In our study of Psalm 11, we will look at the fact that we all have to make a choice when faced with evil as to whether we stand in faith or flee in fear.
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For the director of music. Of David.
In the Lord I take refuge. How then can you say to me: 'Flee like a bird to your mountain. For look, the wicked bend their bows; they set their arrows against strings to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart. When foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?'
This song is probably dealing with the time in David's life when his son Absalom tried to seize the kingdom. He had killed his younger half brother and for a long time had not been allowed in Jerusalem. After repeatedly asking for forgiveness, David allowed him to return to Jerusalem. Because of his time of exile from Jerusalem and the pride that dwelled within him, Absalom hated his father and plotted against him. In the face of this ruthless killer, David was advised to flee to safety by his advisors.
The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord is on his heavenly throne. He observes everyone on earth; his eyes examine them. The Lord examines the righteous, but the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion. On the wicked he will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a scorching wind will be their lot. For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face.
David's answer to his advisors points out the fact that God is not surprised by the actions of men on this earth. He knows what is going on and He will intervene on behalf of His people (the righteous). Absalom travelled to Hebron where he was proclaimed king of Israel and was embraced by the people. When David was told that the people were with Absalom, he decided to flee. David knew that God was on his side and yet he gave in to worldly advice and fled. As Christians, we are often faced with situations where it seems that the entire world is against us. During these times, we all have the same decision to make; we can choose to stand in faith or we can take to flight out of fear. Though we know in our heads and our hearts that God is with us, we, like David, may still flee every now and then. God can even use these failures to grow us in our faith for the next time it happens.