“In the 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?” The Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men. The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked. And the one who loves violence His soul hates. Upon the wicked He will rain snares; Fire and brimstone and burning wind will be the portion of their cup. For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; The upright will behold His face.
Faith feeds faith and fear feeds fear. It seems that the Psalmist here is faced with a friend who sees the danger but can’t see Yahweh. “Flee as a bird to your mountain...what can the righteous do?” We have to tangle with this voice as well. It is the voice of fear and the voice of the accuser, the satan, who tells us that God has forgotten us and He does not see our need. This voice says, “You might as well hide on your mountain because there is nothing that can be done out here. The wicked are too strong.”But the Psalmist flatly rejects this. “No”, he says, “the Lord is in His temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven.”
The Israelites believed that when you were in the Temple, you were on earth and in heaven at the same time. This is important for us to know because Jesus told us that he was “ascending to the Father.” Many of us assume that this means Jesus is going a long way away to a place called “heaven.” But what Jesus was saying was that He is taking His proper place within God’s temple, on the throne, which is in heaven, but which is not far away. Heaven and earth are joined together in the temple and we who put our hope in Jesus are the temple of the living God (1 Corinthians 3:16). We should remember that Jesus said “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Jesus has not “gone away”, Jesus has ascended to His throne and His throne is in the temple. So we can also say, along with the Psalmist, that we will not run in fear, but rather “the Lord is in His temple and His eyes see and His eyelids test the sons of men...and the one who loves violence His soul hates.” Psalm 11:4,5.
But how can we be sure of this?! How can we know that God is really in His temple? We can know by asking for and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. After all, the Temple of God is with Men (Revelation 21:3). The house that Jesus built is built with the living stones of human beings. The Lord is in His temple. How can you know? You can know by inviting the Holy Spirit to live inside of you. Then you can have freedom from fear because the one who will never leave you or forsake you will be in His Holy Temple. So long as God as in His temple, evil can do its worst but it will NEVER have the last word. So do not be afraid but receive the Holy Spirit. And know that the Lord is in His temple.