Three correct responses of God’s people when the foundations of righteousness around them are crumbling: In the Lord I take refuge. The Lord is in his holy temple. The Lord has determined the destiny of the wicked and the righteous.
When the foundations of society appear to be crumbling around us, what should the righteous do? Psalm 11 answers that question.
But before we look at how the psalm answers that question correctly, notice the wrong answer to the question. Did you notice the quotation marks after “what can the righteous do?” David is quoting someone else here. Where does the quote begin? Look at the end of verse 1. David is speaking, and he says, “How can you say to my soul…” and now the quote begins. And here is the first answer that is given to the question, “What can the righteous do?”: What can you do? “Flee like a bird to your mountain.” This is the advice being given to David. The foundations are crumbling, the wicked are shooting in the dark at the upright in heart, so flee! Escape! Run away! Just get together and sing happy songs and pretend none of it is happening.
But that’s the wrong response. And that’s what we see in the Psalms—these songs don’t ignore the reality of crumbling foundations and wicked people, these songs acknowledge that reality but then lead us to respond in proper ways in the midst of that reality.
So what is the proper response, then?