In the Lord put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain? For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart. If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. The Lord trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup. For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright. (Psalm 11)
This is one of those Psalms written in the midst of trouble and conflict. So many of the Psalms are reflective of the stress, danger and sorrow of living in a world hostile to the LORD, goodness, truth and to anyone who would live for the LORD.
The Psalmist has been scorned and reproached by someone. who then challenges him to just check out, to seek an escape, or perhaps to run away. But why should we? We trust in the LORD! Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we cling to the LORD himself, he is our escape.
The twisted and perverse always hav a bow and arrow bent, loaded and pointed ready to hurt, malign, diminish or even to slay the righteous. They hate us, because they sense that our hearts are different than theirs and then the majority. Our hearts are oriented towards something higher and purer than what this world seeks after, and they instinctively hate that about us.
How is it that the wicked have such power and influence in our world?
It is their worldview that is touted as the ‘prevailing wisdom’, and their perverted tastes are not just tolerated, they demand hat they be celebrated by all, even the Righteous.
It is almost as though they demand more from the Righteous than that we just to shut up and go along with their program.
They want everybody to be forced to participate in their perversity. Thus the products of abortion are now seeping into cosmetics, and even food products, in our benighted societies. Sexual anarchists get to instruct our pre-teen children in schools, Islamists are allowed to influence how the military and law enforcement groups instruct their charges.
What happened? Obviously the foundations of our once Judeo Christian civilizaion have been destroyed, in a steady disintegration that I can trace back in our history, even long before the open revolt known as the “Sexual Revolution” and the Marxist inspired counter cultural rebellion of the sixties.
God gave us what we once had, freedom, liberty in the truest sense, prosperity, an open and civil society, reasonable and humane laws and a semblance of justice. But we are squandering it all like the prodigal son.
The LORD is in his Holy temple. He transcends it all. Another Psalm tells us, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.”God cannot change. He sees all of this, and when his eyes “Try” the children of men, this means he is evaluating and judging what He sees.
Always apostasy is accompanied by violence. Pace and tranquility are gifts from God and cannot be taken for granted, for long. The Righteous are going through many trials, because God loves us and will deal with us to purify and purge out of us that which offends Him.
But the wicked and violent man, God hates. A true mark of utter perversity is when a man loves violence. God hates such a man*. There are many people resorting to violence in our city streets, in support of the ultimate and most obscene violence, abortion.
The LORD will not try the hateful and violence loving man, in the same way he tries the Righteous. The dealings of God with such people, and such a culture will be different.
To the reprobate and wicked civilization , comes death in many horrifying forms.Firestorms, brimstone, snares and various storms. The greatest terror comes upon those who die in their sins, unrepentant and estranged from the LORD. Of them we read, “The smoke of their torment rises forever and ever…”.
Why is this so?
The answer given in this Psalm is very instructive… “The Righteous LORD Loves Righteousness…”. Does the LORD love man? Of course He does, Jesus came from heaven to die for us, of course the LORD loves all mankind.
But The LORD doesn’t love anyone more than He loves his own Righteousness. God loves his righteousness, He can do no less. He must of necessity Love that which is right, true, beautiful, good and upright.
This explains why God had to find a Righteous way to save sinners. The Righteousness of God had to be upheld, The Righteous Requirements and demands of the LAW had to be satisfied. Sin could not be overlooked in the name of love.
There is an old German theological saying which goes like this, “The Righteousness that God always requires of us is the Righteousness His Righteousness requires him to require.”
The reason Jesus had to com and die as a criminal and a blasphemer on a cross, is because that was the only Righteous way a Righteous God could save us sinners. Substitution, “He made Him who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him”.
This is how much He loved us…and it is how much he loves His own Righteousness.
- There is a sense in which God loves all men, even hateful and perverse men whom He hates. As they are currently, God hates who and what they are. But Jesus came and died for them, this is the Love of God.