A Psalm of David.

This is another psalm by Israel’s great king.  This psalm continues the topic of the future time of the anti-Christ and the great tribulation.

1.  In the LORD I put my trust;

This speaks of trusting in the LORD as a refuge in times of trouble.  That future day will indeed be a time of great trouble for all who dwell on the earth!

How can you say to my soul,

How could such a demand be made?

“Flee as a bird to your mountain”?

This sets the scene for us as the time spoken of by Christ in Matthew 24:15-16, “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand,), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.”  The setting up of this abomination that causes desolation is a critical time in the history of God’s dealings with mankind.  At that time more than ever does Israel need to put their trust in the LORD.

2.  For look!  The wicked bend their bow,

This speaks of the wicked preparing for battle.

They make ready their arrow on the string,

More preparations for an attack.

That they may shoot secretly at the upright in heart.

They are preparing themselves for a clandestine attack on those who are righteous.  This is why those who obey God’s Word are to flee to the mountains.  Though the wicked speak peaceful, soothing words claiming that they have no warlike intentions, their words hide their plans to attack those who still trust in the LORD.  Thus His people are warned to flee.

3.  If the foundations are destroyed,

These wicked men have cast down the foundations of all that is good and right in God’s Kingdom.  What then can the righteous do to remedy it?  All that is left to them is to flee.

What can the righteous do?

Although this is true in that future day, it also has application to us today.  The foundation of our faith is this that we are studying, the Word of God.  Yet there are some who seek to undermine the Scriptures.  By claiming various contradictions in the Word, or by questioning the authorship of various books, or by making up theories that contradict the plain statements of Scripture, they bring down the foundations upon which our faith is based.  Once this is done, what can the righteous do?  Once the Book upon Which our faith is based is proven false, what is there left to base our belief upon?  There is nothing we can do once we give up this Word.  That is why it is so important that we never allow the foundation of our faith in the Word of God to be cast down!

4.  The LORD is in His holy temple,

The earthly temple, currently overrun by the abominations of the anti-Christ, is contrasted with the LORD’s heavenly temple, where He still dwells.  No enemy, no matter how powerful, can ever hope to remove Him from thence!

The LORD’s throne is in heaven;

The throne is not a chair, but rather the center or “seat” of one’s government.  His governmental authority is centered in heaven, where no abominations of this anti-Christ and his wicked followers can reach.

This demonstrates most clearly to us that the Kingdom is already on the earth and active before the times of the anti-Christ and the tribulation.  There is a pre-tribulation Kingdom dispensation, a period of the Kingdom, that precedes the second coming of Christ.  For after that coming, the LORD will dwell on earth, and the seat of His government will therefore be here.  Yet prior to His coming His throne is established in heaven, and remains there during the rebellion of the anti-Christ.  The Kingdom must be established BEFORE these events take place!

His eyes behold,

Though the LORD reigns from heaven, that does not mean that His rule is not felt on the earth.  His eyes are ever active to behold what men are doing.

His eyelids test the sons of men.

The children of Adam are tested by his eyelids.  The eyelids are used to close the eyes, and that is what is happening at this time in God’s plan.  The LORD has “shut His eyes” as it were to the wicked deeds of the anti-Christ and his followers.  He has done this to test the children of Adam to see if they will remain faithful to Him or not.  That is His purpose in allowing this evil to go on.  Yet the wicked vainly imagine that His hiding His eyes means that He can no longer see them or punish them for their wicked deeds!

5.  The LORD tests the righteous,

This is the purpose the LORD is carrying out during the tribulation period.  We think of the word “tribulation” as meaning “persecution,” but this is not actually what it means.  It literally means “testing,” and that is what the LORD is doing to the righteous at this time.  He is testing them so that the depth of their commitment to Him can be shown.  Many people today fear the tribulation period and the events that will go on then.  They seem to not realize that this will be a test whereby the righteous will be able to shine and show forth the quality of their dedication to God!

But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates.

This test not only allows the righteous to shine forth, but also gives the LORD opportunity to demonstrate the rottenness and failure of the wicked and violent.  All such will be removed from God’s Kingdom, for they are hated of the LORD.

6.  Upon the wicked He will rain coals,

How could God punish the wicked with the terrible punishments given in the book of Revelation and yet not allow any of these awful things to come upon the righteous?  It seems hard to believe that coals could rain upon the wicked and yet totally miss the just.  Yet for our God such a thing is no difficulty at all!

Fire and brimstone and a burning wind;

The result of the test for the wicked is the most extreme punishments.  No other group of people in the Bible is said to have received the same level of punishment that these rebellious followers of the Wicked One receive after their revolt and service to the anti-Christ.

This shall be the portion of their cup.

Their cup is the portion that they earned for themselves.  We might say that in God’s school, these people get an “F”!

7.  For the LORD is righteous,

Therefore He will not allow the wicked to prosper and have victory over the just.

He loves righteousness;

This is why we can be assured that someday God will put an end to wickedness on the earth and bring in His righteousness and His kingdom at last.  The LORD loves righteousness, and will not allow this current wicked flow of things to go on forever.

His countenance beholds the upright.

This is another one of the eighteen emendations of the Sopherim (or Sophers.)  As I explained in my last message, they seemed to think that they respected God more than He respected Himself.  Therefore they thought it was irreverent to Him to speak of people beholding God’s face, and so they made this change.  Yet the original text read, “An upright one shall gaze upon His face.”

What a glorious truth this is!  When the day finally arrives and Christ returns to earth once again, we who have through faith in His Son received His righteousness will at last be able to gaze upon the face of the LORD we love so much!  May God speed the day.

To the chief Musician.

This is another public psalm meant for the people’s learning concerning that future time and the events that will transpire then.

On an eight-stringed harp.

This is a useless translation of the word SheminithSheminith means literally “The Eighth Division.”  It is probably referring to those men circumcised on the eighth day, and thus true Israelites.  For though other nations circumcise, it was Israel alone that did so on the eighth day.  It seems that David wrote this psalm as one for men to sing, and especially a company of men called the “Eighth Division.”  Theologically, though, it means that this Psalm is dedicated to the true Israelites who in that day will not follow the anti-Christ and his rebellious ways, but rather will “flee like a bird to your mountain” to rest in the refuge of the LORD.