The Foundations Are Not Destroyed
Last week we saw David presents three responses in Psalm 11 to the perception that the foundations of society are crumbling around us:
- In the Lord I take refuge.
- The Lord is in his holy temple.
- The Lord has determined the destiny of the wicked and the righteous.
Now, what do these responses have to do with the issue of the foundations? Why are these responses best for those wondering what to do? Why are these the exact right thing to say?
Well, go back to the foundational psalms, Psalm 1 and 2. Did you notice the connection between the responses of Psalm 11 and the foundational principles we saw in Psalm 1 and 2?
“In the Lord I take refuge.”
Where do you see that in the foundational psalms? The end of Psalm 2. Psalm 2 predicted that all of human history would be characterized by vain imaginations, by nations raging and setting themselves against the rule of God, so when that happens, why are you surprised? Why would your response be to flee? Take refuge in the Lord, just like the psalm says.
Second response: The Lord is in his holy temple.
Where do you see that in the foundational psalms? Again, Psalm 2 . He who sits in the heaven laughs. He’s already set his King on Zion. It’s done. He’s King.
Third response: The Lord has determined the destiny of the wicked and the righteous.
Where do you see that in the foundational psalms? Psalm 1:6—“The Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”
So why are these responses in Psalm 11 the appropriate responses to the reality of crumbling foundations around us? Because in Psalm 11, David is reaffirming the foundations that God set out in Psalms 1 and 2. He’s readjusting his image of reality with God’s image of reality. The foundations look like they’re crumbling, and they may be in the societies of men, but those foundations are still there, because God laid those foundations, and they shall never be moved. God’s foundations are the bedrock upon which men build their foundations and construct their societies; man’s foundations may crumble, but the bedrock foundations that God laid are established forever.
This is the foundation of all our hope and all our expectation. God is in the heavens; his rule is untouched by what is taking place on earth. Nothing is altered in heaven where God rules over all things. The end is determined; it was written in stone before the foundations of the earth were laid. And those who take refuge in him can be assured of true, eternal blessedness.
So, if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? The foundations are not actually destroyed. The fundamentals that God has established will never be moved. And if you shape your image of reality by that foundational reality—if you muse on the music of God’s Word so that your image of true blessedness is shaped by the Word rather than the vain imaginations of the wicked, then you will be blessed, even as the righteous foundations of the society crumble around you.
You will be able to say, ‘The Lord is king forever and ever; the nations perish from his land,” Psalm 10:16. You will be able to say, like Psalm 12:6, “The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground purified seven times. You, O Lord, will keep them; you will guard us from this generation forever.” You will be able to say with Psalm 13:5, “But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.” You will be able to say with Psalm 14:5, “God is with the generation of the righteous….” verse 6, “The Lord is his refuge….” verse 7, “When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people, let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.”
You will be able to move from lament to trust, and from trust to thanksgiving, and from thanksgiving to praise.
About Scott Aniol
Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is director of doctoral worship studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.