A Temple With Foundations
It’s possible for all of us to read certain passages or verses of Scripture many times yet miss goldmines of truth. Sometimes we pass by because we’re overly familiar with what we’ve read, and other times it’s because we don’t take the time to meditate and savor the wealth before us.
So let’s take the opportunity to dwell on the truth that “the LORD is in his holy temple.” This simple truth offers both comfort and chastening. Its reality is affirmed in many places in the Old Testament (for example Habakkuk 2:20; Psalm 18:6; Micah 1:2), but David provides some additional angles from which to consider it here in Psalm 11.
The first is that “the LORD’s throne is in heaven,” making Him the exalted Lord. He reigns not as a mortal with limited perspective and control but as the all-powerful, immortal, all-knowing God of heaven. He outlasts all rulers, and all nations are as nothing before Him.
Second, God is the observing Lord: “His eyes see.” From the exalted position of His heavenly throne, nothing is hidden from God’s sight. No good thing done in His name goes unobserved, and no impure motive or thought is secret to Him. What a comfort to know that every day of our lives, going back to when we were merely “unformed substance,” is visible to God (Psalm 139:15-16)! And what a sobering reality to realize that every word, thought, and deed is laid bare before Him!
Third, God is the examining Lord: “The LORD tests the righteous.” His tests are not always or often easy, but they are always precisely what we need. None of us will reach heaven without tests and trials along the way. This may be an unpleasant reality to consider, but it should be precious to us, for it means we will not panic when God, in His sometimes inscrutable wisdom, routes our path through a valley. God’s tests are never without a purpose; they are always for the sake of preparing us for the day when we shall see Him in His holy temple.
Keep the truth of this verse in mind the next time you feel as though “the foundations are destroyed” (Psalm 11:3). The instability we sometimes feel is meant to remind us that worldly stability is only an illusion and that true security is found in God alone. He alone is exalted, He alone sees all, and He alone directs our lives and tests us for our good. When the foundations tremble, we can remember that this world is not our home and that our sovereign God is leading us to one day inhabit a city with foundations that will not shake (Hebrews 11:10; 12:28). You can know that He is in His holy temple—and He has promised to bring you to that very place.
22But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23and to the assembly1 of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
25See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. 26At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29for our God is a consuming fire.
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