Title: “If The Foundations Be Destroyed...?”
Text: Psalm 11:3
Readings: Off. Lindsay Campbell Aud. Buddy Daugherty
Subject: The Immovable Foundations of Our Faith
Date: Tuesday Evening - October 1, 1996
Tape # S-98
If the roof is blown off of your house in a tornado, it will cause you trouble, grief, and expense. But there is no cause for despair. If one of the walls of this building were to be torn off in a storm, it would require our time, labor, and money to replace it. But it could be replaced soon enough. Indeed, we once saw building collapse, like a pile of toothpicks, during a winter storm. It was a frustrating and costly ordeal. But soon the walls were again raised. However, if by some terrible earthquake, the foundations of the building were broken up and destroyed, then all would be hopelessly lost and ruined.
This was the fear David expressed in our text. Perhaps this Psalm was written during the time of Abaslom’s rebellion. I don’t know. But David was experiencing some very terrible ordeal which caused him to fear, not for himself, but for the nation and for the people of God. It appeared to this servant of God that the very foundations of the kingdom were trembling. And he cries out to God, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
I want us to meditate for a little while tonight upon this question. We are living in troublesome times. Any rational, reasonable man is concerned about the problems facing our nation, and the world at large. The world’s economic system appears to be on the verge of total collapse. We have modern, sophisticated weapons of war which could annihilate nations in only a few moments of time. And there are areas of the world so tense that a third world war could break out at anytime.
Moreover, some of you have personal, domestic trials and difficulties which appear, in your own eyes, to be as great as the trials of the world at large.
And the greatest evils of this age are to be found in the religious world. Spiritual wickedness abounds everywhere. Heresy abounds in the professed church of God. Therefore wickedness abounds in the streets. What the end of these things shall be I simply do not know.
But just suppose that the most fearful tragedy you ever imagined were to actually come to pass. What would you do? What could you do? This is the fearful apprehension David had formed in his mind. And he cries out to God, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
Proposition: There is something the righteous can and must do, even in the most disturbing trials and circumstances of life.
Note: If you are a child of God, a believer, one of the righteous ones in this earth, you will be faced with some very disturbing trials in this world. If God the Holy Spirit will speak through his servant, I believe what I have to say tonight will help you through the storms of life.
Divisions: I want to bring this message to you in three parts. I will call your attention to...
1. A Question Of Fear.
2. An Answer Of Faith.
3. The Reason For Our Faith.
I. First, I want us to consider what David says as A QUESTION OF FEAR.
There are many foundations upon which men rest in this world. They build everything around these things which they think are solid, immovable foundations. But these things are only foundations of sand. Sooner or later, these things must crumble. When they begin to crumble, those who have built upon them begin to crumble, too. Fear and trembling bring them down to the grave.
Let me briefly point out some foundations which are sure to decay and crumble in time.
A. The foundation of every CIVIL GOVERNMENT will, sooner or later, be destroyed.
No nation under the sun will stand forever. Neither America, nor England, nor Israel is invincible. Neither the free nations of the world nor the communist nations are God’s representatives in this world.
I am no pessimist. But I try to face things as they really are. I am a true blooded American, loyal to the core. But I am afraid the signs of decay are evident in our land.
1. Justice is perverted.
2. The laws of the land are a farce.
3. And the moral fabric of our nation is being eroded by those who ought to be building it up. Men call good evil and evil good, and really do not know the difference.
B. The foundation of FINANCIAL AND ECONOMIC SECURITY may be destroyed very rapidly.
Whether you talk about the nation or an individual family, economic stability would be a great blessing. But economic security is an impossibility.
C. I have often seen the foundation of TRUST BETWEEN FRIENDS crumble.
David experienced this. Our Lord experienced it. Paul experienced it. I have known its pain. And you will experience it too.
D. The foundation of DOMESTIC TRANQUILLITY and family happiness, at best, will only endure for a while.
1. The rebellion of a son, or the waywardness of a daughter, will bring a loving father or tender mother terrible grief.
2. Death will soon bring the family to dust.
E. What I am saying is this - THIS WORLD AND ALL THAT IT PROVIDES IS, AT BEST, A VANISHING VAPOR.
Children of God, for your sake, for the gospel’s sake, and for the glory of Christ, learn to look upon this world for what it is, a crumbling clod of earth. It must soon pass away.
As the foundations of these things begin to crumble, many are sorely vexed and frustrated. Fear and anxiety bring their souls down with pain. David says when these things happen, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
II. Now in the second place, I want to give you AN ANSWER OF FAITH.
This is a world of trouble, pain, and sorrow. “Man that is born of woman is of few days, and full of trouble.” But as the children of God you and I should be able to face the difficulties of this world with peace. Our faith in Christ should give us confidence in the face of calamity, assurance in the face of adversity, and patience in the face of problems in life. Here are some things the righteous can do when these foundations are destroyed.
