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If the Foundations are Destroyed What Can the Righteous Do?

If the Foundations are Destroyed What Can the Righteous Do?

by Dr. David Kyle Foster\
https://www.charismapodcastnetwork.com/show/purepassion
August 28, 2019

(All Scriptures are NASB except where otherwise noted.)

The Effect of Immorality on an Entire Culture

It has come as an enormous shock to those who were raised in a Christian-friendly culture, that in one generation, the foundations of Judeo-Christian law and morality have been upended.

Laws have been passed that criminalize help for homosexuals and others who want to leave broken lifestyles. Pornography flows like a sewer into every corner of the globe. Children have been forced to endure the invasive eyes of opposite sex people in bathrooms and showers, while they are being force-fed "how-to" lessons on unimaginably perverse behaviors in our nation's classrooms, libraries and media of every kind. Not to mention the pervasiveness of the sex trafficking of minors worldwide.

The wicked strut about on every side
when vileness is exalted among the sons of men.

(Psalm 12:8)

Our culture has thrown off the moral restraints that have governed western nations for millennia (Proverbs 29:18). The wholesale murder of children in their mother's wombs and the genocide of the elderly has become the norm rather than the exception. Everyone seems to do what is right in their own eyes (Judges 21:25; Proverbs 21:2; Isaiah 5:21).

In lament, the psalmist cries out.....
If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?

(Psalm 11:3)

"Red Martyrdom"

Christianity is now the most persecuted religion on the planet. According to John Paul II's Commission for the New Martyrs of the Great Jubilee, during the 20th century, more people were killed for believing in Jesus than in all the previous centuries combined! In fact, the number killed is almost double that of the preceding 1,900 years.

From AD 33 to 1900, there were 14 million documented martyrs, whereas the number of martyrs in just the last century is estimated to be 26 million.

The genocide of Armenian Christians by the Turkish government between 1905 and 1918 numbered 2 million alone. Add to that the tens of millions of Christian martyrs in Uganda, China, N. Korea, India and the Middle East and you have a horrific slaughter.

"White Martyrdom"

For the most part, western believers have escaped "Red Martyrdom", (when a Christian is killed for his faith). In contrast, "White martyrdom", (when a Christian is persecuted for his faith), has now become a fixture of European and American life.

People are losing their jobs and reputations. They are being ridiculed and attacked in public gatherings and forums. Much of Christian history and science has been removed from our nations curricula.

Believers are denied a voice on almost every secular media outlet and social media platform. Like the Nazi's and communists before them, their persecutors (most recently, Amazon) have begun to ban books again. This time, the books are from Christian authors who are trying to share Christ and His transforming power with sexually broken people.

We Live in "Orwellian" Times

It's as George Orwell prophesied in his book, 1984......

Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.

The process [of mass-media deception] has to be conscious, or it would not be carried out with sufficient precision, but it also has to be unconscious, or it would bring with it a feeling of falsity and hence of guilt.... To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies all this is indispensably necessary.

Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful
and murder [read, abortion] respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

Myths which are believed in tend to become true.

Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else.

Aldous Huxley chimed in with this succinct observation in his book, Brave New World.....

Never have so many been manipulated so much by so few.

The Brevity and Vanity of Life

James, the brother of Jesus, famously wrote.....

You do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
(James 4:14)

In Shakespeare's famous play, MacBeth opines......

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
that struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
and then is heard no more. It is a tale
told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
signifying nothing.

King Solomon spoke of life as being a futile exercise if lived as an end unto itself, rather than for God........

Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
(Ecclesiastes 1:2)

His conclusion.......

Fear God, and keep His commandments,
for this is the whole duty of man.

(Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)

Why Doesn't God Do Something?

The Book of Psalms asks the question that is on everyone's mind.....

Why do You stand afar off, O Lord? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble? In pride the wicked hotly pursue the afflicted; let them be caught in the plots which they have devised. For the wicked boasts of his heart's desire and the greedy man curses and spurns the Lord. The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him. All his thoughts are, "There is no God".

He says to himself, "I will not be moved........God has forgotten;
He has hidden His face; He will never see it.

