A Psalm for the Believer, Today!
I trust in the Lord for protection. So why do you say to me, “Fly like a bird to the mountains for safety! The wicked are stringing their bows and fitting their arrows on the bowstrings. They shoot from the shadows at those whose hearts are right. The foundations of law and order have collapsed. What can the righteous do?”But the Lord is in his holy Temple; the Lord still rules from heaven. He watches everyone closely, examining every person on earth. The Lord examines both the righteous and the wicked. He hates those who love violence. He will rain down blazing coals and burning sulfur on the wicked, punishing them with scorching winds. For the righteous Lord loves justice. The virtuous will see his face. Psalm 11
No matter where you stand concerning our political world today, if you are a believer in Jesus, then this is a Psalm that applies to you. It only takes a cursory look to see that the world is chaotic and tumultuous. Job-loss, sickness, death, violence, looting, suicide, hopelessness…you know, you see it too! Our world’s condition reminds me of pieces of a puzzle thrown randomly onto a table looking desperately for some kind of order to be restored. And this chaos and disorder can easily drive us to become fearful. We can be fearful that the problems the world is facing are just too big. And we can start to believe that God’s hand of protection might not be enough!
David understood his options, he could choose to be afraid of man and the world’s condition, or put his confidence in God. He wrote about this choice in Psalm 11. For many years, David had run from King Saul. We know that David understood he would be King someday. Samuel’s anointing years before had assured him of that fact, but as of yet, he hadn’t seen the outcome of that anointing. He was still patiently waiting to be seated on the throne as king. David was being asked to wait a long time for God to accomplish this work. David’s well-meaning friends were worried about his safety, and so they encouraged him to escape as fast as he could to the mountains. They wanted David to run from Saul, employing the greatest speed he could muster! David’s friends could clearly see that David was in the crosshairs of Saul’s arrow. Their advice for David was to panic, run, and hide!
Now, we can assume these were good friends, but their advice to David was not good, and unintentionally pushed the narrative that David should fear rather than hope and trust in the Lord. David knew he could flee. But he also knew God’s hand alone was enough to protect him, whether he ran or not. So, David leaned heavily into what he knew about God. And in so doing, he proclaimed to his friends, “I trust in the Lord for protection.” David responded to their concerned, yet poor advice by saying, “But the LORD is in his holy Temple; the LORD still rules from heaven. He watches everyone closely, examining every person on earth.” (vs 4) With the Lord, on the throne, David knew he was protected. Proclaiming this truth fortified David’s faith!
Okay, so what does this have to do with us as Christians? Just like David, we can have the assurance that God is in control. The world’s condition has destabilized, causing it to feel unpredictable, scary, and at times disheartening, but we can learn from David’s writing. We can be assured that God has not abdicated his throne; he is still watching out for us!
We have a choice to make. We can choose to be fearful in a world plotting to produce fear, or we can in faith, trust God’s protection. We can watch the news with worry, or we can trust that our God is still on the throne and sovereign overall. Which will it be for you? Fear or faith?
“He (David) would rather dare the danger than exhibit a distrust in the Lord his God.”Charles Spurgeon