Have you ever had a ‘blast from the past’? I looked up the phrase on Google and it says a ‘Blast from the Past’ is, something or someone that returns after a period of obscurity or absence.
The phrase was used first by US radio DJs when introducing old records, but it is not clear who exactly coined the phrase.
When reading Psalm 11 recently, I had a ‘blast from the past’ which I’d like to share with you.
But first of all, I’d just like to share a few thoughts which spoke to me after reading this Psalm. It struck me as a Psalm for people in difficult or trying circumstances. I’m sure we’re all familiar with the sometimes appealing option of running away from a difficult situation rather than facing it. In v1, the psalmist begins by spelling out another option, which is to take refuge in the LORD and not to run away. This means trusting in Him to bring us through and to give us all the resources we need to ‘hang on in there’, resources such as grace, emotional and spiritual strength, faith and hope, to name but some of these.
In v3, when our foundations, the things which under-gird our lives, are being destroyed, (or at least appear to be), then we may well ask the same question, ‘what can the righteous do’? Well, the first thing we can do has already been mentioned in v1, namely, to take refuge in the LORD.
Another thing we can do is to remember the facts about the LORD found in Scripture:
1) Who the LORD is: As the prophet Jeremiah declared, He is the ‘Sovereign LORD, who made the heavens and the earth by His great power, and that NOTHING is too difficult for him (Jeremiah 32:17).
2) We need to remember what He is: we’re told that our LORD is all-seeing (v5), and righteous and just (v7). We also know that He knows everything about us (Ps.139:1-4), He is all-powerful (Ps 91:1), and holy (Isaiah 6:3) to name just some of the aspects of His character.
3) We also need to remember where He is: we’re told in v4 the LORD is in heaven, on the throne, reigning supreme over all.
It was this last idea that caused me to have this ‘blast from the past’. I suddenly thought of an old CSSM chorus I hadn’t thought of for around 50 years! It’s called, God is still on the throne’.
God is still on the throne,
And He will remember His own;
Tho’ trials may press us and burdens distress us,
He never will leave us alone;
God is still on the throne,
He never forsaketh His own;
His promise is true, He will not forget you,
God is still on the throne.
This is the reason why we can take refuge in the LORD and trust him in all circumstances. It is because He is still on the throne and in charge, even when situations look to us from our human perspective as if they’re out of control. It’s reassuring to be reminded God is still on the throne, and that He is sovereign. He has never not been on the throne.
Sometimes, however, we can forget this and focus on the problems and difficulties. This can make us feel overwhelmed and want to ‘flee like a bird’ (v1). I once shared this chorus with someone who had suddenly found herself in a situation where part of her life was going pear-shaped. She also knew the chorus but, again, from way back. It’s when things in our lives start to unravel and fall apart that we can find strength from a simple biblical truth. In times of crisis we don’t instinctively turn to deep, complex theological concepts, but rather to simple truths that we can get our heads around: God is on the throne!
God can use our memories and experiences, even ones so small and seemingly insignificant as this old CSSM chorus from my Sunday School days. It reminded me that God knows exactly what we need to hear.
We can thank God for our ‘blasts from the past’. He can use anything! And in those difficult times, we can remember, praise and thank Him that he is still on the throne, and we can take refuge in Him.