In the Lord I put my trust; How can you say to my soul, “Flee as a bird to your mountain”? Psalm 11:1
God, The Refuge of the Upright
Psalm 11 is a psalm of trust. In the middle of the psalms of lament, this psalm expresses great trust in the Almighty Lord. It is the context of adversity that makes this psalm of trust all the more impressive. When advised to flee from danger, David affirms God’s righteousness and His sure judgment of the wicked.
11:1-3 The phrase I put my trust describes seeking refuge, similar to a bird under the wings of its mother. Fee as a bird: Here is the contemptuous challenge of the wicked. They are like their father, the devil. They view the righteous as helpless birds flying to their mountain home. They do not realize that their mountain home is protection in the Lord Himself. Bend their bow: This is a picture of the wicked on the hunt for the righteous. Foundations are destroyed: These verses are the taunt of the wicked to the righteous. They are a false charge; the words are untrue. The foundations are not destroyed; there is a great deal the righteous can do. Most important, the righteous can keep trusting in God, their true foundation.
1 To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. In the Lord I put my trust; How can you say to my soul, “Flee as a bird to your mountain”? 2 For look! The wicked bend their bow, They make ready their arrow on the string, That they may shoot secretly at the upright in heart. 3 If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?
11:4-6 The words in His holy temple prove that the charge of v. 3 is false. God is in control; the foundations are not destroyed. His eyes behold; It may appear that God is not involved, but He does see and He will act. Tests the righteous: There are times when the Lord allows trials to come into the life of the psalm as a test. But God’s actions are more severe toward the wicked, whom he hates. The Hebrew word for hates is a strong term that speaks primarily of rejection. Rain coals: The source for “fire and brimstone” judgment is the story of God’s judgment on Sodom and the other cities near the Dead Sea in Gen. 19.
4 The Lord is in His holy temple, The Lord’s throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men. 5 The Lord tests the righteous, But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates. 6 Upon the wicked He will rain coals; Fire and brimstone and a burning wind Shall be the portion of their cup.
11:7 Because the Lord is righteous, the believer who is under stress can continue to trust in Him. Such faith allows one to ignore the taunts of the wicked. The believer needs only to return to the enfolding wings of God to renew strength and purpose in the midst of a troubled day.
. 7 For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; His countenance beholds the upright.