“The Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord is on His heavenly throne. He observes the sons of men; His eyes examine them” Psalm 11:4
I’ll admit it—I’m a raving fan of change. I’m delighted that I can “Google” information, watch HD-TV, take pictures digitally, and send and receive e-mails. Though I hate to date myself, one of my all-time favorite inventions is the dishwasher. Early in our marriage our dishwasher was me! Believe me, getting a dishwasher that we could keep under the counter was a big-time welcome change. And add to my list the TV remote!
But, being an unrepentant cheerleader for change, there are some changes that challenge my comfort zone. I find myself troubled by the changes in the moral foundations of our nation. Changes in attitudes about Jesus and His claims bother me. Changes in perspectives on marriage, sexuality, and modesty no doubt bother you as well. And it’s not only what is happening “out there,” I feel unsettled about the fact that many Christians have seemingly lost their zeal for pure and holy lives. And while I feel that it’s right to be bothered by these changes, being against them always makes me feel seriously out of step. I feel like people write me off as being too retro, leaning slightly to the right of Attila the Hun. Let’s face it, holding our ground against popular cultural change can be very intimidating.
So, what should we do when so many things that we cherish seem headed for the dumpster? In Psalm 11:1-7, David asks the same question when he says, “When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3). He goes on to resolve our dilemma by affirming three important things about God.
First, he reminds us that “the Lord is in His holy temple.” God’s continuing presence in His holy temple assures us that His moral standards are not based on opinion polls, current trends, or popular perspectives. His holiness is unthreatened by an unholy world. And, in the end, His holiness will be the standard against which every thought and popular opinion will be judged.
Secondly, David remembers that “the Lord is on His heavenly throne.” God rules! Changing things here does not change His reign as the eternal King, nor does it threaten to dethrone Him for a trendier god. His righteous authority will be in place long after our world’s fleeting perspectives have gone up in smoke.
And, lastly, our text reminds us that “He observes the sons of men; His eyes examine them.” Knowing that a holy King is very much aware of all that is going on is either a scary thought or a confidence-building reality. It’s a scary thought if I have been in any way a part of a rebellion against God’s righteous ways. But as I live to affirm His ways, it builds my confidence to know that as I stand with Him—regardless of the pressure—He is watching over me.
As intimidating as it might be to stand against the change in a classroom, at the water cooler, or in a casual chat with a friend, the intimidation begins to lose its grip when we see these changes in the light of our changeless God.
A friend of mine says, to be successful in this world you have to know what things must change and at the same time keep a tenacious grip on the things that should not change. Great advice!
- How has the changing moral and spiritual climate affected you?
- Perhaps some unhealthy change has crept into your beliefs about God, or into your understanding of what it means to live for Christ. What needs to happen for you to keep a tenacious grip on what must not change and to live wholeheartedly for Him and His ways?
- Which of David’s three statements most encourages you in your quest to live for Christ in a changing world?