I saw enough Tarzan and Jungle Jim movies as a kid to know that if you ever find yourself lost in a jungle, there’s a lot to worry about. Some dangers were obvious. There were binge-eating carnivores running around loose, and snakes the size of tree trunks that could swallow you alive. And if you managed to avoid getting stomped on by a rogue elephant, or gored to death by an antisocial rhinoceros, and then decided to celebrate by taking a dip in the river to cool off–well, don’t. The piranhas would reduce you to a meatless skeleton in about 13 seconds. But there was another danger in the jungle that wasn’t so obvious . . . quicksand.
A Deceptive Danger ~
Quicksand was not just deadly, it was deceptive. It blended right in with the generic jungle path sand, so you’d never notice it. And nobody in any of those movies ever had the common decency to put up a little sign that said, “Caution! Slow, Agonizing Death Ahead!” You’d think people would have had sense enough to stay off those paths in the jungle because it was crystal clear that if there was quicksand to be found anywhere in the entire hemisphere, it would be lurking right smack dab in the middle of a jungle path. I wanted to yell at the poor sap running down the path and tell him to take another route, because if he kept going in that direction, he’d soon have no solid footing left to stand on and no way to free himself.
As I’ve watched the spiritual decline in my beloved country, I’ve been thinking from time to time about the quicksand in those jungle movies. Every time I think we’ve sunk about as low as we can go, some new symptom of human depravity will expose itself and prove me wrong. The despicable sideshow that the current SCOTUS confirmation process has deteriorated into brings to mind the picture of those poor victims trapped in the quicksand and flailing about in a futile attempt to free themselves. Regardless of how the disgusting display turns out, our task is to take a “right-side up” look to consider what there is to learn, and what we should do in response.
An Urgent Question ~
A sobering question David asked at a point when it seemed like everything was falling apart in his world seems relevant to me. He said, If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3 NKJV). We’re not sure what set of circumstances he was facing at the time, but whatever they were, the situation was overwhelming, and it appeared to David that everything he trusted and depended on was crumbling under him. We might suggest that he had stepped in the quicksand — and his question is appropriate . . . What do we do now?
I have watched one foundation after another being destroyed in my lifetime, and it’s getting harder and harder to find any solid, dependable ground to stand on. It’s depressing, but not surprising, to read the statistics about how many people are dependent on some kind of mood-altering substance to get through their days. It isn’t surprising to see the alarming increase in spontaneous outbursts of rage over minor incidents – or totally unprovoked explosions of violence. It isn’t surprising to see the widespread need to escape into digital worlds and virtual relationships, nor to see the disappointment of those excursions end in suicide.
Crumbling Foundations ~
We used to be able to trust our leaders to be at least reasonably constrained by our Constitution and to treat it with honesty and respect. That foundation has been turned to such “mush” that it is now declared to somehow “validate” the right to kill unborn children in the womb, and that marriage can be almost anything anyone wants it to be. That foundation was turned to rubble when religious freedom became subject to the manipulations of those who declare that the Constitution is a “living document,” continually morphing itself into whatever the leftists want it to be.
We used to have academic institutions that were foundational to our social system and beneficial to our national interests. They challenged our children to think critically and creatively and to react with respect and courtesy to those who might have a different opinion. That foundation crumbled a long time ago, first in the universities and now all the way down to kindergarten. Truth has no fixed definition anymore, and virtually every curriculum has one primary objective–to indoctrinate the student into an ideology and philosophy that eliminates God, and especially any approach that involves faith in Jesus Christ.
We used to have mainstream media whose role in our country was foundational to the health of our Republic. Representatives reported events by presenting the facts involved whether they suited their personal preference or not. Now only the facts that support their leftist agenda are made available–and further twisted so as to demean those who hold other opinions.
An Answer to the Question ~
And supporting all that was good and decent in our lives and upholding every aspect of our national integrity were the churches that believed and taught that the Bible was the inspired and inerrant Word of God. Sadly, that vital foundation has been crumbling as well. I could go on, but you get the picture. David’s question is incredibly relevant today. What, indeed, can those who long for righteousness do? The answer to David’s question is delivered beautifully in another psalm:
Hear my cry, O God; Attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (Psalm 61:1-2 NKJV)
Foundations are crumbling and multitudes of hearts are overwhelmed today, but there’s an unshakable Rock available to all of us. It’s the Rock that this nation was founded on, but that we abandoned to pursue our own selfish interests. We’re learning more and more every day what it feels like when our trusted foundations are crumbling and we’re caught in the quicksand of godless humanism. Maybe it’s time to turn to the Rock that is higher than we are, and plant our hearts and our feet on a foundation that will stand forever. Paul said it this way:
For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:11 NKJV)
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- “(Our) #foundation was turned to rubble when #ReligiousFreedom became subject to the manipulations of those who declare that the #Constitution is a “living document,” continually morphing itself into whatever the leftists want it to be.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “#Truth has no fixed definition anymore. Virtually every curriculum has one primary objective–indoctrinate the student into an #ideology and philosophy that eliminates God, and especially any approach that involves #faith in #JesusChrist.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “#Foundations are crumbling and multitudes of hearts are overwhelmed today, but there’s an unshakable #Rock available to all of us. It’s the Rock that this nation was founded on, but that we abandoned to pursue our own #SelfishInterests.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
Check out Ron’s new book, “Right Side Up Thinking in an Upside Down World ~ Looking at the World through the Lens of Biblical Truth.”
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