ALIVE IN CHRIST PULPIT
“If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?”.
This is one of the Psalms of David which he wrote during the darkest days of Saul’s reign. The background is probably from 1Samuel 18 through 30 which narrates how Saul breathlessly persecuted and pursued David following the ovation which he received for killing Goliath, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands”(1Sam18:7). According to v8, Saul became very angry and suspected that David would take over the kingdom from him. Thereafter, Saul made several attempts to kill David but God wouldn’t allow him to succeed.
The Psalm is an expression of confidence in God, a rejection of acts of cowardice, a lamentation over the failure of those who were not able to live up to expectations in their positions of responsibility and the certainty of God’s righteous judgement upon such people.
Obviously, David was referring to no other than Saul and his cohorts in this Psalm. Saul, by virtue of his position as king of God’s chosen people, the Israelites, was supposed to be the custodian of the laws and moral values which distinguished the nation of Israel from others. These laws and values formed the solid foundation on which the nation was built politically, economically, socially and spiritually. Sadly, in his deviant attitude, King Saul threw caution and rectitude to the winds and became envious of the achievements of his mentee, musical therapist, his son’s friend and son in law to the point of seeking his life. His pursuit of innocent David led to the gruesome murder of eighty five priests of the Lord whom he accused of being loyal to David (1Sam.22).These were abominable acts which the Lord’s anointed shouldn’t commit, a great shock to David who had looked up to him as a mentor and guide.
Our text is a rhetorical question. What should the righteous do when those who are supposed to be “salt” and “light” in the society, church, family, institutions of learning, organs of government and other establishments are behaving otherwise? Should he capitulate to the pressure of joining them to destroy the foundation? Should he stand up and courageously show by positive example what ought to be done as a stakeholder? Or should he sit on the fence as a coward watching the gradual destruction of everything good and valuable?
David was determined not to be like Saul. While Saul was looking for ways to kill him, David wouldn’t kill him, though he had opportunities to do so, according to 1Sam 24 and 26. David feared God and respected Saul as the Lord’s anointed whom he shouldn’t touch. The result was that Saul recognized David as being more righteous than him (1Sam24:17). David did not follow the bad example of Saul and God rewarded him with a long reign, long life and victories in battles till he died peacefully and gloriously as the golden king of Israel. In 2Sam.1, we see how David as a righteous man didn’t rejoice over the death of Saul and subsequently appreciated those who gave Saul a befitting burial, killed those who killed Saul’s son and brought Saul’s grandson to live with him in the palace. Let us copy David’s example and our nation will become a paradise.
Prayer: Dear Father, help me to protect the foundation of righteousness and not destroy it. Deliver me from the Saul of my life in JESUS’ Name.
Happy Sunday and remain blessed this new week in JESUS’ Name.
The Rev Dr Godwin Amaowoh, FnbR
Assemblies of God Nigeria.