The Lord is in His Temple


"In this Lord I take refuge; How can you say to my soul, "Flee as a bird to your mountain; For, behold, the wicked bend the bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string to shoot in darkness at the upright in heart. If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?" Psalm 11:1-3


In the Psalms, references to "the mountain" is usually referring to the hill in Jerusalem where the Temple was built or would be built. It was the mountain where God choose to make his presence known. The Temple was the heart and soul of Israel. It was the place where you could go and to which you could look and say "we belong to the One true God. He dwells in our midst and fights for His people." This particular Psalm, attributed to David, says, in effect, "what is the point of fleeing to the refuge of the house of the Lord when there are enemies waiting in the dark to shoot you down on the way? And if that refuge is taken from God's people, then what is there left to hope in? How do you find hope in the Temple when the Holy City it dwells in has been taken over by enemies? The answer is that God is still in His holy temple. As King Solomon said when he dedicated the Temple to the Lord, "Heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you. How much less this house that I have built?" King Solomon had asked the Lord to honor the Temple with his presence but he did not imagine for a minute that God could be confined to the Temple. God's throne is in Heaven and Heaven and earth overlapped in the Temple. But if the Temple was defiled, God would remain in control from heaven, which is God's own space within His cosmic Temple creation. The Temple in Jerusalem, in other words, was a symbol and not a limitation of the reach and sovereignty of Israel's God. The Psalmist declares that God sees the righteous and the wicked and ultimately the wicked will be put down and the righteous will be vindicated and reunited with the presence of God. "The Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; and the upright will behold His face." Psalm 11:7 The interesting thing is that the Temple in Jerusalem wasn't built yet in David's day. So, maybe I am wrong about "the mountain" referring to Mount Zion where the Temple would eventually be built. Or it could that while this Psalm is attributed to David, it was not David who wrote it but simply something written with the same attitude and disposition that David adopted toward God and the trust that he expressed in God's faithfulness and sovereignty. (A quick glance at commentaries says that this is not likely, but there may be other commentaries that I haven't seen which agree. I don't know.) It is a trust that we can share all the more in our day since we live on the resurrection side of the cross and have received the gift of the Holy Spirit. God is in His Temple, in fact, He manifests His presence wherever His children gather in His name. And He dwells within each individual believer. So, the enemy can hide in the dark and shoot at the upright in heart, but God is in His Holy Temple and He will never leave us or forsake us. In fact, He is with us always, even to the end of the age.

#Psalm11 #TheTemple #KingDavid #GodsPresence

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The Gospel for Planet Earth, USA