Fleeing to the Lord – Psalm 11

If Sodom is all around us, even in secluded areas and our heart to some extent, how do we flee Sodom?  As I said in the post yesterday, we are to flee to the Lord.  All this time of study and just yesterday I found this Psalm.  Actually it wasn’t lost, but the meaning became clearer to me.  Notice this Psalm does not mention Sodom by name but who can miss the reference to Sodom especially in verse 6 “rain coals on the wicked; fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup”.

Psalms 11:1-7 (ESV)

1 In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to my soul, “Flee like a bird to your mountain,
2 for behold, the wicked bend the bow; they have fitted their arrow to the string to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart;
3 if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
4 The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven; his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man.
5 The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.
6 Let him rain coals on the wicked; fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.
7 For the Lord is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Psalms 11:1 (ESV) In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to my soul, “Flee like a bird to your mountain,

The Psalmist David is amazed that he is being advised to flee to the mountains.  His refuge is in the Lord, not in the safety of the mountains.  There is no reason to despair when we take refuge in the Lord. The Lord is on His Throne (verse 4), why should David flee?


Psalms 11:2-3 (ESV)

2 for behold, the wicked bend the bow; they have fitted their arrow to the string to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart;
3 if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”

In verses 2-3, David’s advisers warn him that the wicked are seeking to destroy him.  The wicked have destroyed the foundations and there was nothing left that the righteous could do.  Oh, how many times have we heard that!  There is no hope, the world will only get worse, America is to far destroyed to turn back now, it is useless to witness to them, they are too far gone ….

Yet David rebukes his advisers in verse 4.


Psalms 11:4 (ESV) The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven; his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man.

The Lord is on His Throne and in His Temple; essentially, David is saying the Lord is still in charge.  If we today could still remember that the Lord is on His Throne and is ruling the world from there.  There is nothing to fear, the Lord is watching all.  Is not most of our fear and worry due to forgetting that the Lord is in charge of all, even the wicked for destruction? (Proverbs 16:4)

The Lord will hear His own.  But are His own crying out to Him?  (Genesis 18:20, Psalm 88:1)  It would be good to read the whole of Psalms 18, but here are some portions that apply to Psalms 11.

Psalms 18:6-17 (ESV)

6 In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.
7 Then the earth reeled and rocked; the foundations also of the mountains trembled and quaked, because he was angry.
8 Smoke went up from his nostrils, and devouring fire from his mouth; glowing coals flamed forth from him.

12 Out of the brightness before him hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds.
13 The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Most High uttered his voice, hailstones and coals of fire.

16 He sent from on high, he took me; he drew me out of many waters.
17 He rescued me from my strong enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me.

The Lord will hear the cries of the righteous to come in judgment on the wicked and rescue the righteous.


Psalms 11:5 (ESV) The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.

The Lord may test His own but He is still Sovereign and will work all things to the good of His own.  (Romans 8:28)  Yet the wicked and violent should tremble at the wrath and hate from the Lord.  Look at the punishment decreed for the wicked in verse 6.


Psalms 11:6 (ESV) Let him rain coals on the wicked; fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.

This is the same as what Sodom received.  The same as what will be the fate of all who reject the Lord.

Galatians 5:19-21 (ESV)

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,
20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,
21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Revelation 21:8 (ESV) But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”


Psalms 11:7 (ESV) For the Lord is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face.

But the Lord loves those who do righteousness, they shall see His face.

1 John 3:2 (ESV) Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.

1 Corinthians 13:12 (ESV) For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.


We aren’t to flee to the hills but to flee to the Lord.



Share

8 thoughts on “Fleeing to the Lord – Psalm 11

  1. My husband is a pastor and Biblical scholar. He says that this is spiritualizing it — very dangerous.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Mary,

    How am I spiritualizing this Psalm?

    I have taken it as literally as I know, are we not to take refuge in the Lord and not our own schemes or the schemes of man?

    Can we not trust in the Lord who sees all?

    Will the Lord not judge the unrighteous?

    Is the Lord not righteous and the upright shall see His face?

    If taking refuge in the Lord, as instructed in Scripture, is spiritualizing, then I shall spiritualize all the time.

    Berean Wife

  2. Concerning Psalm 11v6, this is how some of it reads in Matthew Henry’s Commentary,

    ‘Very terrible. It is fire, and brimstone, and a horrific tempest, which plainly alludes to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and very fitly, for that destruction was intended for a figure of the vengance of eternal fire, Jude 7.

    If any has commentaries, they are there for refererence. They are not scriptures, but might help in the understanding of the word of God.

    Thanks.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Dora,

    Thanks for sharing that commentary.

    I enjoy using a commentary after I’ve studied a passage often I will find other verses cross referenced or things that had never occurred to me.

    Berean Wife

  3. Is this spiritualizing? I don’t think so because we are living in a different time, and under a different covenant than that found in OT.

    I appreciate that Mary experienced what can only be called culture shock, a new awareness of how depraved our culture has become. Part of me envies the fact that she could be shocked. I often feel I’m beyond it.

    But I know what sin is, and I have prayer, the Scriptures and good Christian fellowship to help me keep my mind and heart headed in the right direction (at least I hope).

    The bottom line is that many people simply cannot pick up and leave. When that is the case, there is no other choice but to take refuge in the Lord and trust in His protection.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Terry,

    We as believers do have so many more advantages compared to Lot. We also have Lot as an example for us. There is much we can learn from Lot but we can in no way hide and think sin will not find us.

    I agree that some may not be able to pick up and leave. But I also think some are called directly to a sinful place to witness, such as Jonah to Nineveh. But woe to the person that takes it lightly or does so on his own strength.

    Berean Wife

Comments are closed.