Guest contributor: Randy Pritts
1 “I trust in the Lord for protection. So why do you say to me, “Fly like a bird to the mountains for safety! 2 The wicked are stringing their bows and fitting their arrows on the bowstrings. They shoot from the shadows at those whose hearts are right. 3 The foundations of law and order have collapsed. What can the righteous do?”
4 But the Lord is in his holy Temple; the Lord still rules from heaven. He watches everyone closely, examining every person on earth. 5 The Lord examines both the righteous and the wicked. He hates those who love violence. 6 He will rain down blazing coals and burning sulfur on the wicked, punishing them with scorching winds. 7 For the righteous Lord loves justice. The virtuous will see his face.”
-Psalm 11 (NLT)
Allow me to rephrase this for our current consideration:
If the foundations of civil society be destroyed, what can the righteous do?
I will explain why.
Religion and Politics
The old adage “religion and politics don’t mix” no longer fits. At one time, it may have been polite for the saints to bite their tongues and not ruffle anyone’s feathers. However, in the current social climate, politics is exactly where the ungodly is making his most ardent and divisive attack. The foundations of civil society are being destroyed, and being nearly destroyed, what is left that the righteous can do?
In this psalm (kjv@Psalm:11 ) we see the wicked “bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart”. Let there be no mistake that it is at the upright he is pointing his bow. So frequent are these attacks, and uncomfortable, that the saint’s soul might be tempted to say “Flee as a bird to your mountain”. This psalm is not about what the wicked are doing however, no it is about the saint on which this psalm focuses. Under pressure and ensuing wickedness, what is the response of the righteous?
The mountain is a tempting place for us to flee. After all, what matter is it of ours what this society chooses for itself to become?
What matters is that “the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright”. Therefore, “The LORD trieth the righteous”. Like as with precious metals, HE puts them to the test in a foundry to separate us from the dross and prove to us HIS righteousness’s worth. This separation and purification is not to be sought from atop some distant mountain top away from it all. It comes only from being in the boil and tumult of the cauldron’s hottest flames.
For us, no doubt, these are dangerous and unfamiliar grounds. So much so, that it must be said to us as a reminder that “In the LORD,” the saint must put his or her trust.
Before we run out onto the political and social battlefield shooting at whatever target seen fit, let’s better consider verse four at the heart of this psalm:
“The Lord is in His holy temple, The Lord’s throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men.”– Psalm 11:4
- “The LORD is in his holy temple” (Gods Holiness)
Our LORD is much different from the lords of the rest of this world. This LORD alone is holy. It is not for this LORD to rule as we see fit. Who are we? Are we holy in the same sense? Not unless we allow HIS reign to have its effect upon us to such an extent that we reflect nothing but HIS holiness. Sadly, this is something that in our haste, we often neglect to maintain.
There have been plenty of similar occasions when we have raced onto the battlefield with our thoughts and bias, our beliefs, our strict legalism, our own insistence and our way of fixing things – only to shoot ourselves or our brothers in the foot. And by our inept misrepresentations of Christ, the person and purposes of Christ have been ill presented and represented.
- “the LORD’S throne is in heaven” (Gods Reign And Judgement)
The view of the battlefield that this LORD has from above is much different from ours here in the trenches. What is right in our own eye, so often is not the correct place from which strategic judgments should be made. Countless times we have foolishly played right into our enemy’s stronger hand. No, this is a different kind of war, fought with different kinds of weapons – not the weapons we bring in from home on our own. Our fleshly weapons do not suffice.
- “his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men” (The Inescapable Watching of Gods Eye)
As saints, we should never think that this LORD’s critical eye is not upon us as well. HIS eye beholds all the children of men. If anything certain can be said of the scriptures, it is that this LORD’s eye is more upon HIS saints – more than any other. “The wicked and him that loveth violence,” this righteous LORD may “hateth” but, “the LORD trieth” with a keen loving interest those whom HE has chosen and imputed HIS righteous covering over – desiring from them a willing and constant improving compliance.
The Search for Answers
It is quite natural for the world at large to neglect these crucial political and social foundations:
God’s reign and judgment.
The inescapable watching of God’s eye.
This is how they end up with this unruly and divisive climate that they have trapped us into. Neglect. The wicked neglect the holy things. They also ask, “What can be done?” “What can the wicked do?” and answer it with, “radicalize what we’ve been doing and cram it down the peaceable and law-abiding citizen’s moral conscience”. These citizens, these masses, have become easy prey for the wicked to take full advantage of for much more wicked and hidden purposes. They have been made to feel disenfranchised, victimized, systematically oppressed, made to covet what they do not have for themselves, and become inflamed – led by the snoot of social compassion by the wicked to a place upside-down, where upright and civil society would rather not go – forsaking God and holy things.
It is quite inexcusable however when the congregation of saints also personally neglect these pillars of sanity. That is how the saints end up in the unenviable and indefensible position of having allowed these societal ills to fester unattended and undressed for far too long. Instead of becoming influencers of society, we saints are labeled the neanderthal – we are the archaic, we are the racist and insensitive and bigot. We ponder, “how did it all came to this?”
What is left that we might do?
Well there is not much of anything left to do when we’ve already allowed the foundations to collapse in all around us. That is unless the LORD Himself is willing to do something about it through us.
Some saints might ask,
“What is it that is different about this particular age?”
Today, there is the talk of “cutting the tree down at the trunk.” Marxism exists in this country like it has never existed before. In Marxism there will be no space afforded for this LORD we freely today speak of here, nor will there be a place for these foundations – not even the thought of HIM or them.
What do we do then?
The Marxist doctrine plans to use Socialism as the blowtorch to clear and level the field for this “inevitable”, they say, “stateless society”.
No one is served by this wicked ideology in the end – not the disenfranchised, nor the victim, nor the impoverished, not even those foot soldiers fighting for it – nor the elite, nor intellectual, not even the socially compassionate. By that time, these all will have been proven to have been “useful idiots” – as will have, the saint. This truth has been proven numerous times in the previous century. Is it time now for this to be proven again?
For Country? Yes and No
The psalmist nearly pleads for us, the church – saints! – to sing forth in unison: “In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?”
A good many of us, I believe, are being guided by the scripture such as the Psalms and by the Holy Spirit to replenish the “front-line” as a test of this generation’s metal. It is not that this country is morally superior and worth the extra fight. It is not that this country does not have massive problems needing to be addressed. It is that the “righteous LORD loveth righteousness” and so should we, and that the LORD is our foundation bedrock no matter what the country. If the godless have made it close to impossible socially and politically for the upright to operate in, and attack us politically and socially and ever increasingly, then it is time for the foundations to be upheld and boldly defended, Not for us to once again flee! If, in a society, the foundations have been destroyed, now they must be rebuilt. If they are on the brink of collapse, then the righteous must hold them together, Not sit back and watch them crumble – reinforce them!
We have only to make sure that we are upholding the foundations of our LORD’s righteousness in fact and not just what we see as right in our own eye!
“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
Randy Pritts is the author of the “Back to the Psalms Series” audio project and the upcoming 2020 book “Foundations Of The Like Precious Faith Series”. Follow Randy at his website likepreciousfaith.us which features a wide variety of original and classic Christian content, bible translations, dictionaries, indexes, and other public domain resources for the modern “like precious faith” believer’s ongoing edification.