A. If worst comes to worst, you can bear it with a holy composure - Job did.
Job 1:20-22 "Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, (21) And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. (22) In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly."
Suppose the banks collapse. You will maybe lose a little spending money. But I hope that your treasure is not in that iron vault.
Suppose some tragedy strikes your home. I hope that you will not become hysterical. Nothing can harm your Father’s household.
B. If these foundations of sand are destroyed, you can face it submissively.
When great trouble comes, let us seek to honor God like Eli of old, saying, “It is the Lord, let him do what he will.” Whatever comes to pass is brought to pass by our heavenly Father.
Illustration: “It came to pass.
Isaiah 45:7 "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things."
Lamentations 3:37 "Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?"
Amos 3:6 "Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?"
Will we ever learn to submit to the will of God? Will we ever learn to trust the good providence of our heavenly Father.?
C. When worst comes to worst, we can cheerfully anticipate the best.
With us, it is not just a saying; we know that it is true that “Everything will work out for the best.”
Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
D. In these troublesome times, we can do what we know is right.
1. Be honest in your business affairs.
2. If you have a hand to spare, you can help your brethren.
3. Be faithful witnesses for Christ.
4. We can and must, in all things, “adorn the doctrine of God our Savior” (Tit. 2:10).
“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” We can, as God enables us, do what righteous men ought to do.
E. Again, though every earthly foundation is destroyed, we can commune with Christ and learn to be content.
Philippians 4:4-8 "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. (5) Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. (6) Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (8) Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
Philippians 4:11-13 "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (12) I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (13) I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
Christian contentment is something that must be learned. It is contrary to everything that is in us by nature. But it is the secret to happiness and peace in this world.
III. In the last place, In want you to see that there is A REASON FOR OUR FAITH.
All that I have said is much more than mere philosophy. This kind of behavior, on the part of God’s elect, is a most reasonable thing. Though these foundations of sand may crumble around us, we shall not be moved because “The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven!” (Psa. 11:4). “Nevertheless, the foundation of God standeth sure” (2 Tim. 2:19).
Though all the world may crumble around us, the foundations upon which we rest shall never, by any means, be destroyed!
“When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows, like sea billows roll -
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
“It is well, it is well, with my soul!”
Here are some immovable, immutable foundations upon which my very heart, soul, and being is built. These are the things which give me strength to live peacefully in this world.
A. THE FOUNDATION BOOK - The Word of God, shall never be destroyed.
Isaiah 40:7-8 "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. (8) The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever."
The sweet promises of this Book shall never be broken, or even shaken.
Isaiah 43:1-3 "But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. (2) When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. (3) For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee."
B. THE FOUNDATION COVENANT - The everlasting covenant of grace shall never be destroyed
Isaiah 54:7-10 "For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. (8) In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer. (9) For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. (10) For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee."
2 Samuel 23:5 "Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow."
C. THE FOUNDATION WORK - Christ’s finished work of atonement, his obedience and death as our Substitute, shall never be destroyed.
You who foolishly build your house upon the sinking sand of christless religion shall see your foundations destroyed. Your refuge of lies shall be taken away. And you shall perish. But the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, shall never lose its power.
If my sins are forgiven, and he rules the world by whose blood they are washed away, what shall disturb me? I will say with Job, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust him!” And I will pray for grace that it may be so.
Job 19:25-27 "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: (26) And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: (27) Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me."
1. His blood cannot be shed in vain.
2. His righteousness cannot lose its merit.
3. His grace cannot be rendered useless.
4. His salvation cannot be destroyed, lost, or taken away!
5. His promise cannot be broken.
D. THE FOUNDATION PURPOSE - God’s eternal purpose of grace in predestination shall never be destroyed.
He will accomplish his purpose. He will do all his pleasure.
· His name shall be sanctified.
· His kingdom will come.
· His will will be done in earth as it is in heaven.
· He will save his people and glorify his Son.
E. THE FOUNDATION SECURITY of God’s saving grace shall never be destroyed.
Philippians 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:"
F. THE FOUNDATION HOPE - Our hope in Christ, the good hope through grace, shall never be destroyed.
The good hope of grace serves as an anchor to keep our souls in peace.
Hebrews 6:18-20 "That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: (19) Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; (20) Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec."
1. What is our hope? It is Jesus Christ himself.
2. What do we hope for:
· We hope for eternal life in heaven.
· We hope for the resurrection.
· We hope for Christ’s glorious return.
· We hope for Christ himself.
Application: What more can I say?
1. If you want a sure foundation for your soul, come to Christ and build upon him. "Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste"(Isa. 28:16).
2. Children of God, in times of trouble and fear, lean heavily upon the foundation of God that stands sure.
Lamentations 3:21-24 "This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. (22) It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. (23) They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (24) The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him."