Summary: What can we do about folks who are shooting arrows at the foundations of our faith?
Pastor Tom Doubt
Four Mile Creek Baptist Church
June 15, 2003
A. An old favorite hymn, How Firm A Foundation, has a 4th verse that goes like this: “The soul that hath leaned on Jesus for repose, I will not, I will not desert to His foes; That soul, through all hell should endeavor to shake, I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.
B. Brenda Nichol, a teacher’s aide in Glen Campbell, PA knows the meaning of not forsaking the Lord [SBC Life, June/July 2003]. She was suspended for one year, without pay, for wearing a necklace with a cross. The PA Public School code prohibits employees from wearing religious accessories. She had been told back on 1997 not to wear the cross, and could be fired for a 2nd offense. Though her foundations are being destroyed, she will not forsake her demonstration of faith.
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 11:1-7
A. One may ask what David meant by the foundations being destroyed.
1. It is unlikely he meant the physical foundations of the universe. In the beginning the Lord laid the foundations of the earth; the heavens were the work of His hands (Hebrews 1:10).
2. Nor would David have intended the foundation of faith. Nor one lays any foundation other than by Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 3:11).
3. David was referring to the civil foundations, those that are under the control of humans. The present age is evil (Gal. 1:4), and the gods of this age blind the unbeliever (2 Cor. 4:4).
4. Each day we tread on all 3 foundations. God created humans as part of the physical foundation; through the foundation of faith He ordained institutions like marriage and parenthood. The civil foundations have modified the covenant of marriage and blurred the focus of holidays like Father’s Day.
B. A holiday like Father’s Day began as a well-meaning celebration.
1. Mrs. John Dodd of Spokane, WA began an annual observance of her father on June 10, 1919. She remembered how her father raised all the children following her mother’s death. By 1922 Father’s Day was a national holiday observed on the 3rd Sunday in June. Fatherhood is today on shaky ground.
2. Illustration: The kids had talked Mom into getting a hamster [Positive Living, Sept/Oct 1995, p 39]. They promised to take care of their pet, whom the named “Danny.” Within two months, though, Mom was taking care of Danny. One day Mom decided enough was enough; Danny would be given to a new owner. She called the kids together to tell them. One child said, “I’ll miss him. He’s been around here a long time.” The other child remarked, “Maybe he could stay if he ate less and wasn’t so messy.” Mom was firm, “It is time to take Danny to a new home.” “Danny?” the kids wailed, “We thought you said Daddy.”
3. The hard reality of our civil foundations being destroyed is no laughing matter. One third of all marriages end in divorce; 35% of all children now live apart from their biological father. Prayer is banned in school. You could be in violation of speech codes in places like Shippensburg University of PA for witnessing about Jesus if someone felt your words were inflammatory.
When the foundations are being destroyed, what then of the righteous? An understanding of what can be done is found in three questions that arise from Psalm 11.
1. How do the wicked shoot their arrows at us? (v. 2)
2. Why does God examine everyone? (v. 4)
3. Where can we find our only hope? (v. 7)
I. How do the wicked shoot their arrows at us? David clearly intends this is an intentional act on the part of the wicked (v. 2).
A. It is not accident that our civil foundations are being destroyed.
B. The plan of the wicked to shoot their arrows is based on 3 P’s
1. Plot: to separate the believer from the body of Christ. The wicked are like a pack of wolves that want to separate from the Word of God, fellowship with other believers, and the Biblical exercise of our faith. We have been warned that we can be trapped by the evil times that come unexpectedly (Eccl 9:12).
2. Presumption: that no one will see or discover what the wicked are doing. They shoot arrows from the darkness of their sinful lives, thinking no one will identify who they are. Men loved darkness because their deeds were evil (John 3:19). If they do it often enough, they also falsely presume that their acts will somehow be seen as good. Woe to them who call evil good and good evil (Is. 5:20).
3. Pressure: to flee like a bird to their mountain.
4. Illustration: Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Jerusalem in 597 BC (Jer. 39:1). Zedekiah, king of Judah, had his eyes gouged out and was led into captivity. Others were carried into exile with him. Many who went to Babylon chose not to return after the 70 years of exile; life had become too comfortable.