Psalm 11: The Lord Is In His Holy Temple
(To the choirmaster. Of David.)
In the Lord I take refuge;
How can you say to my soul,
"Flee like a bird to your mountain,
for behold, the wicked bend the bow;
they have fitted their arrow to the string
to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart;
if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?"
The Lord is in his holy temple;
the Lord's throne is in heaven;
his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man.
The Lord tests the righteous,
but his soul hates the wicked
and the one who loves violence.
Let him rain coals on the wicked;
fire and sulfur and a scorching wind
shall be the portion of their cup.
For the Lord is righteous;
he loves righteous deeds;
the upright shall behold his face.
Psalms 11:1-7 (ESV)
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
- To whom is David speaking when he says, "You"? A person? A devil? A circumstance?
- What modern foundations of or life, speaking politically and morally, do we see threatened with destruction?
- Faced with trials and threats of danger, David realizes that he has only two options: take refuge in the Lord, or flee like a bird. "Take refuge" means to flee for protection, or to confide in. "Flee like a bird" means to hop away and fly; it also can mean to nod or shake the head in pity or scorn.
- What are some practical ways in which a Christian can take refuge in God?
- In what ways to we "hop and fly" or "nod and shake" when we are faced with trouble?
- What situation have you recently experienced in your life that has made you want to "flee like a bird"? What would it take to change flight into faith?
The Lord is holy, He sees and tests us, he hates the wicked and He loves the upright. Thumb through your Bible and share some verses that show God's mercy and grace toward us in Jesus.
1 Corinthians 1:30-31 (ESV): "You are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord."
Isaiah 53:11 (ESV): "By his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities."
Romans 4:3-5 (ESV): "What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness." Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness."
"Test" is not often felt to be a positive experience. Academic testing can be stressful, full of anxiety and fear of failure. However, the word comes from the process of analyzing metals. Rather than seeking evidence of poor quality or defect, a metal tester sought proof of purity and genuine worth.
"Test" fits well with the emotion conveyed by "see" and "loves". The Lord gazes with love upon those who have proof of purity.
Job 23:10 (ESV): "He knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold."
Psalms 66:10-12 (ESV): "You, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried. You brought us into the net; you laid a crushing burden on our backs; you let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance."
Proverbs 17:3 (ESV): "The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts."
Jeremiah 17:10 (ESV): "I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds."
Isaiah 48:10 (ESV): "Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction."
1 Peter 1:4-7 (ESV): "You, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ."