Psalm 11 Better Watch Out

Questions: Should we flee from trouble? Is God worthy of trust? Why? Does he know? Does he care? If so, when? “Read More” to pursue answers in the Psalms.

Lord, speak to me through your Spirit and your Word, your Body and your Blood;
that I might know you as you are, and manifest the image of Christ in this world,
and the world to come. Amen.

Psalms 11:1-7

In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee [as] a bird to your mountain?

Not sure what trouble David is in this time, but the consensus solution appears to be, “run away.” David apparently considers this incompatible with trusting God. Why? After all, the threat is very real:

For, lo, the wicked bend [their] bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart.

And worse, it sounds like the moral consensus and political systems put in place to check wickedness are themselves under attack, and thus of no help to David:

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

Morality is easy when it is socially reinforced, but why stand for truth when wickedness goes unpunished yet righteousness is besieged?

In fact, it is precisely at times like these that it matters whether or not God is real, or just a figment of our imagination:

The LORD [is] in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne [is] in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try , the children of men.

That is, not only is God real and still in charge, but he’s also watching — and watching out for — us:

The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.

Those of us in the West could easily treat as a platitude; however, believers facing persecution literally bet their lives that God is watching, and will eventually wreak justice on their persecutors:

Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: [this shall be] the portion of their cup.

Not so much that we seek justice for ourselves, but that we want to know that God is just:

For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.

Otherwise, why not flee?


God, I confess I often feel the temptation to flee, and too often give in to it. Whether it is failing to identify myself to someone disparaging Christianity, holding back when frustrated at work, or acting passive-aggressive towards my family — I focus on my own comfort and security rather than your commands.

Father, if you are not real, if you are not watching, if you do not care, or there is nothing you can do — then my cowardice would be justified. Why not just run away rather than face a foe too strong for us?

But the Lord is in His holy temple. You know, you care, and you will act. Father, grant me the courage and the grace to stay the course. Help me to trust and fear you, not myself or my enemies. Let me focus be on your kingdom and your righteousness; knowing that if I do that, all these things will be added unto me. For it is only then that I can truly be in Jesus name, even as I pray. Amen.

About the Title:

Today’s title is in honor of Santa Claus, who first taught us kids the meaning of transcendent justice.