“When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3)
Greek is a very precise language; Hebrew is not. That’s why we frequently find footnotes that suggest alternate readings in the margins of our Bibles when we read Old Testament passages of Scripture. The NIV translation’s footnote for Psalm 11:3 is: “When the foundations of your life are breaking up, what is the righteous One doing?”
In my life I have experienced several periods when it seemed that the foundations of my life were breaking up. I found the alternate reading of this verse to be a reliable response that turned many of those crises into significant spiritual datelines in my journey of faith.
My faith walk began in 1949 and along the way I dropped two words out of my vocabulary: “fortunately” and “coincidentally.” Because I believe in Divine Providence, I no longer believe in luck. I also agree with the spiritual heavyweight who said when devout believers think they have experienced a coincidence it just means God prefers to remain anonymous.
The Chinese word for “crisis” combines the characters for “danger” and “opportunity.” I believe we should factor into all our crises this knee jerk response: “What is the righteous One doing in my life now?”
I find that God is always up to something and ultimately it is always something good. It is not primarily for our good, but what accomplishes God’s good for God’s glory.
If you are in a time of crisis right now, or when you find yourself in one, consider “What is the righteous One doing?”
Dick Woodward, 02 July 2010