Psalm 11

Faith in the Lord’s Righteousness

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”?

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.

If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?

The Lord is in His holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men.  The Lord tests the righteous, but the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates.  Upon the wicked He will rain coals; fire and brimstone and a burning wind shall be the portion of their cup.  For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; His countenance beholds the upright.

The following commentary is taken from Warren W. Wiersbe’s Book ‘BE Worshipful’.

It’s difficult to determine the historical background of this psalm.  David was often in danger, whether in the court of Saul (1 Sam. 19:1), in the wilderness being chased by Saul, or during the rebellion of Absalom, his son……Whatever the crisis, the psalm teaches us that we must choose between fear (walking by sight) or trust (walking by faith), listening to human counsel or obeying the wisdom that comes from the Lord (James 1:5).

       What David Should Do (v. 1).  When the crisis arose, David’s counselors immediately told him to leave Jerusalem and head for the safety of the mountains.  They didn’t seem to have faith that the Lord could see him through (See 3:2; 4:6)…..Beware of listening to unwise counsel.  Put your faith in the Lord, and He will protect you and direct your paths.

        What the Enemy Does (v. 2).  ”For look” suggest that these counselors are walking by sight and evaluating situations from the human perspective……It’s good to know the facts, but it’s better to look at those facts in light of the presence and promises of God.

        What Can the Righteous Do?  (v. 3).  David was God’s appointed king, so anything that attacked him personally would shake the very foundations of the nation……Society is built on truth, and where truth is questioned or denied, the foundations shake (Is. 59:11-15).  The question “What can the righteous do?” has been translated “What is the righteous One doing?”  God sometimes “shakes things” so that His people will work on building the church and not focus on maintaining the scaffolding (Heb. 12:25-29; Hag. 2:6).  But the traditional translation is accurate, and the answer to the question is “Lay the foundations again!”  Each new generation must see to it that the foundations of truth and justice are solid……During the checkered history of Judah, godly kings cleansed the land of idolatry and brought the people back to the true worship of the Lord. Christ’s messages to the churches in Revelation 2-3 make it clear that local churches need constant examination to see if they’re faithful to the Lord, and we need to pray for a constant reviving work of the Spirit.

          What God Will Do (vv. 4-7).  When you look around, you see the problems, but when you look up to the Lord by faith, you see the answer to the problems.  When the outlook is grim, try the uplook!……The Lord tests the righteous to bring out the best in them, but satan tempts them to bring out the worst.  When we trust the Lord in the difficulties of life, our trials work for us and not against us (2 Cor. 4:7-18).

            David uses three images to describe the judgment that God has prepared for the wicked.  First, he saw fire and brimstone descend on them (v. 6a)……Then he beheld a terrible storm destroying the enemy, a “scorching wind” such as often blew from the desert (v. 6b)……The third image is that of a poisonous potion in a cup (v. 6c).  “Drinking the cup” is often a picture of judgment from the Lord (75:8)……

             When Jesus returns, those who have rejected Him will be cast “away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (2 Thess. 1:8-10; Matt. 7:21-23), while His own children will be welcomed into his presence (Matt. 25:34).


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