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Bible Commentaries

Hamilton Smith's Writings

Psalms 11

Verses 1-7

PSALM 11

The resource of faith in a world that is out of course - the wicked prospering and the righteous oppressed.

(v. 1) In the presence of opposition the soul trusts in the Lord and hence the suggestion of human prudence to flee from conflict is refused.

(vv. 2-3) Verses 2 and 3 set forth the character of evil with which the godly are faced. The opposition is not open but working “in darkness” (JND). The upright in heart, and the foundations of their faith, are being secretly attacked. In the presence of these hidden dangers, what are the righteous to do?

(v. 4) The answer is found in verse 4. The Lord is the resource of the righteous; His holy temple is on earth; His throne is in heaven. The temple speaks of His dwelling place, and, however desolate and desecrated it may be, faith still recognizes that God has a place on earth. His throne - speaking of His government - is still in heaven where no evil can enter. He still rules over all. The effort of man is to rid himself of the presence of God on the earth and to throw off His government from heaven. In spite of these efforts the House of God and the Throne of God - the foundations of all blessing for men - remains (vv. 5-7). During the reign of Antichrist, however, the government of God is not in outward display. Evil abounds, the wicked triumph, and the godly are tried. Nevertheless faith knows that God hates the wicked and the violent, and that His favour is toward the upright. This will be made manifest by the judgment that will shortly fall upon the wicked, however, for the moment, the Lord refrains from dealing with the evil, and uses the circumstances to try the righteous for their blessing and His glory.

While the psalm looks on to the future trial of the godly under the reign of Antichrist, the principles apply to God's people at any time during the absence of Christ, when evil, like the leaven the woman hid in the meal, is working secretly undermining the foundations of the Christian faith. Nevertheless the confidence of the believer is that the Holy Spirit is still on the throne in heaven. The known character of God assures the believer that God must, in due time, deal with the evil and bring His people into blessing, though for the time He uses the evil for their good.

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Bibliographical Information
Smith, Hamilton. "Commentary on Psalms 11". "Hamilton Smith's Writings". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hsw/psalms-11.html. 1832.