“The Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven.”
I grew up in Southern California, where the sun was always shining and if it was over 3 years old, your car was ancient. But I wasn’t into cars. Or even the beach, for that matter. No, I was into motorcycles. Dirt bikes, to be precise. The more dirt, the better. Mountains, desert. Didn’t matter. Just give me a dirt bike and place to ride it, and I was happy.
The older I got, the more important the gear became. None more so than the goggles to protect my eyes and vision. I still remember when they came out with new goggles that had the ability to ‘get clean’ as you rode. You simply pulled a string, and a new, clear lens took its place across the goggle shield, allowing new and perfect vision.
Trouble was, it was easy to forget the string. After a few hours of riding, the goggles got really clouded over by a layer of dust or mud. Sometimes we’d be forced to stop and clean our goggles. Other times we’d stop to rest, remove our goggles and only then see the beauty of our journey thus far. If only we’d remembered to pull the string, the ride would have been so much more pleasant.
“The Lord in in His holy temple. And his throne in is heaven.” In effect, this is the psalmist pulling the string to gain a whole new vision of how things actually are. It’s important to do that, isn’t it? Sometimes we need to do that in our personal lives, and take stock of what we’re doing, or what we should be doing and aren’t. Sometimes we need to do that in the church and ministry, as I have been doing for months, now. Other times we simply need to put on new goggles and see life through an eternal perspective.
If it’s true that the Lord is in His holy temple, then the next question is, ‘so what?’ What does it matter if the Lord is in His temple? The answer is, on a fundamental level, ‘it evidently matters to the psalmist, therefore it matters.’ But there are at least 3 far more practical reason that it matters that God is on His throne and that we have the visionary perspective to remember that.
First, it matters because it means that God is happy and exalted. He is happy in His own being – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is eternally blessed and self glorifying. He enjoys being God. He enjoys blessing His children and creation. He takes pleasure in the repentance of sinners and in the worship of their multitudes. It makes Him happy and exalted when His children cry out to him in prayer, because it exalts His throne when we confess our dependence on Him. This is all true, because God is on His throne. O the depths of the mysteries of God, that He is increasingly glorified in the perpetual exaltation of his already perfect glory.
Second, it matters because it means God is sovereign. The same verse (Ps. 11:4) goes on to say that “His eyes see.” That means He sees and knows all things in His sovereignty. He knows your future and your fears. He knows your anxieties and hopes. And He is sovereign in them, wanting for you to regain a vision of His eternal love, which flows to you from His throne. As we sing, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.”
And it matters because it means that you can rest. One day you will behold Him there. “The upright shall behold His face.” (Ps.11:7) If God is on His throne in heaven, then you can lay hold of Him there, and enjoy all His benefits. Nothing in this world, neither height nor depth, nor angels nor principalities, can remove God from His throne. And when he says that nothing will harm you or bring you to naught, you can rest in that guarantee with the same measure of surety upon which God’s throne is built.
Don’t forget to pull the string, so to speak, and see clearly that God is on His throne with His eyes on you. This is good news and cause for the humble hearts of His children to rejoice with exceeding gladness!