Being an Israelite David knew the history. He undoubtedly knew the story of his fellow shepherd, Moses, and his close encounter with Jehovah atop Mount Sinai, when Moses requested to see God’s face.
Jehovah replied and explained that no man could see his face and live. Even so, God positioned Moses in a crag with his face to the rock and Jehovah is said to have walked behind him. When Moses came down from the mountain his face emitted an afterglow that terrified the Hebrews who saw him. Moses had to wear a veil until the divine iridescence subsided.
Being aware of Moses’ rendezvous with Jehovah and the fact that no human could survive seeing Jehovah in His full glory, why did David conclude his 11th Psalm, saying: “The upright will see his face”?
Hold that thought…
Because David was inspired by the holy spirit the lyrics of his songs are alive. By the spirit, David’s voice is projected far beyond his personal situation. Even 30 centuries after David plucked the strings of his harp and sang his songs, the 11th Psalm is speaking to the future still, to the culmination—the final war, when the greater David comes to bring the fight to the enemies of Jehovah.
David could speak from experience when he sang the opening words: “In Jehovah I have taken refuge. So how can you say to me: “Flee like a bird to your mountain!”
At this time in history Christians, at least in the realm of Christendom, are protected by law. We have not really needed God’s personal protection. That, however, will not always be the case. David wrote concerning the removal of the legal bulwark in place when he wrote: “See how the wicked bend the bow; they set their arrow on the bowstring, to shoot from the darkness those upright in heart. When the foundations are torn down, what can the righteous do?”
Since its founding America has prided itself on being the land of the free. The very first “right” listed on the Bill of Rights amended to the Constitution guarantees freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of religion—in short, all the essentials to facilitate the work sponsored by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. Although Jehovah’s Witnesses have not been made aware, the prophecies point to the takedown of America prior to Armageddon. Typified by Babylon’s conquest of Egypt, the 30th chapter of Ezekiel connects the fall of Egypt with the day of Jehovah: “Wail, ‘Alas, the day is coming!’ For the day is near, yes, a day of Jehovah is near. It will be a day of clouds, an appointed time of nations. A sword will come against Egypt, and panic will overtake Ethiopia when the slain fall in Egypt; its wealth is taken and its foundations are torn down.”
There is only one “day of Jehovah.” All of the instances in the past described as Jehovah’s day are shadows of what is to come. For those Bible students who have not connected the dots, during the time of the end the king of the north will subjugate both Egypt and Ethiopia and rule over its hidden treasures of gold. In this context, Egypt is not the modern nation-state in northern Africa. After the breakup of Alexander’s empire, Egypt became the original king of the south. Even the Watchtower recognizes that the “Egypt” that will not prove to be an escapee represents the king of the south.
The downfall of America will be epic. It will rock the world. “When the foundations are torn down” there will no longer be any legal protection. No more freedom of speech. No more freedom of religion. Tearing down the foundations will give rise to the tyranny of the beast. That is why the wicked will bend the bow to shoot in the dark at those who are upright. It is at that time God will become a refuge. That the Psalm speaks to the war of Armageddon is evident from verses 5-6: “Jehovah examines the righteous one as well as the wicked one; He hates anyone who loves violence. Upon the wicked, he will rain down snares; fire and sulfur and a scorching wind will be the portion of their cup.”
God once rained down literal fire and sulfur upon the iniquitous cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Christian writers confirmed that their destruction is a pattern for what is to occur when Christ comes.
Throughout the Scriptures, God is revealed as the Protector of his people. That is not to say God does not allow them to be persecuted and even killed. Jesus was killed. But even as David sang, God did not leave his soul to rot in Sheol.
When the enemy attacks those who have taken refuge in Jehovah naturally God takes it personally. So, while the wicked may assume they can rid the earth of Christians with impunity they will find themselves fighting against God. Their doom will then be sealed.
But why did David say that the upright will see God’s face if no man can survive such a sighting? By inspiration, David foresaw the manifestation of Jesus who is coming in the glory of Jehovah. One of Jesus’ apostles, who was on the mountain when Christ was transfigured before them and his face shone like the sun, later wrote: “Beloved ones, we are now children of God, but it has not yet been made manifest what we will be. We do know that when he is made manifest we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is.” — 1 John 3:2
Obviously, Jesus has always been manifest in heaven since his ascension. Again, obviously, those who are privileged to receive the first resurrection will see both Jesus and Jehovah in heaven. But that is not what the manifestation of Christ is. “When he is made manifest” has to do with the revelation of Christ to the holy ones on earth during the conclusion; specifically, after the foundations are torn down. The chosen ones will see the face of Christ during his parousia. And the attack upon Christ’s brothers will provoke a response.