The Pillars of the Earth
When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants,
it is I who keep steady its pillars. Selah —Psalm 75:3
There is a panic-stricken reaction to crumbling moral foundations in Psalm 11 and the answering reminder of God’s guiding hand. Here, in this psalm, the poet supplies another aspect of God’s control of all things: He is a stabilizing influence within society.
Theologians spell out this influence in terms of “common grace,” his gift of wholesome ideas and institutions that shore up society; and the influence of godly men and women. Ten godly citizens would have saved even Sodom (Genesis 18:32).
We vote for the game-changers, the movers and shakers, those that can get things done. It is God, however, who establishes the human framework of a nation: "I myself keep steady her pillars" (75:3). He raises up rulers—good leaders, fools and naves—to get His work done.
Here's Paul's take: "For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth" (Romans 9:17). Pharaoh? An uncouth, duplicitous, bigoted, unbalanced, narcissistic fool? I wouldn't vote for him if he was the last man standing! Yet God in His wisdom exalted this man to bring salvation to His people.
Thus the poet can say with reference to those who govern us, “Don’t toss your horns at Heaven for exaltation does not from the east or from the west or from the south, but it is God who executes justice, putting down one and raising up another” (75:4 ,5).
We vote, but God determines the outcome. That’s mystery and a comfort as I watch the evening news.