In response to recent requests from subscribers, the Nugget will be featuring a devotional based on the book of Psalms once a month. We pray you will be blessed by this focus on the one book of the Bible that Jesus quoted the most.
In past “Lessons From the Psalms”, we have seen that in ancient Judaism, the Psalms were known as the “five books of David”, and that these five books correspond and contrast with the “five books of Moses”
The first book of David is comprised of the first 41 Psalms, and it is thought to parallel Genesis, due to its theme of man and his relationship with God and its focus on how all blessings are bound up in obedience.
Over the past few months, we have explored a few of the Psalms in this first book: Psalm 1 inPart 7 of this series; Psalm 3 inPart 8 of this series; and Psalm 16 inPart 3 of this series. Today’s Psalm, Psalm 11, also gives us unique perspective on man and his relationship with God, this time with specific emphasis on God’s justice and trustworthiness. Let’s take a look…
“I trust in the Lord for protection.
So why do you say to me,
‘Fly to the mountains for safety!'” (Vs. 1 NLT)
Isn’t it true that we so often verbally put our trust in our loving, all-knowing, ever-faithful God; yet we then turn around and try to do things on our own power? For example: We pray that God will give our doctor wisdom. But when that same doctor comes in and tells us things we don’t believe and prescribes treatments that we don’t think will help, don’t we tend to badmouth him a bit? Insinuate that he doesn’t know what he is doing? Call him a fool? Refuse what he has prescribed?
Or perhaps we have prayed and asked God for courage to witness and for His Spirit to give us the words to say. Yet when the time comes, we are sure those thoughts planted in our minds are not right to be said, and we sneak off, out of the situation, without saying them.
When we say we are believing God for something, we are entering into a trust relationship with Him. That requires that we know Him, that we trust in His wisdom and His unfailing love. We may not trust the doctor in the above example, but we trust that God is big enough to give him wisdom. Or we may not trust our ability to hear God’s Spirit, but we can trust in His Spirit to know how to speak to us in a way we will understand. There is, therefore, no need to doubt. We don’t need to “fly like a bird to the mountain” in order to be ensured of God’s protection!
Unfortunately, we see that everything in the world goes against this logic. We see others around us making bad choices. We see our leaders lying and cheating. We even see our pastors and priests falling into temptation. This, my friends, is not new. Psalm 11, written by David so many hundreds of years ago, describes something similar:
“The wicked are stringing their bows
and fitting their arrows on the bowstrings.
at those whose hearts are right.
The foundations of law and order have collapsed.
What can the righteous do?” (Vs. 2,3 NLT)
With all the bad that is happening around us, it is so hard to truly trust and so easy to scratch our heads and ask, “Where is God in all of this?” Yet God asks us to know and love Him enough to trust Him, no matter how many there are who “shoot from the shadows at those whose hearts are right”. He asks us to trust in His unfailing love for us that He has proven time and time again, and that He solidified with the cross of Jesus Christ (SeeRom. 5:8).
“Where is God in all of this” you ask? Let’s look:
“But the Lord is in his holy Temple;
the Lord still rules from heaven.
He watches everyone closely,
examining every person on earth.”
In all of this, God is in His holy temple, and He rules from Heaven. He asks us to trust that He is not blind, that He knows when the wicked are trying to destroy us; for:
“The Lord examines both the righteous and the wicked.
He hates those who love violence.
He will rain down blazing coals and burning sulfur on the
punishing them with scorching winds.” (Vs. 5-6 NLT)
In His love for mankind, God is just. He looks at the wicked. They will receive their just punishment. We can trust in God’s omniscience and His justice!
And what about the righteous?
“For the righteous Lord loves justice.
The virtuous will see his face.” (Vs. 7 NLT)
Those who love and trust in the Lord will receive the ultimate in rewards: to “see His face”!
And herein lies perhaps the most beautiful picture of the purpose of the first 41 songs in the Psalms: When our relationship with God is bound up in love and respect, our ultimate reward is the highest honour in the universe: to “see His face”!
Never forget: it matters not what the wicked do and say; when we cling to God, we will “see His face”, for “the Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord still rules from Heaven”!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, andScriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, withAnswers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
(To access the entire “Lessons From the Psalms” mini-series, please click here.)