Have you ever received bad advice? The worst is getting bad advice from good people you trust. This seems to be the situation of Psalm 11. When anyone gives you advice, you must test it against God’s Word, character, and Spirit. David refused to run away in fear during what seems like one of the most trying and dangerous times of his life. He opens the psalm with a statement of faith, “In the Lord I take refuge”. This must be what we lead with in times of extreme difficulty. It also seems as if he is shocked those close to him were advising him to run away. Perhaps they had not run before and now they have succumb to fear. There have been times I have felt like running away in fear when I faced hard situations. That always seems easier, but fear has a way of following you. When difficulties arise, we must walk by faith instead of by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
It appears David was in deep trouble. He had enemies lurking in the shadows ready to shoot arrows at him (v. 2). His advisors were telling him it was hopeless and there is no point sticking around (v. 3). But David responded with assurance in his Lord by saying, “The Lord is in His holy temple and still on his heavenly throne” (v. 4). When we think all is lost we must remember God is still on His throne! Psalm 47:8 says, “God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne.” He breaks the bows and shatters the spears (Psalm 46:9). David knew about being hunted with arrows and a spear and how God saw him through it unharmed (1 Samuel 19:10). He was confident God would see him through this scary time of life as well. When everybody else was ready to run, David was standing strong in the Lord. While most of us don’t have anyone hunting us with arrows, people’s words and actions can pierce our souls. This can cause us to fear instead of having faith. David did flee Saul (1 Samuel 21) and Absalom (2 Samuel 15) and those seem to have been wise moves. But this time was different and we see he had the faith to know when to stay put as well.
It’s tempting to run away from what God has called you to in order to avoid anticipated or future hurt. Knowing when to stay put and trust in the Lord is important so you don’t miss out on God’s plan. God knows how to defend the righteous and deal with the wicked because He sees it all (v. 4). Even if people are planning secretly in the shadows to harm you, they cannot hide from the Lord. One should not fear what someone might do or live in the worry of “what if”. Trusting the Lord in the middle of adversity is difficult, but will prove favorable if done correctly. The wicked will be judged by God with fire and brimstone (v. 6a; Revelation 9:17) and scorching wind or storm (v. 6b). They will drink the cup of judgment from the Lord (v. 6c). The Lord is against those who are against Him and His people (Isaiah 41:11; Romans 8:31). Reassured, David said the righteous will see His face. This means the Lord has not turned His face or presence from them. He has not run away from them, so why would one run from Him? He is faithful and we should be as well. The Lord shines His face on the righteous with blessing and joy (Numbers 6:24-26).
1. What has tempted you to run away in fear?
2. Have you confronted or conformed to your fear?
3. Have you forgotten God is still on His throne?
Lord, help me remember to be faithful, not fearful. Give me the boldness to stand strong against whatever opposes Your call for my life. You will judge righteously those who plot evil. I will not let worry consume me, but live in the peace of God. In Jesus name, Amen.