What can the righteous do?

“If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” —Psalm 11:3

After 34 years of pastoral ministry, building three places of worship and watching thousands of people accept Christ as personal Savior, the present state of our nation has led me to ask, “What can the righteous do (those who follow God’s law)? This question has become personal as I ask myself what can I do to help a sinful nation, my community, church and people return toward godly moral values. It appears living sinful has become the acceptable way of life for the majority of our nation. What can the righteous do when immorality has become a civil rights issue, when a nation whose foundations were built on the principles of the Holy Bible rejects its authority and refuses to be guided by the laws of nature and Scripture? If the foundations of society are overthrown, what can the righteous do? These foundations, in Psalm 11, refer to the Law and the order of society based on the Lord’s rule.

The Psalmist David is bewildered by the moral state of the people. He sees the movement of the ungodly and their effect on a society that he has been annointed to eventually rule over as king. “The Bible Knowledge Commentary” states: “The wicked were out to destroy the righteous, including David. The wicked bend their bows to fasten the strings on them, and then place their arrows on the strings to shoot in secrecy at the upright. It may be that a literal attack is in view, but more likely the bows and arrows denote slanderous words that destroy, as is often true in the Psalms.” Those who desire to live righteous lives face this exact intimidation today. The righteous should be encouraged to know the Christian is the enemy of intimidation, and we can say like David, “In the Lord I put my trust.”

In our postmodern era, when the righteous speak against the sinful ways of society they are called homophobic, hateful, bigots, etc. The power of words to change the tide of public opinion has never been more evident as it is in this era of American history. Anyone who maintains biblical principles is said to be on the wrong side of history by the proponents of our changing society. However, the question must be asked, “How can the Bible and a righteous God be on the wrong side of history?”

As preachers and laypersons of the gospel living in days when preaching against sin is unpopular, should we throw in the towel and say we can do nothing because the world is changing for the worse? Should an individual conclude: “I am only one voice when so many others are silent?”

Don’t allow the immorality of others keep you from worshiping and serving the Lord. “How can you say to my soul, ‘Flee as a bird to your mountain?’”

What can the righteous do? The righteous must remember to celebrate God for the foundations he has developed. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are times when the righteous can celebrate God’s original order for marriage, motherhood and fatherhood. The righteous can celebrate the sanctity of life by saying thanks to their parents for allowing them to be born and not aborted. Celebrate the traditional marriages of your parents and all marriages that procreate through becoming one flesh. Finally, celebrate the motherhood and fatherhood of parents who loved the institution of parenting enough to adopt children. Honor God for the foundations of life in spite of the ways of the ungodly.

Remember, just as David did, that God is in his temple—he lives in the heart of the Christian in the person of the Holy Spirit. God sees and knows all the works of mankind, and has the last word in respect to our eternal destination. The wicked will suffer for their works and the righteous will be blessed for their works. Please be encouraged to stay the course as you read and meditate on Psalm 11:

1 In the Lord I put my trust; How can you say to my soul, “Flee as a bird to your mountain”? 2 For look! The wicked bend their bow, They make ready their arrow on the string, That they may shoot secretly at the upright in heart. 3 If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do? 4 The Lord is in His holy temple, The Lord’s throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men. 5 The Lord tests the righteous, But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates. 6 Upon the wicked He will rain coals; Fire and brimstone and a burning wind Shall be the portion of their cup. 7 For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; His countenance beholds the upright.

In conclusion, allow me to share the parable of the wise and foolish builders as told by our Lord, the foundation of the Christian faith. Jesus ends his Sermon on the Plain with a story about two builders. One takes care to build a house with its foundation securely on a rock. The other builds without a foundation at all. When the flood comes, the house without a foundation collapses. Jesus says those who build their lives on His teaching will withstand the storms of life. “He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.” (Luke 6:48-49)

Lord Jesus, please forgive us of our sins. Touch the minds of our national leaders that they will honor the foundations that have made America a great society. Lord, write your word on their hearts and let them return to live by Scripture and serve you. Let lost sinners come to know you, that they may be reconciled to you, and converted. Give us boldness to face the issues of our day with you by our side. May we be witnesses to a lost world. Amen.

Pastor, Mesquite Friendship Baptist Church
Terry Turner
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