Trusting the God of Righteousness | Psalm 11:4–7
4 The Lord is in his holy temple;
the Lord’s throne is in heaven;
his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man.
5 The Lord tests the righteous,
but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.
6 Let him rain coals on the wicked;
fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.
7 For the Lord is righteous;
he loves righteous deeds;
the upright shall behold his face.
David had reasons to flee danger, and the first three verses logically present his danger, not emotionally. Even so, there are times when the men (and women) of God should withstand the evil of their day. This was one time, and David could remain steadfast because of his confidence in the Lord.
He knows the Lord sovereignly rules (v. 4a–b). Verse 4 could possibly reference God’s presence with His covenant people in the earthly temple. Even so, the second phrase of this verse could be an example of parallelism, meaning this verse speaks of Yahweh’s heavenly temple (cf. Hb 8:5) and throne (cf. Ps 9:7). The foundations are not destroyed (v. 3), for the Lord is still enthroned.
He knows the Lord sees everyone (vv. 4c–5a). His heavenly dwelling doesn’t mean that He’s separated from our affairs. We see here the Lord’s omniscience—there’s nothing hidden from His eyes, and He sees all from His throne. He squints, as it were, while investigating mankind, testing us (cf. Jer 6:27–30).
He knows the Lord hates the wicked (vv. 5b–6). Those containing impurities find themselves rejected by the Master Smith. Indeed, the Hebrew word for “hate” (sane) is used to speak of David’s enemies hatred of him (e.g., Ps 18:17; 38:19)—and the Lord points His hatred toward the wicked and the lover of violence. He will rain down calamity upon them, and His wind of wrath will destroy just as surely as it wiped out Sodom (Gn 19:24).
He knows the Lord loves righteous (v. 7). That is, He is both the embodiment and standard for righteousness—and He demonstrates His love for righteousness by hating wickedness and contrasting the ways of the wicked. David knows he can take refuge in the protection of Yahweh, both from the wicked and his own sin.
Of course, there is none righteous (Rm 3:10), but those who trust in the Lord will not be judged by their works, but will instead be transformed by the Lord (cf. 1 Jn 3:2).