"In the Lord I take refuge. How then can you say to me: Flee like a bird to your mountain. For look, the wicked bend their bows; they set their arrows against the strings to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart. When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?" Psalm 11:1-3.
This passage challenges how we perceive the major events in our lives should flow. These major events are the foundations of life.
I expected my mother and father to stay together until death did them part. No where in my mental, emotional, spiritual or social programming did I have even a little room for them to not make it together in life. From before I was a baby until I was into my forties my mother and father were together. Their stability gave me stability, a foundation.
I expect the same tenacious spirit to prevail in my marriage to Cheryl. There is no room in my mental, emotional, spiritual or social programming for us to not make it together in life. I can’t envision one of us saying to the other, "Good-bye." As in the case of my parents, and Cheryl’s parents, it will have to be death that causes us to part.
I expect my country to be moral, upright, and to have concern for the citizens of the country. Politicians should honor their promises, lower taxes, curb spending, and promote industry at home. My kids should have as much of an opportunity to get a college education, a good job and a decent retirement as I have had.
I expect Christianity to always be the spiritual and ethical force that drives our culture. Jesus should be honored in the movies, the Nativity scene should be displayed in the town square, and the Ten Commandments should be displayed in the nations’ courthouses. Above all, the Bible should be upheld in our churches as the supreme source of our preaching and teaching.
These things I’ve named are foundations for life. The strength and stability they offer allows us to live, to gain confidence in ourselves, to make wise choices, and to live wholesome lives. These foundations are life. We expect them to follow a certain course. But do they?
As essential as these institutions are, marriages do fall apart, national leaders do work for their own selfish agendas, and communities and churches can dishonor Christ and the Bible. What do the righteous do when these foundations no longer support their faith and life?
Someone suggests to the Psalmist, the writer of the psalm, "Flee like a bird to your mountain. For look, the wicked bend their bows; they set their arrows against the strings to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart." The Psalmist rejects the advice to panic, run or hide. But he does admit, "There will be times in life when the foundations do fall, and the wicked intentionally seek to undermine your faith, your family and your future. What can you do?"
He says, "The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord is on his heavenly throne" (V.4). No matter how bleak the scenario in your home, community, church or nation, nothing is bigger than God. Earthly foundations may crumble but the throne in heaven never does. Our ultimate foundation, God, is still at work preserving the faithful. So, when the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do? We can live in peace and confidence, knowing that our path is secure in God’s power in our lives.