Foundations of Righteousness
Reading: Psalm 11
For the Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven; his eyes see…
For the Lord is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face.
(Psalm 11:4, 7)
In times of crisis, we can often be tempted to pull back, to protect ourselves, even to flee. When it feels like the wicked are poised to attack with their arrows aimed at us, and when it feels like the foundations of our society are being destroyed, what more good can we do?
But Scripture compels us to look to a different foundation. “The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven.” His Lordship is a foundation which cannot be shaken. We put too much hope in the earthly city, when we should be looking for a heavenly one (Hebrews 11:16). We should not be surprised that those things which built on sand crumble. Moreover, when they do crumble, they leave behind that which cannot be shaken (Hebrews 12:27).
From his throne, the Lord will establish righteousness. He will visit judgment on the wicked swiftly and suddenly as he did Sodom and Gomorrah. Or as Peter said, “The day of the Lord will come like a thief” (2 Peter 3:10). Judgment is always imminent.
All this is a comfort to those who are righteous, who pursue righteousness from the heart. And that’s because righteousness is the foundation of God’s kingdom. The Lord himself is righteous and he tests the righteous, revealing their righteousness through hardship. Through the fire of suffering unjustly, their righteous character is revealed. They prove to be of the heavenly city rather than of the earthly. They maintain their faith in the Lord, though the world about them crumbles and the wicked seem to prosper.
Because their hope is in the Lord, they can carry on doing righteous deeds instead of retreating. They can bear the arrows of the wicked because they know that they will be vindicated in the end. They can bear the shame of the offense of the oppressor because they know that one day they will see God’s face, and that he will smile on them.
Father, we know that it’s only hard to do the right thing when the wicked are poised to attack. But their foundations will crumble; and the foundations of your righteousness are forever. Yet, those righteous foundations are unseen. So we need faith. Please grant us faith in your righteous character, that you will vindicate the innocent, as you did Jesus by his resurrection. Because of his sacrifice, I know that I am counted among the innocent. Teach me, then, to take up righteous deeds even in the face of suffering, that I may build on a foundation that will never crumble.