What Can the Righteous Do?
Many times, we can relate to David who at one point felt like just getting away from it all - like a bird fleeing into the mountain (Ps. 11:1). For David it was a difficult and dangerous time where the wicked were scheming to bring him down (v. 2). In that context he asked: "If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (v. 3). The "foundations" refers to the underpinnings of society based on the rule of law and order in keeping with what is right and wrong before God. If the whole order of society is seemingly in jeopardy what can the righteous do? GREAT QUESTION!
David really answered the question before he asked it. In verse 1 he said, "In the LORD I put my trust" (NKJV). The ESV translates it, "In the LORD I take refuge". Instead of running away from his problems he had determined to seek REFUGE in the LORD. This is where the righteous run - to the LORD! If the very foundations of society are breaking down our only solace is in the LORD! David saw no other answer!
After asking the question, "What can the righteous do?" David immediately said, "The LORD is in His holy temple; the LORD’s throne is in heaven; His eyes see, His eyelids test the children of man." Instead of focusing on earth David put his attention on the truth of God's sovereign rule from heaven. Earth tends to get all the "attention" but heaven still rules! God is watching. "His eyes see, His eyelids test the children of man." (v. 4) The GREAT challenges of life that seem so overwhelming in reality are TESTS. God uses these times to refine and prove us. They have PURPOSE! And the great issue is always one of TRUST. Will we seek refuge in God or will we yield to worldly temptations to respond in the flesh?
Psalm 11:5 (ESV)
5 The LORD tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.
The LORD tests the righteous when the very foundations of society are trembling but the wicked (the one who loves violence) God hates. I think we can just let this speak for itself. Those who wickedly destroy the foundations with violence are not favored by God! Yes, God allows these testing times for the righteous, but He is not overlooking it.
Psalm 11:6–7 (ESV)
6 Let him rain coals on the wicked; fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.
7 For the LORD is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face.
The fate of the wicked is ultimately God's fiery judgment! God hates what they stand for and He will judge them for it. It's just a matter of timing! In contrast the LORD loves righteous deeds. He loves those who seek to live right and the promise is that "the upright shall behold His face." Those who truly trust in the LORD are evidenced by how they live. They are ultimately blessed and will see God's face. The righteous will eternally enjoy God's presence and favor!
"What can the righteous do?" They can put their TRUST in the LORD! In the end the wicked will BURN and the righteous will forever enjoy God's presence. Live in light of eternity! The foundations of society may be destroyed, but God is still on His THRONE in heaven! Before God it is the END of the matter that matters ultimately! God is a REFUGE for the righteous! TRUST HIM!
Revelation 22:1–5 (ESV)
1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb
2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him.
4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
What Can the Righteous Do