As our nation continues its moral spiral downward, a scripture that is increasingly referred to is Psalm 11:3: “When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” It is certainly a contemporary question. The problem comes when we try to supply our own answer to this important question. The answers can come fast and furious: vote this way, protest this action, write your congress person, boycott that group…and much more. All of those answers actually might be valid in small ways. The difficulty is that they are all insufficient and fail to address the answer found in scripture.
When we pick one verse, we often do so at the expense of the verses around it. That’s especially true in this case. The answer to the compelling question, “What can the righteous do?” is found in verse 4. “The Lord is in his holy temple; The Lord is on his heavenly throne. He observes everyone on earth; his eyes examine them.” The answer to the question is simple – Look up! God is still in charge.
When seismic changes are taking place in culture, it looks as though everything is falling apart. Our nature is to jump in and try to fix it, or to retreat in despair and discouragement. The command of God’s Word though, is to look to The Lord. It’s time to pray. It’s time to draw near and realize that ultimately God is in charge and nothing is happening of which he is unaware. It doesn’t mean that we might not need other action in addition to prayer. But after we have prayed, our actions will not be acts of desperation but that which emerges from the leadership of the Holy Spirit. God is still on His throne. And we are those who come boldly into His throne room to lay before him our requests for His will to be poured out on earth as it is in heaven. What can the righteous do? We can pray!