IF THE FOUNDATIONS ARE DESTROYED by Pastor Shah, Clearview, Henderson
We are living in a time when old values and beliefs are under attack. We are being told that there is a new world coming, whether we like it or not. We are being advised to abandon all hope of ever returning to the old. In fact, they are warning us that the new order has no place for us and it would be safer for us to seek refuge in some remote hideaway. This is very similar to the time when David wrote the opening words of 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. Overall Background: The psalm we just read is one of my favorite psalms in the Bible. No one knows the exact setting of this psalm. Maybe David wrote it in his earlier life when he was dodging King Saul. Maybe he wrote it when he was battling against the Philistines. Or maybe he wrote it as he was fleeing from his rebellious son Absalom. No matter what prompted David to write this psalm, one thing is for sure – they are words full of hopelessness and fear. They are a call to retreat; they are a signal to fall back and withdraw; Application: They remind us a lot of the words we are hearing today.
- Things have really gone downhill. I’ve never seen the morality so low; I’ve never seen the economy so poor.
- America’s glory days are over. I don’t think we will ever return to those good old days again. Might as well pack up and move elsewhere.
- We are living in the last days. Prophecy is unfolding before our very eyes. Get ready for Jesus to come.
I’ve heard those statements from some very well meaning people. Each of those has a hint of truth but they betray a shift in focus in our lives. Let’s walk through this passage together. There are three things that will stand out: I. DAVID’S LIFE OF FAITH
1 In the Lord I put my trust; Background: David begins with the words of faith. It is a declaration that his trust is not in people, things, armies, or chariots. His trust is in the living God. David talked a lot about trust in his other psalms:
- Psalm 5:11a “But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them.” (Protection)
- Psalm 32:10 “Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; But he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him.” (Mercy)
- Psalm 40:4 “Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust, And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.” (Focus)
The only way that you and I can survive in this world is by trusting in the Living God. Show me a man/woman who is all frazzled and frustrated, and I will show you a man who is not trusting in God. Faith is the antidote to fear. II. THBy the way, that is the official motto of our nation – “In God We Trust.” Even though this motto was not officially recognized until 1956, this statement defines us as a nation. Several times in our nation’s history we have seen disasters. It’s only by the grace of God that we have been able to dust ourselves off and get back up. II. THE COUNSEL OF FALSE FRIENDS
How can you say to my soul, “Flee as a bird to your mountain? Background: Keep in mind that these are not David’s words. He is quoting the counsel of his so-called friends. “Flee as a bird to your mountain?” That is a very interesting analogy. Birds are some of the most skittish of all creatures. You take one step towards them and immediately they fly away. David’s friends are counseling him to fly away like a bird, not just to some tree but to a mountain. Go as far away as possible to some remote place and never return again. Not only that but his so-called friends are also warning him of impending danger – 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. Meaning: Your enemies are around you; brace yourself for a shot to the heart. We all want friends. We all need friends. Friends can make the road of life a little less bumpy; friends can make the load of life a little less heavy. But, let me say it as clearly as possible – “With friends like these, you don’t need any enemies. They will suck the life out of you. They will dishearten you. They will bind you in chains. If you have friends like these, it’s time to break some friendships. Men – find yourself godly men who will encourage you, pray for you, stand with you, and tell you the truth. If you find such friends, do whatever you can to hang on to them. Ladies – maybe I am generalizing here…but women are more apt to seek friends they can share their hearts with, cry on their shoulders, and laugh with. Please don’t fall prey to friends who will destroy your life, marriage, and dreams. Listen to what else these so-called friends say. – 3 If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?” This is the final blow. This time the counsel is not just about individual troubles but the state of society. The very foundations of society are destroyed. It sounds very much like what we are hearing in America and there’s some truth to them.
- The foundation of the Bible has been destroyed. In 1947, the Supreme Court sharply defined the separation of church and state. Great misunderstanding about National or denominational church. In 1962-63, the Supreme Court decided to ban prayers in public school. In 1973, Supreme Court legalized abortion in Roe v. Wade.
- The foundation of morality has been destroyed.
- The foundation of the family is under heavy attack.
What are the false friends saying? Flee like a bird to your mountain. There’s nothing you can do. Throw in the towel. It’s gone to the dogs. Just reminisce; just resign; just retreat. This is exactly what’s happening in America today. People who talk like this are false friends of this nation. If you are talking like this, just know that you are not doing anybody any good. In fact, you are more the problem than the solution. III. DAVID’S RENEWED VISION OF GOD How did David respond to them? First, he rejected their advice and, instead, chose to look up. What did he see? 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. WOW! What a change in scenery! While down on earth everything was in despair, up in heaven everything was in control! God was not for a moment disheveled by the happenings on earth. As the famous preacher Robert G. Lee would say, “God is not a bewildered bellhop running up and down the corridors of the hotel He created trying to find His key!” In fact, His purposes were moving just fine. What are His purposes? For the Righteous – 5 The Lord tests the righteous, For the righteous, it was a time for testing. God is testing our great nation. He is testing to see if we are still one nation under God; He is testing to see if we will recognize that He is the source of our strength; He is testing to see if we will turn towards Him. Our financial/moral/spiritual crisis is not what God is doing to America as much as what God is doing for America. For the wicked – But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates. For the wicked, it was a time for judgment. God is getting ready to pour His wrath on the wicked. He will not allow even a single, small transgression to go unnoticed. Listen to verse 6 & 7 – 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. Bottom line: David did not have to run but simply rest in the promise that God loved Him and had His eyes upon him. Psalm 11 is calling us— – to look up and see that God still has His hand upon our nation. – to examine our hearts and see if there is any wickedness in us. – to step out of our hiding place and be the salt and light in our community. Jesus said in Matthew 5:13-16 13“You are the salt of the earth… 14“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden…16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. – to rebuild our families and marriages according to biblical standards. We are to labor until every boy, girl, man, and woman finds peace and forgiveness in Jesus Christ. I told you that I am optimistic about our nation. Several times in our nation’s history it seemed that we had hit bottom. First time around 1730’s – The American Colonies were going downhill and God sent the First Great Awakening. Second time was around 1790 – People were moving west and the country was going downhill. God sent the Second Great Awakening in the east and west. Third time was in 1857. A man by the name of Jeremiah Lanphier led the prayer revival and countless many were saved. God raised up men like D.L. Moody and others. Again in the 1920s and 1930s it seemed the morals of our nation were gone. God raised up the Billy Sundays and the Billy Grahams and many others. In the 60’s and the 70’s it was the Jesus Movement where disillusioned young men and women turned towards God. Now again in 2013, our nation is being tested with financial and moral fire. This is not a time to fear but to place our faith in the Living God and to hold up the cross as the only hope for this world. “From victory unto victory His army shall He lead, till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed.”