Summary: David overcomes fear with faith. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:


(1). What David should do (vs 1)

(2). What the enemy does (vs 2)

(3). What can the righteous do? (vs 3)

(4). What God will do (vs 4-7)



• The year was 1606.

• The Scottish Covenanters were a group of people in Scotland;

• Opposed to the interference of the monarchy in the affairs of the Presbyterian Church.

• They had been hoping and praying that the new king of England;

• Would give them more religious freedom.

• Instead, King James VI took away what freedom they had.

• The foundations of law and order were being shaken and on the verge of collapse.

• In October of that year,

• The new regime had thrown John Welsh and his small group of Covenanters into prison.

• After being summoned to a night time trial,

• The prisoners marched to the court-room singing Psalm 11 from the Scottish Psalter,

• Beginning with the words, "I trust in God."

• Question: Why sing Psalm 11 when many of the Psalms encourage us to trust in God?

• Answer: Because Psalm 11 specifically contains faith's response to fear's counsel.

Psalm 11 comprises faith's reply to fear's advice.

• As you read this short Psalm;

• You soon discover that the psalmist is in danger from the wicked,

• Verse 2 tells us they are stringing their bows and shooting at him,

• These may be literal physical arrows or symbolic images,

• But either way the Psalmist is under attack and in danger;

• Someone is advising him to run away.

• "Fly to the mountains," they say;

• But the psalmist rejects their advice,

• Stating that his true refuge is found in God alone.

This Psalm teaches us we must choose:

• We must choose between fear i.e. walking by sight.

• Or we must choose to trust i.e. walking by faith.

• We must choose between heeding human counsel or divine counsel.


• Two explorers were marching through the jungle;

• When suddenly a ferocious lion jumped in front of them.

• The first explorer whispered;

• "Keep calm, remember what we read in that book on wild animals?

• If you stand perfectly still and look the lion in the eye, he will turn and run."

• The second explorer replied:

• "Sure, you've read the book, and I've read the book. But has the lion read the book?"


• Well you and I are able to read the book – to read this Psalm;

• May God grant us the wisdom to know when and where to advice given in in this Psalm!

Note: There are four parts to Psalm 11.

(1). What David should do? (vs 1):

“In the LORD I take refuge.

How then can you say to me:

“Flee like a bird to your mountain”.

• We do not know what particular crisis was in David's life;

• But by the descriptive language used it was distressing and dangerous one.

• He uses imagery of hidden enemies out to get him!

• He is given advice by his counsellors to flee Jerusalem as soon as he can;

• He should head for the safety of the mountains.


• One of Aesop’s fables;

• Tells of an old man and his son bringing a donkey to the market.

• Passing some people on the way, they hear someone say:

• “Look at that silly pair - walking when they could be riding comfortably.”

• The idea seemed sensible to the old man,

• So he and the boy mounted the donkey and continued on their way.

• Soon they passed another group of people who said:

• “Look at that lazy pair, breaking the back of that poor donkey,

• tiring him so that no one will buy him.”

• The old man slid off, but soon they heard another criticism from a passer-by:

• “What a terrible thing, this old man walking while the boy gets to ride.”

• So they changed places,

• But soon heard people whispering,

• “What a terrible thing, the big strong man riding and making the little boy walk.”

• The old man and the boy pondered the situation;

• And finally continued their journey in yet another manner,

• They decided to carrying the donkey on a pole between them.

• As they crossed the bridge, the donkey broke loose, fell into the river, and drowned.

• Aesop’s moral: You can’t please everyone!


• David did not have to please everyone – he was out to please just one – God;

• And he knew that advice telling him (and his court to flee);

• The verb ‘flee’ is in the plural.

• Was not good advice, it was unwise council and should therefore be rejected!

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