When the Foundations Are Shaken
“The foundations of law and order have collapsed. What can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3 NLT)
These were the whining words of a coward. Yes, it is true, Psalms 11 & 12 tell of a time when society on the whole had turned bad. The friend of young David who uttered the words above had certainly rightly discerned “the spirit of the age” in which he lived. A heavy blanket of evil seemed to rest upon the land. “The god of lies (had become) enthroned in the national heart.” There was an acute shortage of truly godly men. Society seemed to have reached the last stage of corruption “when vileness is exalted” and “the wicked strut about on every side.”
If this describes the social life a young David encountered 3,000 years ago, how much more is it true of the culture in which we live today? America has slipped far away from the decency that once established acceptable standards for our nation. Unquestionably, we live in a day when evil is reaching its climax. Many believers respond to this spiritual blight with the same defeatist attitude expressed by David’s timid friend. “No matter how hard we try to live godly lives, the world around us only gets darker. It’s hopeless to fight this losing battle! What can a righteous man do but bend to such times?”
What I would suggest is that the mindset represented with this sentiment is the very antithesis of righteousness. Solomon rightly said, “Like a trampled spring and a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.” (Proverbs 25:26)
The truth is that a righteous man would never express the faithless despair of David’s friend. In other words, a righteous man wouldn’t think to ask, “What can the righteous do?” He would ask, “What cannot the righteous do?” It is in the darkest part of the night that the stars shine their brightest. It is when evil is at its malignant peak that the deeds of the righteous stand out most clearly. Perhaps it is true that ordinary men acquiesce when “vileness is exalted,” but just as true is that those of extra-ordinary faith rise to the occasion. Although godly men most keenly feel the pain of abounding wickedness, they are set apart by a dogged, stubborn unwillingness to bow to the evil of their times. Hebrews 11, the Book of Acts and the annals of Church history are chalk full of the stories of courageous men and women who, equipped with nothing more than faith in an almighty God, stood up to the evil of their times and made a difference.
In the dark days in which we live, let us each stand for righteousness and fight for the souls of the lost around us.
And how about you? As we see the moral fabric of our culture frazzling before our eyes, are you sometimes tempted to “hide your light under a bushel?” What is God calling you to do to hinder and slow down the progress of evil?