IF THE FOUNDATIONS ARE DESTROYED – 2 by Pastor Shah, Clearview Church, Henderson
In light of the recent decision by the Supreme Court of the United States to legalize same-sex marriage, I want to preach a message that I’ve preached sometime back from Psalm 11 titled, “IF THE FOUNDATIONS ARE DESTROYED.” We’re living in a time when morality and values are under heavy attack. We’re being told – “A new world is here, whether we like it or not. It has no place for people like us and it would be safer for us to either run with it or run away. There is no hope of going back.”
They are very similar to 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?”
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 – it begins with a call to retreat. Things are going downhill and there’s nothing you can do about it. Run away. They remind us a lot of what we’ve been hearing for the past few days:
- America’s glory days are over.
- We’re under God’s judgment.
- We are living in the last days. Get ready for Jesus to come.
Unfortunately, I’ve heard these statements from some very well meaning people. They’re not the response that God expects of us. Before we try to understand how we are to respond and what’s the next step, let me ask you first – does it bother you where our nation is morally and spiritually today? If it doesn’t –
- Could it be that you could care less for our nation? I know people like that – They love Jesus but America can crash and burn and they won’t care. Jeremiah 29:7 says, “And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the LORD for it; for in its peace you will have peace.”
- Could it be that you don’t know any different? Sadly, I come across people like that a lot in America. They’re very nice people but they are naïve people. They’re ignorant about issues and consequences. Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
- Could it be that you’re moral and spiritual thermostat is broken? In other words, you have the same trash in your life that people have in the world. No wonder it’s hard for you to say anything. You have to begin by repenting of your own sins.
- Could it be that your love for the lost has gotten cold? Here’s a question to you – when was the last time you witnessed to anybody?
As we walk through this Psalm, ask the Holy Spirit to give you biblical convictions and show you how to respond to what’s happening in our nation. 3 things we will see:
I. FAITH DECLARED
1 In the Lord I put my trust;
Background: David begins the psalm by declaring that his trust is not in people, things, armies, or chariots. His trust is in the living God. Repeatedly he talks about this –
- Psalm 5:11a “But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them.”
- Psalm 32:10 “Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; But he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him.”
- 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.”
David was a man of deep, unshakable faith in God.
The only way that you and I can survive in this world is by trusting in the Living God. No matter what the Supreme Court says or any human institution decrees, “In the Lord I put my trust.” By 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. We’ve been through so much as a nation. It’s only by the grace of God that we have been able to dust ourselves off and get back up.
Application: Are you trusting in the Lord right now? 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. This is not just with regards to our nation but also in our personal lives.
II. FOUNDATIONS DESTROYED
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. Now he is quoting the counsel of his friends. “Flee as a bird to your mountain?” 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 flutter 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. What else? 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: If you try to come back, their arrows aimed at your heart. But they’re not done – 3 If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?” This is even worse. “David – Give up. The very foundations of the society are destroyed. There’s no hope.”
By the way, the very foundations of our nation are crumbling before our eyes –
- In 1947, the Supreme Court sharply defined the separation of church and state.
- In 1962-63, the Supreme Court decided to ban prayers in public school.
- In 1973, the Supreme Court legalized abortion in Roe v. Wade.
- Now in 2015, the Supreme Court has legalized same-sex marriages.
Do you believe that the foundations of our society are crumbling before our very eyes? In 1934 an Oxford anthropologist by the name of J.D. Unwin published a book called Sex and Culture in which he studied and analyzed the sexual behaviors of 86 cultures through 5,000 years of history. Unwin was not a Christian. He admitted: “I offer no opinion about rightness or wrongness.” But listen to what he concluded: “In human records there is no instance of a society retaining its energy after a complete new generation has inherited a tradition which does not insist on pre-nuptial and post-nuptial continence.” Meaning: When a society becomes promiscuous instead of a man and woman having sex only in the confines of marriage, it’s a matter of time before that society will shrivel and die. After studying the Romans, Greeks, Sumerians, Moors, Babylonians, Anglo-Saxons and many others, he wrote, “The evidence is that in the past, a class has risen to a position of political dominance because of its great energy, and that, at the period of its rising, its sexual regulations have always been strict. It has retained its energy and dominated the society so long as its sexual regulations have demanded both pre-nuptial and post-nuptial continence…I know of no exceptions to these rules.”
This issue about same sex marriage is not about marriage. It’s about neutralizing the fundamental identity of human beings as male and female. It’s about silencing those who will call it sin. It’s about stealing away the innocence of our children and exposing them to actions and behaviors of a promiscuous few. It’s about tearing down our society.
Application: Does the plight of our society bother you? Do you care about the lost around you? Are you praying for God to show you what must be done?
III. FOCUS DIVERTED
4 The Lord is in His holy temple, The Lord’s throne is in heaven;
Background: All this time David is busy looking around him and he is getting discouraged. But now he chooses to look to the temple and he sees that God is still there! For Christians now we are the temple of the Holy Spirit and God is still with us. Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me.” Jesus promised – Matthew 28:20 “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
But then David looks up and he sees God’s throne is in heaven. Meaning: God is still in control and He is still the king of the universe and the final judge. While down on earth everything was in despair, up in heaven everything was in control! What else? His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men. 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, He is seeing everything.
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. Romans 1 is very clear that homosexuality is a sin. 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness… 26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
Back to Psalm 11 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.
What’s the message for the people of God in America?
- Don’t lose hope. Trust God. He is perfectly in control.
- Examine our hearts and see if there is any wickedness in us.
- Rebuild our families and marriages according to biblical standards.
- 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.
- Share the gospel with the lost world around us because judgment is coming.
And God will win – “From victory unto victory His army shall He lead, till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed.”
Are you discouraged? Are you looking up? Do you trust God? Are you saved? Are you sharing the gospel?