Thursday, August 8, 2013

When Foundations Crumble

"If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (Psalm 11)

I have often returned to this Psalm and pondered the wisdom and instruction there. I returned again today thinking of the crumbling foundations in my own nation and wondering about the future.

Never in my lifetime have I seen the prospects of this nation teetering so precariously. My ancestors came here from Ireland and Scotland and Switzerland seeking opportunity and relief from oppression and fear in the liberty the United States promised. I have friends who are more recent immigrants and who have sought the same in this land that has for 200 years been a beacon of freedom. I have encouraged them believing in the future of America. But no longer.

No nation can continue strong built on lies and self-serving political wrangling. Such a nation has turned from the truth, and a nation that turns from the truth has no foundation. It holds out no promise that can be counted on.

Apart from a thorough cleaning of house, we can look forward to decline and insignificance in the world - because we offer nothing different from any other nation. Or to civil war.

I weigh those words carefully. I am not advocating civil war. I fear it. But we will have civil war if there is not a serious and dramatic change in direction. I know of people already who are building bunkers and stock piling food and weapons. I was in a large shop this summer where there were racks upon racks of military-like "assault rifles" for sale. And the only thing slowing their sale was the shortage of ammunition for those weapons. There are a lot of people out there who believe it will come to that. God help us.

But this blog is not intended to foment insurrection. It is a reflection upon current events in light of a Christian worldview. So, what should the righteous do?

The most obvious is that we should trust God. He is always in control of the events of this world. "He is in his Holy Temple. . . he observes everyone on earth; his eyes examine them." I can rest in his control. Nations may crumble. Many have. This nation may crumble; it has no guarantee of safety. But I am secure in God's care.

"On the wicked he will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a burning wind will be their lot." No one gets away with evil. No nation survives that embraces evil. God will certainly judge, as he has throughout history. I do not need to take that into my hand. In fact, history demonstrates that as often as not, nations are destroyed from within, from the weight of their own failure to do what God has called nations to do - to uphold justice and to do right.

"For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face." True justice and righteousness will prevail, though the whole world fall, as the Bible foretells is will. Whatever happens in the meantime I can bear, for God will be the victor.

But there is more. The rhetorical question at the beginning begs a response: "How then can you say to me: 'Flee like a bird to your mountain. For look, the wicked bend their bows; they set their arrows against the strings to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart. When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?'” What, indeed, can the righteous do? The question expects this answer: Stand firm. Do right. Trust God. Do not run.

And so I call every Christian who finds his way to this blog to do that. Do not let the specter of a dark future for America turn you aside from doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with your God.