Summary: David overcomes fear with faith. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
(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!