When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3)
A word we use often in this life is, “Why?” And the word I think we will use most in the next is, “Oh!” The Providence of God is like a Hebrew word: we have to read it backwards. By the Providence of God I mean that God is in charge and the events of our lives have meaning. Sometimes it is as if we are on the inside of a woven basket. All the threads that come up on the inside of the basket represent the way we see the things that happen to us, which seem to have no meaning and pattern at all. If we could just get out of that basket, on the outside we would see beautifully woven patterns.
Job is the biblical example of a man who tried to sort out, by looking inside the basket, what appeared to be the tragic meaninglessness of his life. It was not until he looked up and saw all his tragic circumstances from God’s perspective that he was moved from asking, “Why?” to exclaiming, “Oh!” (Job 35: 1-7; 40-42)
In Psalm 11:3 the Psalmist asked a question: “If the foundations be destroyed, what shall the righteous do?” The NIV version of the Bible has a footnote that suggests this alternate reading: “When the foundations of your life are breaking up, what is the Righteous One doing?”
My wife and I have made that question a knee jerk reaction to the events of our lives as they happen. As a result, although we’re not on the other side yet we are already saying, “Oh!”
Will you confront the challenges you encounter daily with that same question?
Dick Woodward, 25 August 2012