Weds 12 January - Psalm 11
1 In the Lord I take refuge.
How then can you say to me:
‘Flee like a bird to your mountain.
2 For look, the wicked bend their bows;
they set their arrows against the strings
to shoot from the shadows
at the upright in heart.
3 When the foundations are being destroyed,
what can the righteous do?’
4 The Lord is in his holy temple;
the Lord is on his heavenly throne.
He observes everyone on earth;
his eyes examine them.
5 The Lord examines the righteous,
but the wicked, those who love violence,
he hates with a passion.
6 On the wicked he will rain
fiery coals and burning sulphur;
a scorching wind will be their lot.
7 For the Lord is righteous,
he loves justice;
the upright will see his face.
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Meditation on Psalm 11
In summary – before we have even started – this psalm shares David’s unwavering trust and confidence in the LORD in spite of all that is going on around him and the circumstances in which he finds himself.
It is set against the background of 1 Samuel 18-27 when Saul became increasingly threatening towards David as he realised that the kingdom was tumbling out of his grasp and David was the king-in-waiting.
‘And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David.’ 1 Samuel 18:8-9
He chased and harassed David for some time but, as we know, David eventually became the king of Israel.
It’s interesting to note that there is no prayer in the psalm – just an acknowledgment of his total confidence in God.
- CONFIDENCE IN GOD Verse 1
‘In the LORD I take refuge’. Whatever is going on around him; whatever is being thrown at him; whoever the wicked are, David is absolutely sure who he trusts.
The word ‘refuge’ (either noun or verb) speaks of…
Such trouble may be in the form of a threat against us, whether physical, spiritual or emotional.
One commentator says, ‘in all these cases, the Bible’s use of “refuge” reminds us that we live in a world wrecked by sin—a world of dangers around us and brokenness inside us. We cannot avoid these realities, only seek shelter from them.’
Linked with protection, we know that God is our refuge in all kinds of situations. Psalm 46:1 ‘God IS our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.’
This is the confidence that David has, whilst others might say to him, ‘flee like a bird to the mountain.’
We know from various passages that fleeing to a mountain might have been the correct path to take, but not for David – e.g.
- Lot and his family as they fled from Sodom and Gomorrah – Genesis 19:16-17
- Elijah when he was on the run from Jezebel – 1 Kings 19:3-9
Spurgeon comments: “He would rather dare the danger than exhibit a distrust in the Lord his God.”
- WHAT CAN MAN DO TO ME? Verses 2-3
David gives his reason for not fleeing to the mountain, however tempting that might be.
The reality of what is happening is to derail David from his trust in the Lord. There are
- those with bows and arrows
- those who shoot from the shadows – we don’t know where the next attack is coming from.
And the result is that the vey foundations of our lives are being targeted and destroyed.
This is exactly what the devil wants of us. Remember how Peter described him and his activities:
1 Peter 5:8-9 ‘Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.’
Note that the devil attacks ‘the upright in heart’ – those who trust the LORD and are committed to Him.
How can we react?
- WHERE CAN I GO BUT TO THE LORD? Verses 4-6
What assurances we have in these verses.
- the LORD is in His holy temple – this could refer to the earthly Temple and the heavenly Temple where the LORD IS. He is present. He is with us. That is the message of Christmas – ‘God with us.’
- the LORD IS on the throne – He has not vacated His throne because the problems are too difficult to sort out. He is not going anywhere!
And the psalmist gives us the confidence to keep going, whatever the issues we may face>
- the LORD sees EVERYTHING
- the LORD tests His people – but He has not / will not desert any one of us
- the LORD will judge the wicked – the psalmist uses very strong language but the Bible makes clear that the LORD will have the final say over the devil and all his cohorts. One day the wicked will be no more. As he describes the lot of the wicked, we are reminded of what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah – Genesis 18:16-19:29
- WE WILL SEE HIM Verse 7
What an exciting end to this psalm as we look forward to that day when the Lord will come from heaven and take His people home to be with Him forever. He who is righteous is coming for those made righteous as a result of His death and resurrection.
We will see Him. We will see His face. We will be like Him. We will be with Him forever.
Praise the Lord in whom ‘I take refuge.’
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