(Psalm 10:1-6, 11)

In these Psalms, we see that the wicked are blind, proud, unrepentant and arrogant in their sin. God has hidden Himself from them so that they will be "caught in the plots which they have devised".

This is reminiscent of passages in Ezekiel (16:39a; 23:9a; 23:24c, 35b), Jeremiah (2:19), and Isaiah (64:7), where God declares that He will give people over to their idols and that it will be those idols that will exact punishment -- most frighteningly, by removing their capacity to resist and repent of their sinful actions.

And so, the psalmist cries out.....

If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?
(Psalm 11:3)

The Hidden Wisdom of God

Consider this: if God unilaterally kept us safe from the evil of this world, our pursuit of Him would be for His hand, not His face. We would follow Him for His actions on our behalf rather than for the glory and goodness of His person.

Faith would not play the part that it was designed for -- to call us to believe in His power and goodness even in the face of darkness that seems triumphant and overwhelming.

Believing in God's wisdom and goodness is the groundwork for relationship with Him. In order to work that in us, God must hide Himself during times of trial so that our only motivation for believing in Him is the wisdom and love that He expressed through His death on the Cross.

God gives men a free will and provides direction for moral choices. For a season, evil will have its triumphs. For a season, we are called to share in the sufferings of Christ (Romans 8:17; 2 Corinthians 1:3-5; Philippians 1:29, 3:10) -- even though the foundations have been destroyed.

In suffering with Christ, we are made like Him. In suffering, we grow in character (Romans 5:3-4). Suffering enables us to know Him in ways nothing else could.

Rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.
(1 Peter 4:12-19, NIV,84)

But that is a temporary state of affairs. On the day of judgment, evil will no longer prosper. Good will no longer be under assault. The evil one will be stripped of his power and deceive men no longer.

Questioning the Creator

Many biblical characters questioned God in this matter, (David, Solomon, Job, Habakkuk and others), and did not receive a complete explanation. Even the Apostles questioned the actions of their Lord. He hadn't acted in the way they expected. He hadn't overthrown their oppressors and brought judgment on sinners. And evildoers continued to prosper.

Yet, as they grew in wisdom and stature in the Lord, they declared that their sure foundation lay not in what they could see and hear, but in Christ alone. As the old hymn, "How Firm a Foundation" pronounces.....

When through the deep waters I call you to go,
the rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
for I will be with you, your troubles to bless,
and sanctify to you your deepest distress.

When through fiery trials your pathway shall lie,
My grace, all-sufficient, shall be your supply;
the flame shall not hurt you; I only design
your dross to consume and your gold to refine.

(ref. Matthew 7:24-25; 1 Corinthians 3:11)

The answer that God gives us today is the same: He will vindicate the righteous and judge the unrepentant sinner in due time and in a way that displays the perfection of His justice and His grace.

Seeing Through a Glass Darkly

There will come a day when the dark glass that we see through will be made clear. For those who have held on to the character of God in the face of all evidence to the contrary, there will be great joy and blessing in His presence forever.

What can the righteous do when the moral foundations have been destroyed? As we've seen, we are to hold fast in faith that God will eventually vindicate the righteous and exact judgment on those who refuse His offer of forgiveness for their sins.

Considering the 40 million Christians who have been tortured and killed for their faith, we mustn't conclude that God has abandoned us or that we should be exempt from suffering and persecution. Though the prospering of the unrighteous is a conundrum, trusting in God is the answer.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. (1 Corinthians 13:15)

* * * * *

Dr. David Kyle Foster (M-Div, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; D-Min, Trinity School for Ministry) is the author of Transformed Into His Image and The Sexual Healing Reference Edition. You can listen to his twice-weekly podcast by going to: www.charismapodcastnetwork.com/show/purepassion.

Footnotes

https://aleteia.org/2017/06/30/are-there-more-martyrs-now-than-in-the-early-church/

2 https://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1901-2000/modern-persecution-11630665.html

3 https://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1901-2000/modern-persecution-11630665.html

4 https://www.franciscanmedia.org/red-white-and-green-martyrs/

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