Psalms 11

Listen to Psalms 11
1 In the LORD I take refuge; how can you say to my soul, 1"Flee like a bird to your mountain,
2 for behold, the wicked 2bend the bow; 3they have fitted their arrow to the string to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart;
3 if 4the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?"[a]
4 5The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD's 6throne is in heaven; his eyes see, his eyelids 7test the children of man.
5 The LORD 8tests the righteous, but 9his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.
6 Let him rain coals on the wicked; 10fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be 11the portion of their cup.
7 For the LORD is righteous; he 12loves righteous deeds; 13the upright shall behold his face.

Psalms 11 Commentary

Chapter 11

David's struggle with, and triumph over a strong temptation to distrust God, and betake himself to indirect means for his own safety, in a time of danger.

- Those that truly fear God and serve him, are welcome to put their trust in him. The psalmist, before he gives an account of his temptation to distrust God, records his resolution to trust in Him, as that by which he was resolved to live and die. The believer, though not terrified by his enemies, may be tempted, by the fears of his friends, to desert his post, or neglect his work. They perceive his danger, but not his security; they give him counsel that savours of worldly policy, rather than of heavenly wisdom. The principles of religion are the foundations on which the faith and hope of the righteous are built. We are concerned to hold these fast against all temptations to unbelief; for believers would be undone, if they had not God to go to, God to trust in, and future bliss to hope for. The prosperity of wicked people in their wicked, evil ways, and the straits and distresses which the best men are sometimes brought into, tried David's faith. We need not say, Who shall go up to heaven, to fetch us thence a God to trust in? The word is nigh us, and God in the word; his Spirit is in his saints, those living temples, and the Lord is that Spirit. This God governs the world. We may know what men seem to be, but God knows what they are, as the refiner knows the value of gold when he has tried it. God is said to try with his eyes, because he cannot err, or be imposed upon. If he afflicts good people, it is for their trial, therefore for their good. However persecutors and oppressors may prosper awhile, they will for ever perish. God is a holy God, and therefore hates them. He is a righteous Judge, and will therefore punish them. In what a horrible tempest are the wicked hurried away at death! Every man has the portion of his cup assigned him. Impenitent sinner, mark your doom! The last call to repentance is about to be addressed to you, judgement is at hand; through the gloomy shade of death you pass into the region of eternal wrath. Hasten then, O sinner, to the cross of Christ. How stands the case between God and our souls? Is Christ our hope, our consolation, our security? Then, not otherwise, will the soul be carried through all its difficulties and conflicts.

Cross References 13

  • 1. [1 Samuel 23:14, 19; 1 Samuel 24:2; 1 Samuel 26:19, 20]
  • 2. Psalms 7:12; Psalms 64:4; [Jeremiah 9:3]
  • 3. Psalms 21:12; Psalms 58:7; See Psalms 7:10
  • 4. Psalms 82:5; Ezekiel 30:4
  • 5. Psalms 18:6; Micah 1:2; Habakkuk 2:20
  • 6. Psalms 2:4; Isaiah 66:1; Matthew 5:34; Matthew 23:22; Acts 7:49
  • 7. See Job 23:10
  • 8. Genesis 22:1; James 1:12
  • 9. Psalms 5:5
  • 10. Genesis 19:24; Job 18:15; Ezekiel 38:22
  • 11. Psalms 75:8; [Job 21:20]
  • 12. See Psalms 33:5
  • 13. [Psalms 17:15; Psalms 140:13; 1 John 3:2; Revelation 22:4]

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or for the foundations will be destroyed; what has the righteous done?

Chapter Summary

To the chief Musician upon Sheminith, a Psalm of David. The word "sheminith" is used in the title of Psalm 6:1, and signifies "eighth"; and intends either the eighth note, to which the psalm was sung, or rather the harp of eight chords, to which it was set, as the Targum and Jarchi interpret it. Some Jewish writers {y} understand it of the times of the Messiah; and the Syriac version entitles the psalm, "an accusation of the wicked, and a prophecy concerning the coming of the Messiah:" and the Arabic version says, it is concerning the end of the world, which shall be in the eighth day; and concerning the coming of the Messiah: but Arnobius interprets it of the Lord's day.

{y} Sepher Lekach Shechachah apud Caphtor, fol. 64. 1. & Ceseph Misnah in Maimon. Hilch. Teshuvah, c. 9.

Psalms 11 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.