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Location: Greensboro, NC, United States

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Foundations That Can't Be Destroyed

"If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (Psalm 11:3) Many a preacher has used this verse as a rallying cry to the faithful, calling on God's people to rise up to action, in fear that the wicked may destroy God's work. And it has been useful to stir up emotion, and, no doubt in some cases, to bring about genuine diligence in the service of the Lord for His glory and for the blessing of His Church. But I think this is a misreading and therefore a misapplication of the verse. There is a quote that begins in verse 1 with the phrase "Flee as a bird to your mountain," and the question is: where does the quote end? I would suggest that it ends after the phrase "what can the righteous do". The speaker, whom the writer David is hearing and responding to, has lost sight of the all-seeing, all-directing, loving and sovereign Lord, in whom David trusts. Should I flee to the mountain? Should I fear when the wicked bends his bow? No. The foundations can't be destroyed. The Lord and Maker of the universe is in control of all things, including the wicked acts of wicked men. God will bless the righteous, but the wicked he will bring down in judgment. Rather than being used to stir up fear, this psalm is meant to give us comfort when we seem to be surrounded by evil, when we are tempted to believe there is no hope.

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