For the director of music. Of David.
11 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 the sons of men;
his eyes examine them.
5 The Lord examines the righteous,
but the wicked and those who love violence
his soul hates.
6 On the wicked he will rain
fiery coals and burning sulfur;
a scorching wind will be their lot.
7 For the Lord is righteous,
he loves justice;
upright men will see his face.
Psalm 11 is a Psalm written by David. It could have been written in any one of many times David was in danger. It could have been his fleeing from Saul’s court, in the wilderness being chased by Saul, or during the rebellion of Absalom, his son.
It is important to note here that David did not flee his post but remained “on duty”. He trusted the Lord to protect him and the Lord did! Psalm 11 teaches us, among other things, that crisis will force us to choose between two paths: the path of fear (walking by sight) or the path of faith (trusting in the wisdom that comes from the Lord)
Verses 1-3: The Path of Fear
· It seems David’s counselors told him to flee to the mountain in light of whatever crises had arisen.
· However, it’s not good for a leader to abandon his post!
· Verse 2 implies that David’s advisors were looking at all the forces against him and advising him from a human perspective. Ever happen to you?
· Verse 3 reminds us that David was the anointed king of Israel so anything that happened to him threaten the very core of the entire nation!
· Lesson here: don’t listen to unwise counsel!
o Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.
Verses 4-7: The Path of Faith
· “When the outlook is grim, try the uplook!”
· Verse 4b: He observes the sons of men; his eyes examine them.
o The word for “examine” is the Hebrew word /j^B* (bachan) (baw-khan’) which carries the idea of “testing metals by fire”.
o The last half this verse literally says… “His eyelids tests them.”
§ When you look closely at something, what do you do? (You squint)
§ This is more than just an anthropomorphism: it is reminding the reader of the omniscience of God.
· Verse 5 tells us He is also examining us! He knows our motives and our circumstances!
· End of verse 5 (…but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates.) is an example of Hebrew parallelism (love verses hate)
· Verse 6 should remind of the last time the Lord rained down sulfur: Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:24)
· School of Trial
o A minister was recovering from a dangerous illness, when one of his friends addressed him thus: “Sir, though God seems to be bringing you up from the gates of death, yet it will be a long time before you will sufficiently retrieve your strength, and regain vigor enough of mind to preach as usual.” The good man answered: “You are mistaken, my friend; for this six weeks’ illness has taught me more divinity than all my past studies and all my ten years’ ministry put together.”
· Verse 7: “for the Lord is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face.”
Hold on a little longer. He has not forgotten you. He will not forsake you.