Psalm 11 New International Version
For the director of music. Of David.
1 In the Lord I take refuge.
How then can you say to me:
“Flee like a bird to your mountain.
2For look, the wicked bend their bows;
they set their arrows against the strings
to shoot from the shadows
at the upright in heart.
3When 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.
5The Lord examines the righteous,
but the wicked, those who love violence,
he hates with a passion.
6On the wicked he will rain
fiery coals and burning sulfur;
a scorching wind will be their lot.
7For the Lord is righteous,
he loves justice;
the upright will see his face.
We read the secret thoughts of David’s life. They are written in his personal journal. David’s enemies are real people with bows and arrows. His life is being threatened. At this time I get the impression he is not fleeing, but standing his ground. It is wise to remember that David did not always commend this- or do it. In fact, he fled at times to enemy country for safety.
So when we are in danger, David would counsel us to rely on God. Whether that means staying or fleeing, have your eyes on the Lord. Why? He gives his people refuge. Protection.( Psalm 11:1)
Does that mean things get resolved the way we want them to be? Yes, If we are looking long term! He will exercise judgement on the wicked because he is just, and he will vindicate the righteous. Sounds good.
However, anyone who knows Scripture and the life of God’s faithful people will not be too quick to celebrate. Living in the New Testament times, there are plenty of Scriptures telling us to take up our cross and follow Jesus. Jesus Himself said, “if they have persecuted me, they will persecute you also.”( John 15:20)
After you have suffered a little while…. It is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.(Luke 12:32)
Let me remind you of Hebrews 11, that roll call of the faithful. It is true that some received what God had promised.(Hebrews 11:33). It is just as certain that others did not receive deliverance, but “died under torture” (Hebrews 11:35 GNB). Some were mocked and whipped, and others were put into chains and taken off to prison.(Hebrews 11:36) Other descriptive words of the faithful include being stoned, sawn in two, killed by the sword, poor, persecuted, mistreated, living in caves and holes in the ground.
Doesn’t sound like a great refuge to me! But that’s only because I am a short term thinker.
David, however, has a long term perspective. I really should say he has an other- worldly perspective.
The upright will see God. That’s what David knows!
This life is so short- and then eternity. Those who have persecuted the righteous will reap as they have sown, and be punished by God. Those who have sought refuge in God- regardless whether their lives were spared or taken on earth, they will see God.
Those who have faith in this God are blessed, and will continually be blessed. It was by faith that people in the Old Testament times won God’s approval, and it is so today. Hebrews 2:10 reminds us that Jesus, through his suffering for sins, will bring many children to share his glory. For, the writer of Hebrews declares, Jesus is the one who leads them to salvation. Jesus is not ashamed to call this purified people- “his family”.( Hebrews 2: 11b)
David needed to keep an eternal perspective, and we too must do the same.
God is eternal. God is righteous and just. He is well aware of our trials and sufferings, but in it all we need to look to him in faith. We may not know the specific outcome of our faith , but intimacy with the Father is our inheritance. That’s the note that David finishes on , and it’s the promise proclaimed by Jesus himself:
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8 NIV
Please recognize that while this is truth- it is hard to persevere in trial, and will always remain so. We need to pray for one another so that we will not drift away in the hour of testing.