?

The first verse of Psalm 11 suggests, “Flee like a bird to your mountain” (v. 1). Is that the solution? Run away from the awful truth? Escape from it all? Go off the grid with our guns and all terrain vehicles and build a mountain hideout? Sit in safety while the world goes to hell in a hand basket?

The poet roundly rejects this solution. He has two responses to the escapist option.

His first response: God is still involved in the world. The poet says, “God is in his holy temple, God is on his heavenly throne, God watches the human race, his eyes examine the righteous and the wicked.” God continues to watch over the world. If God remains involved in a world with crumbling foundations, we his servants must also stay engaged. Escape is not an option.

The poet’s second response is to point out the true nature of our foundation. It is
not in rules,
not the ten commandments,
not right interpretation of the Bible,
not family values,
not a just society,
not an honest political system.

The only foundation is God himself. The poet tells us that God hates those who love violence (v. 5). He plans to deliver fiery coals and burning sulphur to the wicked (v. 6). But the righteous will see God’s face. He is our only foundation. It is our privilege to walk with him by faith through the evils of the world, until we meet him in a better world to come.

Let’s pray.

Our father, we hear from many sources of decaying and destroyed foundations.
– Preachers complain endlessly about slipping standards in Bible interpretation, in morality and civility and commitment and faith
– The media report mass shootings, corrupt politics, and salacious celebrity gossip.
– Scientists hypothesize, analysts analyze, philosophers philosophize, commentators opinionize, but wisdom has left the building.
– The wheels of western civilization keep turning, but the  motor has seized and the vehicle is coasting.

We come to you, God, because we are frightened and we want to escape. Wouldn’t it be better to abandon this hopeless situation? But that would deny who we are and who you are. You are still God of our world, you work to preserve good and punish evil. We are still your servants. We represent you. Our job is not to preserve ourselves. Our job is to be courageous witnesses, to remind the world that you still care and judge.

We see the crumbling rot in all our systems: in theology, in moral codes, in our Judeo-Christian values, in our own lives. None of our systems can sustain us while civilization fragments and disintegrates. So we turn to the only foundation that is firm. Be our refuge and strength, God, in the midst of chaos. Come walk with us through change and violence, help us walk with you until we see you face-to-face.

Amen.

I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”.

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