It's very easy to interpret this parable of the great banquet. Sometimes the parables are hard, but not this one. The people that were invited were the people of Jesus' day, particularly those in Jerusalem, and the banquet was the great marriage supper of the Lamb, a symbol of salvation. And those who were finally invited that did come were all of the outcasts, the Gentiles primarily, but also the kind of people that we would pass over and say, "Well, they really aren't worthy of such a thing." The problem is not in the interpretation of the parable but rather in the application of it to our own day. How do you apply it today? I'm afraid that the people who give flimsy excuses today are far more numerous than the people of Jerusalem. They apply to most people in our time.

It's an interesting feature about the critical moments in the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ that His own comments about them are seldom found in conjunction with the events themselves, but rather you find them somewhere else in Scripture. Think of the incarnation or the birth, for example. You don't find our Lord's comments there in connection with the birth narratives, naturally, or for that matter even anywhere else in the gospels. You do find it later on in the New Testament in the book of Hebrews, in chapter 10, verses 5-7. That author writes, "Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: 'Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, “Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—I have come to do your will, O God.”’”

What can the righteous do? There is one more thing. David had looked around at the wicked. He has looked up to God. Now he looks ahead, concerned at this point not with the destiny of his enemies but with his own destiny and that of all who trust God. As the last verse says, “For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face” (v. 7).

Where is he that they might look to him? The answer is: "in his holy temple" and "on his heavenly throne" (v. 4). Whenever we see the word "temple" in the Old Testament we tend to think of Solomon's great gilded temple or the later temple of Herod which was in Jerusalem in the time of Jesus Christ. But that is not what David is thinking of here. For one thing, the temple had not been built in David's time. It was built by Solomon. And although it is true that the word "temple" is sometimes used of the wilderness tabernacle, usually in retrospect by those who witnessed the later temples and saw the tabernacle as their forerunner, the context of Psalm 11 makes clear that David is thinking of the temple of God in heaven from which the Almighty looks down upon "the sons of men" to "examine them."

What can the righteous do? Well, for one thing, they can go on being righteous. And they can stand against the evil of their society, as many in the situations I have described are attempting to do. The one thing they must not do is "flee to the mountains."