What Can the Righteous Do?

David saw in his lifetime, through the reign of King Saul, the crumbling of the foundations of the nation of Israel. But David also was an eyewitness to the miraculous provision of God. David had witnessed God, when David put his hope in Him, deliver Israel from the great giant Goliath. David knew the protection of the Lord when Saul sought to kill David.

This dichotomy between faith in God and the reality of the world around him serves as the backdrop to Psalm 11. Indeed, we get a window to the soul of David in Psalm 11.

Who is Asking the Question “What Can the Righteous Do”: The interpretation of this Psalm hinges upon the question in verse 3 and who is asking the question. A close reading of this Psalm reveals that this is not David’s question. This is the question of the naysayers around him. David is certain of his answer. There is much the righteous can do even though the foundations crumble around us.

The Righteous Refuse to Panic

The naysayers want the righteous to run and hide. The naysayers want the righteous to admit defeat. The naysayers want the righteous to declare that their trust in the Lord and His Word has been for naught, but David’s Psalm reminds us that those who have taken refuge in the Lord are never defeated.

Believers in God are to be of all people, people of peace and not panic. We have put our hope in the Lord. We believe that He has conquered death, Satan, evil, and the grave. We are to, as declared in Colossians 3:15, “Let the peace of the Messiah…rule in our hearts.”

The Righteous Remain in Prayer

Now, you already knew this, so let’s be guided by the text to see some reasons why we are to remain in prayer. This is what the righteous do.


  • God is in the right position to see everything.
  • God is in the right positon to judge everything.

We cannot see everything. Because we cannot see everything, we cannot correctly judge. But, we trust that God sees and judges. The unrighteous do not get away forever with their deeds. In this, we place our trust in God.

The Righteous are to Practice Righteousness

Finally, the righteous are always to practice righteousness. I do not expect the unrighteous to practice righteousness, but I have the greatest expectation that the righteous will practice righteousness. And we ought to have the expectation that the righteous practice righteousness all the time. We ought to have this expectation for ourselves. We are called to be salt and light. We are called to love our enemies. We are called to love those who disagree with us. We are to remember that we are citizens first of all of the Kingdom of God before we are citizens of a nation.

John Winthrop, the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, said: “We must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us.”

Indeed, they are.