Psalm 11

The Psalms

Psalm 11
Taking refuge in the LORD

Psalms index

Psalm 11 (NIV)

1 For the director of music. Of David.

In the LORD I take refuge. How then can you say to me: “Flee like a bird to your mountain. 2 For look, the wicked bend their bows; they set their arrows against the strings to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart. 3 When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?”

4 The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD is on his heavenly throne. He observes the sons of men; his eyes examine them. 5 The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates. 6 On the wicked he will rain fiery coals and burning sulphur; a scorching wind will be their lot .

7 For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face.


Psalm 11 – Taking refuge in the LORD

Like so many small Psalms, this one makes a huge impact if we take it to heart. The Holy Spirit brings big blessing from small phrases in the Bible. Think of a few: ‘Help, LORD’; ‘Save, Lord’; ‘Look and live’; ‘Lord, remember me’; ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner’; ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved’. There are many others. Never underestimate what great good can come from small portions or small phrases of God’s word. It is the infallible and perfect word of wise and holy God.

(Verses 1-3) David’s starting point is, ‘In the LORD I take refuge.’ The tombstone of John Berridge, vicar of Everton, near Bedford, reveals that Berridge was born in 1716, ordained in 1744, served as a curate from 1745 to 1755, was vicar of Everton from 1755-93, when he died. There is nothing strange there. But, although religious, he did not realise until 1756 that Jesus died for him, to be judged for him and for his sins, and rose again to enter his life to save and forgive him. In 1756 he repented of his sin to ask Christ into his life. Earlier, he thought that being religious would save him. His tombstone says he, Lived proudly on faith and works for salvation till 1754 .’ But against 1756 that tombstone says:Fled to Jesus alone for refuge.’ He found his refuge in faith in Jesus Christ. He then had a blessed impact on people. To be saved and forgiven you must take refuge alone in Jesus. No-one is saved by being ‘churchy’ or religious. Even a church vicar can only be saved, if he repents and takes ‘refuge’ in Jesus alone. David’s ‘refuge’ is in God, so he refuses to fly away, like a scared bird, when enemies oppose him. David asks, ‘When the foundations are being destroyed what can the righteous do?‘ Half of the answer has already been given. Make sure your refuge is in the Lord. Trust in Him alone.

(Verses 4-6) The rest of the reply to David’s question follows: The LORD is holy, He is in place, and He rules. He sees and examines all men. He knows those who trust in Him and so are counted ‘righteous’ and live accordingly. He knows and hates wickedness (or sin) and violence. God will judge and punish severely with his burning holy fire, all those committing sin unless they repent, yield to Him, and trust in Him.

(Verse 7) The second reason why those who turn from sin to God, through Christ, need fear neither wicked opposition, nor God’s judgment is, ‘The LORD is righteous, He loves justice.’ If you know Jesus, God now sees you as ‘upright’ and You will ‘see His face’ in blessing now, and then in Heaven forever. Is your refuge in Jesus?