Jenga is a fairly popular game in which players remove one wooden piece at a time from a tower of blocks. Once a block has been removed it’s placed on top of the tower, which gets less stable as the game progresses. The goal is simple to understand but not easy to accomplish: don’t let the tower fall. If you’ve ever played Jenga, you know the slightest disturbance is all it takes to bring the whole thing crashing down.
If we’re honest, life sometimes feels a little bit like that. Personal circumstances mixed with global issues makes for a fairly shaky combination. Regardless of how our world feels, though, Psalm 75:3 holds true: “When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants, it is I who keep steady its pillars.”
Despite what we see on the news or experience in our daily lives, the Bible teaches that our world is less like a stand-alone tower and more like one that’s surrounded and supported on every side. The sense of instability may linger, but total collapse becomes impossible. In other words, we can live with the assurance that our God sovereignly “upholds the universe by the word of His power” even when it feels like everything is crumbling (Hebrews 1:3).
Psalm 75 explains God’s reign over the world and His righteous judgment of it. In context, verse 3 precedes a description of the way God “rights and rules human affairs”, as James May put it in his commentary. Although the Psalm was penned under specific circumstances, its application is both broad and relevant.
Explaining Psalm 75:3 Charles Ellicott wrote, “Though the crisis be such that all is confusion and anarchy, there is no cause for fear; there is still a Ruler in heaven, He who built up the edifice which now seems to totter to its fall.”
We can’t afford to be blinded by the broken order’s apparent upper hand. As long as God is on His throne, we have no reason to be anxious. After all, He is both Creator and Sustainer of the world that so often appears to be spinning out of control.
When the earth shakes under less-than-desirable circumstances – leaders we don’t agree with, legal decisions we don’t support, diagnoses we didn’t want, or heartaches we didn’t expect – the brokenness becomes an opportunity to trust that the Judge of all the earth will most certainly do what is right (Genesis 18:25).
If we learn to view our world through the lens of God’s sovereignty, then, like the author of Psalm 75, the earth’s tottering won’t prevent us from giving thanks and singing praises to the One who keeps it steady (Psalm 75:1, 9).