If the Foundations are Destroyed


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

Adversity comes in varied forms, but we can be assured it comes to all of us. It might be a crisis or a series of setbacks. Family tragedies, medical events, or financial challenges can turn our world upside down.

Such circumstances may bring feelings of uncertainty, fear, and despair. They can also lead to the temptation to lose heart, to give up hope.

David wrote Psalm 11 in a time of peril. It may have been during the time when king Saul threatened his life; or the dark days of his son Absalom’s conspiracy against his throne. He affirms that he takes refuge in the Lord. He does not despair, even though there are demoralizing voices feeding his fears. “Flee like a bird” is their only answer (v. 1). It’s an answer of despair. Things are bad. The very foundations are shaken. What is left for the righteous to do but to flee?

Foundations are important. We assume our houses are stable because they are built on solid foundations. So, we depend on foundations without thinking much about them. Yet we are concerned if these foundations are compromised.

Many are concerned about what is happening to other kinds of foundations—the uncertain economy, social unrest, or political threats. Even more important are the foundations of faith, moral values, and the sanctity of marriage and family.

The erosion of the foundations causes concern. And we may well ask in despair, If the foundations are destroyed, what will the righteous do?

“In the Lord I take refuge” (v. 1). “The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven” (v. 4). “For the Lord is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face” (v. 7).

The answer is not to lose heart, but to look beyond the temporal to the eternal (2 Cor. 4:16-18). Trust in him whose throne is in heaven, and whose city has foundations (Heb. 11:10). The Lord is sovereign. He is in control. He is our foundation. He will have the final word.

Dan Petty