The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord is on his heavenly throne. He observes everyone on earth; his eyes examine them. The Lord examines the righteous, but the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion. (Psalm 11:4-5)
“Watching and Weighing”
We’re in the midst of post-season October baseball, so a Yogi Berra quote is a fitting way for this lifelong baseball fan to start our Thirsty Thursday. The great and quotable Yankee catcher once quipped, “You can observe a lot by just watching.” Simply profound…
Psalm 11 is all about watching. David begins his song with a declaration, “In the Lord I take refuge.” It’s his confident answer to the question that follows in verse 2, “Don’t you see what’s happening? The bad guys are winning! What can the good guys possibly do about it?” David’s questioner, real or hypothetical, is watching (you can observe a lot that way). And he seems to have come to his own conclusions—fighting isn’t getting us anywhere; maybe it’s time to flee to higher ground! Implied in his question–and in his conclusion–is the assumption that David must not be seeing what he’s seeing.
But there’s someone else who’s watching all of this. “The Lord observes everyone on earth; his eyes examine them.”
That word translated here as “examine” from the original Hebrew language can also be translated “to test,” or “to weigh.” Not only does God see what’s happening, He is continually weighing and testing both the wicked and the righteous through it all. God is watching what we’re watching, but He is seeing a whole lot more than we can see! God sees the ones who put their faith in Him even when their faith is put to the test. God sees the ones who are frightened or frustrated by life’s testing and He invites them into the safety of His shelter. And God sees the wicked—those who love violence—and has a very different plan for them. “On the wicked He will reign fiery coals and burning sulfur” (vs. 6). Yikes! God is watching and weighing!
But then David makes one more observation at the end of his song. “For the Lord is righteous, He loves justice; the upright will see His face.” David turns the tables. God is surely watching and weighing everyone, yes. But if we are upright—if we are truly seeking Him—we will “see His face.” Perhaps that is why David has such confident faith in the face of adversity. When we see our righteous Lord seated on his heavenly throne, the powers of this world pale in comparison.
As another song writer would observe many centuries later, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” Yes, you can observe a lot by watching!
God is in His holy temple, but He is also right here with us! He invites us to watch and weigh who HE is, even as HE is watching and weighing US. So, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Find in Him the only life worth living…share His life in your world…and watch what happens. Stay thirsty for Him, friends!
Philip Rose, Lead Pastor