Summary: Nations and individuals go through tests throughout life, and these tests are often given by the Lord Himself. In this sermon we look at this, and we discuss how we might learn the lessons required in order to "pass the test"
Testing, Testing, 123
Text: Psalm 11:1-7
Once again; I want to thank you all for the privilege of sharing God’s Word with you this morning. I’m grateful for the opportunity. Let’s go ahead and open with a word of prayer. (PRAYER)
I’m taking some graduate courses over at Northwestern right now, and a little over a week ago, I had to take a test. Now; when I was in high school – many years ago, I hated taking tests. I always felt like it was some evil scheme created by teachers in order to get me, and make me ineligible to play sports or something. You know; I had it in my head that the teachers were really out to get me. But then, as I got older, it hit me. It’s the job of the teacher, or the professor to educate their students, but how is the teacher or professor supposed to know if their students are gaining the knowledge and getting the education they’re supposed to be getting, if they never give their students a test of some sort? You see; the whole purpose of a test is to show whether or not you truly know the material you’re supposed to. And sometimes, the test shows that you have mastery over the material. Sometimes it shows that you know it, but maybe not as well as you should. And sometimes, the test shows that you don’t know it at all. It shows that you haven’t learned the material, or subject matter, or the lessons. Now I want you to keep that in mind as we open up God’s Word this morning.
We’re in the Book of Psalms – Psalm 11:1-7 (READ).
Now let’s break down this passage together. It’s written by David, and it’s pretty obvious from reading through it, that David is going through a rough patch. His enemies are giving him trouble and we can see by the first few verses, he’s been told by someone… maybe it’s his friends, or his advisors, that he needs to run away and go to a stronghold of some sort. That’s what they’re saying to him here… “The wicked are all around you… they’ve got their bows and their shooting… and even if they’re shooting in the dark, even if they’re shooting blindly, one of the arrows might find it’s mark. It’s best to take shelter – flee like bird to your mountain. Wait this thing out. Lay low for a while.”
But I love David’s answer to them. “In the Lord, I take refuge.”
So in a very literal, and physical, and real sense, someone has told David to go to his mountain. Go to your fortress, your stronghold. You’ll be safe there. That’s what they’re saying, but David has a deeper understanding. The people are saying “Flee to your mountain!” But David is saying, “The Lord is my Rock, and my Fortress. He is my strong tower! He is my shield and strength!” You see; David understood that. And so he rebukes those advisors who are telling him to flee to his mountain. He says to them, “How can you say to my soul, flee like a bird to your mountain”? “How can you say to me, seek safety, and security, and salvation in something other than the Lord?” “No, no… IN THE LORD – I TAKE REFUGE!”
And then he asks a question in verse 3, he says, “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” And basically what he’s saying here is: “If we as a nation, and I as the king… if we turn away from the Lord… if we start seeking salvation in physical, worldly means… if we start relying on our own wisdom and strength… if we start trusting in our own ability, and our military might… and we turn away from the ways of the Lord. It’s going to destroy us. It’s going to destroy the foundations of our nation, it will destroy our economy. It will destroy our political and social system. And then what are we going to do? What are we going to do if everything that our society is built on is destroyed?”
And man, that is a great question, isn’t it?
Because that’s what the enemies of God want to do isn’t it? They want to destroy the foundations. They want to replace the Biblical teaching of creation with evolution. They want to transform the way the culture thinks about marriage, and morality. They want to exchange truth for relativism. They want to destroy the foundations, and then what will the righteous do?
So David is saying, “No, I’m not going to run and hide in some mountain stronghold.” And here’s why he says that - Look at verses 4 & 5, “The Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven; His eyes see, His eyelids test the children of man. The Lord tests the righteous…”