When everything stinks, God is still on His throne. Psalm 11 is, you guessed it, another lament. However, this one is not as doom and gloom as the others. And I think it is the perfect follow up to 9 and 10.
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[5:07] It has been so interesting to me to read and study these psalms with David as the author in mind. Since we spent so much time digging into David in the fall (episodes 81, 83, 85, and 88) we have a better appreciation of who he is. We have seen his trials and triumphs and complete screw ups. Having this perspective really adds another layer of understanding to his writing. Don’t you think?
[8:23] Reading of Psalm 11, NIV
[9:16] David starts this one strong with “In the LORD I take refuge.” The grammar in the Hebrew is not something I know anything about or really understand when I read or hear someone say this is in the perfect verbal form. What I can understand is that the way this is written, this “in the LORD I take refuge” implies a completed action with a continuing result. This means that David has already taken refuge in the Lord and that it has an ongoing effect. David is saying that he didn’t just do this for the one time. He took refuge and is continuing to stay there. God is always his refuge. Remember that stronghold from last week? That place that is a defensible, secure position that represents a safe haven in times of unrest or distress? That is where David stays. So, when he was advised to flee because the wicked were coming and it was dark and there was no way he could survive David responds in a way that feels to me is, no, that would be dumb because…verse 4 says “The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD in on his heavenly throne.” David is saying that why would I worry about this? Why should I change my position when I have taken refuge in the Lord who is above all things? He is sovereign and, on his throne, and David is confident of this. The cool thing about God being on his throne is that he is always there. He doesn’t flee. Even if we feel like he is absent, He is ALWAYS ON HIS THRONE. Remember when everything stinks where God is. On his throne. See why this is a great follow up to Psalms 9 and 10? Immediately after reading about how the wicked get away with everything, that they have no reverence for God and yet they still know good things while good, upright people experience bad things we the reminder that through it all God is on the throne.
[11:32] David reminds us again that the Lord sees all. He examines the good and the wicked. The NET Bible had some good notes about the wicked. It said that in the psalms the wicked are proud, practical atheists who hate God’s commands, commit sinful deeds, speak lies and slander, oppose God and threaten his people. While the text states that “the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates” is more of a statement about their wicked character and deeds. The wicked are the opposite of the pure in heart. They have a different motivation than the upright. They are not striving to live right and do right. David says that “on the wicked he will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a scorching wind will be their lot.” Here David is appealing to God’s just nature and calling for it. He wants the Lord to rain down justice on these people. Don’t we all want to see our enemies get what they deserve? I don’t know about you, but I must admit that I have prayed for fiery coals to be poured on people’s heads before. It didn’t happen…yet.
[20:46] David ends with a very underrated verse. “For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face.” Do you know about the story of when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the second set of the Ten Commandments? It’s in Exodus 34:29-35. When Moses gets back down from being with the Lord his face is radiant, it shone, sending out rays. That is not to say that Moses was shining with his own glory. Moses was shining with the glory of the Lord. He had absorbed it. Of course, as time passed, he would dull. But when he went back to talk with God he would shine again. Radiance is a perfect reflection of God, the exact representation of his being. When we spend time with the Lord, we can have that glow too. NET notes say that this means to have access to his presence and receive his favor. See what I mean when I say underrated?!? As believers, we have access to his presence! We can receive his favor! We can shine like him even when we don’t feel like it, even when everything stinks.