Daily Fiber
for the soul

by Edward E. Thomason

PSALM 11
SLICE ONE: LEARNING
(feed your head)

The "crust" of the matter:
This Psalm is known as the "Song of the Steadfast." It is about a faith in God that is unwavering in times of injustice and persecution.

Ingredients this serving:
Ps 11:1-2 Trust the Lord when it seems there is no where to hide
Ps 11:3-4 Trust the Lord when it seems there is no foundation upon which to hope
PS 11:5-7 Trust the Lord that justice will eventually prevail.

Fly to your mountain of faith

Lesson: Some have suggested that this Psalm was written while David served in the court of Saul. That his enemies in the disguise of friends were advising him to flee as a bird to the mountains for safety from Saul. It is suggested that the anger of David is a response to the timeliness of such advice. It would make him appear to be a coward before his enemies and show a lack of trust in God.

A second view of this Psalm is that David was not being advised to literally flee as a bird to the mountains, but being mocked 

by his enemies because of his trust in God. They were mocking his trust in God by telling him to flee to his mountain (to his God) for refuge. Davidís anger at such advice was not that it was the wrong advice but that it was given in mockery. He knew his enemies were trying to place an arrow through his heart by attacking the foundation on which he stood - namely his trust in the Lord!

Psalm 11:1-2 In the Lord put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain? 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.

Comments to munch on:
David begins this Psalm with a grand statement of his abiding confidence in the Lord. It expresses a determination not to move away from this foundation no matter how fearful his circumstances might become.

It is true that Saul eventually hunted David like a pigeon that had flown to the mountains. But if, as suggested by some, his enemies are advising him or his own inner voice is advising him to cowardly hide and place his trust in himself or others rather than the Lord, David shows great resolve and courage. The Lord alone is our rock and shelter, our shield and defender. A man of God and personal integrity will not cower or show a lack of character in the face of adversity. If on the hand, Davidís faith is being mocked by his enemies, he does not allow such taunts to discourage him nor undermine his steadfast faith in the Lord.

1. If someone mocks your faith today, how does it make you feel? Discuss some ways that people today might try to undermine your trust and confidence in God by mocking you. Are there times when your own sense of prudence says that you should trust more in yourself or 

 



material things than in God? Can the world have a persuasive effect in trying to get us to trust less in God and more in the material things of life? Discuss as time permits.
2. Discuss the need to be courageous when others would persuade you to cower in the face of an enemy and show a lack of character and faith. Can the surprise attack of an enemy, in the dark, behind oneís back, undermine oneís faith? Does it seem like the courageous are often alone in their struggle? Why?

Look toward your 
Holy Temple

Lesson: Psalm 11:3-4 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord's throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.

Comments to munch on:
When the foundations of a righteous government (justice and truth) no longer exist, what can the righteous do? Prudence says "abandon the ship." David had experienced great injustice by the hand of a wicked King. The throne of government and its power had turned against him. When the law of the land does not preserve and rescue the righteous, what will become of them? The answer is simple: There is nothing that they can do except keep trusting in the Lord. While nations rise and fall and economies plunge and recover, there is only one lasting and stable foundation upon which to build a life with lasting security - and that is upon the Lord. What ever happens in this world, we can be assured that He is still on his throne in heaven. He is still our sovereign King watching over us!


1. Discuss how reassuring it is at times in your life to know that God has not been moved off of his throne and that he still rules and overrules in the affairs of men?
2. Discuss how reassuring this would be for someone facing persecution or even death for their faith. Can you see why this Psalm has been known as the "song of the steadfast" down through the ages?

Remember your righteous Lord

Comments to munch on:
Ps 11:5-7 The Lord trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and
brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup. For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.

Comments to munch on:David understands that the Lord tries or tests the righteous. The story of Abraham and Isaac is testimony to that fact. Therefore it should not be a surprise or disheartening thing to feel that oneís faith is being tested at times. 

Henry Smith wrote:
"Since we are not in paradise, but in the wilderness, we must look for one trouble after another. As a bear came to David after a lion, and a giant after a bear, and a king after a giant, and Philistines after a king, so, when believers have fought with poverty, they shall fight with envy; when they have fought with envy, they shall fight with infamy; when they have 




fought with infamy, they shall fight with sickness; they shall be like a laborer who is never out of work."

But David also remembered the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in the days of Abraham and Lot. And he knew that Godís wrath will eventually pour out upon the wicked and cowardly of this world. (Hebrews 4:13)

1. Discuss some of the snares that God rains upon the wicked. (i.e., Wealth, etc.)

SLICE TWO: LIVING
(nourish your soul)

1. The advice of a coward or the sneer of insolence can both be answered by only one thing - and that is a steadfast faith!
2. If all material and earthly things fail, what can we do? The answer is again simple: "We can suffer joyfully, hope cheerfully, wait patiently, pray earnestly, believe confidently, and triumph finally."

A FEW MORE CRUMBS
(fragments overlooked)


Lesson:
The heart that steadfastly trusts in the Lord in the face of adversity or ridicule shall have lasting peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 a friend
 to attend
 Bible Class
 with you
 next week?

Edward Thomason - copyright © 2000