In the Lord I take refuge. How then can you say to me: “Flee like a bird to your mountain. For look, the wicked bend their bows; they set their arrows against the strings to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart. When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Ps. 11:1-3, WEB).”
Heavenly King, it’s imperative we put our trust and hope in you. The word for trust, חָסִ֗יתִי, means that you are a refuge in time of distress. You safeguard us from calamity and grant us confidence to endure through any kind of hardship.
O Lord, even when the wicked bend their bows and want to destroy us, no matter who is plotting to lure us into the devil’s schemes, you remain steadfast and keep us safe. While it feels impossible at times to withstand all the conflict and turmoil in this life, we know that you are with us.
Even when it feels like you are miles away, like on top of a mountain, and we have to be birds to flee from danger, the most important truth is that you can be found. When we call upon your name, you are there. When two or three people call on the Lord, there you are in the midst of your holy ones.
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. (Ps. 11:4-5).
Almighty God, you dwell in a temple not made by hands. For the Hebrew word בְּֽהֵ֘יכַ֤ל denotes this place of your immediate presence. And we know now, according to 1 Corinthians 3:16, that Christians are: “The Temple of the Living God.” Your Holy Spirit dwells within us. Praise be to you for redeeming, sanctifying, and justifying us through the power of your Son Jesus Christ.
King of kings and Lord of Lord, you observe everyone on the earth. You are high and lifted up, your omnipotence and infinite power is on display for all to see. You examine the righteous; you pay careful attention to your chosen ones and do not allow them to be harmed–for you care for your people.
The wicked are not so but are like chaff which the wind drives away. The unrighteous will not be able to stand in the presence of God, for they will be destroyed and judged according to their sins: Lord, woe is all of us apart from your grace and mercy. For Scripture makes it clear that all of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God–there is not even one righteous person on the earth. Thus, humble our hearts and minds, creating in us a will and desire to follow your righteous decrees. Praise be to your name!
On the wicked he will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a scorching wind will be their lot. For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face (Ps. 11:6-7).
Prince of peace, you are slow to anger and steadfast in love. Your Word tells us in Numbers 14:18: “The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”
Let this be a sober warning that those who are transgressors will be punished by your powerful and mighty hand. For your punishment is just and swift, and you will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur upon those who mock and ridicule your holy name. You, O God, are righteous. You love justice and will fight for the widows and orphans in distress (James 1:27), and those who are taken advantage of in society. In the end, the upright will see your glorious face. Praise be to King Jesus forever and ever. Amen.