Psalm 11: Terrible Advice
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 the strings to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart. When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
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.
Have you ever gone to a friend when you had a problem and the advice they gave you was terrible? Like, how could they possibly believe that is a good idea? I’m sure I have given terrible advice before too, but I definitely remember a time in high school where someone gave me utterly terrible advice.
My junior year of high school was hard for a lot of reasons. Around Thanksgiving, most of my friends decided they didn’t want to be my friend anymore. It was devastating and just really hard. I don’t know why they decided to not hate me, but it felt like they turned from my best friends to enemies overnight.
There was one particular girl that was extra mean to me. As I was talking to someone about the situation one day, he suggested that I should get back at her for being mean and that I should egg her car. He devised this whole plan and laid it out for me. To not get caught I should sneak out of my house, he would pick me up and already have the eggs, and we would go egg her car. What an utterly terrible idea! Needless to say, I did not take his advice.
David is in a tough situation here. This psalm was supposedly penned when David began to feel the resentments of Saul’s envy, and had had the javelin thrown at him once again. He was then advised to run his country. David’s reaction to this bad advice is found in verses 1-3:
1 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?”
David’s refuge and trust are in the Lord! God is trustworthy and we can trust him too. David responds with calling out some of the things he knows about God. In verse 4, David talks about God being in his holy temple and on his throne and sees all of his children. This psalm looks beyond the immediate danger David is facing to the God who rules over all things to vindicate him.
Challenge: David was facing the some really desperate situations and here he responds to that situation with faith. What difficult situations are you facing right now? Do you trust that God sees you in the midst of that? Take a few minutes to pray, think and then write down five (or more) reasons why God is trustworthy. If you’re not sure that God is trustworthy, explore scripture, ask your parents, or text your small group leader to ask how they know God is trustworthy.