Ps. 11: “The Lord is in His holy temple, and His eyes behold, testing the sons of men.”
vs. 5: The Lord tests the righteous.
Yesterday turned into an early spring cleaning day at my house. I started out simply wanting to dust the furniture and ceiling fans, but of course that led to sweeping. When I took one of the rugs outside to shake I realized there was more dust hiding in there than I could shake out. Every rug in the house ended up in the washing machine.
The realization that there was so much hidden dirt in the rugs led to every base board in the house being scrubbed down, the floors being mopped, and by the time the day was done, even the broom ended up being washed.
This morning, as I read Psalm 11, I was reminded of those rugs and baseboards.
When I began cleaning, it was only because I noticed a thin layer of dust on the furniture. I didn’t see the deep hidden dirt that had settled in cracks, fibers, and crevices. However, as each layer of dust was removed, a new layer was revealed.
God doesn’t just see the thin layer of dust on our surface. He sees the deeper layers of grime, debris, smut, and filth that lie underneath. Ps. 11:4 says, “His eyes behold.” Knowing that God created dust and then created man out of dust allows me to know that He can behold even the smallest specks.
When He tests us, He is not simply trying to shine us up. He is trying to get inside, layer by layer, to remove all the fragments of sin and unholiness from our hearts.
He starts with the top, simply shining us up a bit, polishing and cleansing us. He then moves deeper, getting larger amounts of debris from our hearts. Once that debris is removed, the layer of grime underneath is revealed. Without the grime, the smut that has adhered itself deep down inside can be scrubbed away. The leftover filth is now clear as day, and the Lord can finally remove each speck from deep within.
What we’re left with is not just something that looks clean, but something that deep down inside has been sanitized…or more appropriately said, “sanctified.”
I’m not saying its easy. I’m pretty sure that if my rugs had any nerve endings, their time spent spinning and agitating in the washing machine would have felt pretty horrible. I’m sure they wouldn’t have enjoyed being beaten about by dryer balls in the heat of my dryer.
The baseboards probably wouldn’t have enjoyed the scrubbing or the smell of vinegar as the grime was removed from them. Nevertheless, without those processes, they would never have been truly cleansed.
Sometimes the tests we face hurt. They can be hot, agitating, smelly, and dizzying. However, The Lord loves righteousness and the end result is something called holiness. Without the deep cleaning, that is something that could never be achieved.