Psalms 11

For the director of music. Of David.

1 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 everyone on earth; his eyes examine them.
5 The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion.
6 On the wicked he will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a scorching wind will be their lot.
7 For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see 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 20

  • 1. S Psalms 7:1; Psalms 56:11
  • 2. S Genesis 14:10
  • 3. Psalms 50:11
  • 4. S 2 Samuel 22:35
  • 5. S Psalms 7:13; S Psalms 58:7
  • 6. Psalms 10:8
  • 7. S Job 33:3; Psalms 7:10; Psalms 64:3-4
  • 8. Psalms 18:15; Psalms 82:5; Isaiah 24:18
  • 9. S 1 Kings 8:48; Psalms 18:6; Psalms 27:4; John 2:7; Micah 1:2; Habakkuk 2:20
  • 10. S 2 Chronicles 6:18; S Psalms 9:7; Matthew 5:34; Matthew 23:22; S Revelation 4:2; Psalms 103:19
  • 11. Proverbs 15:3; Psalms 33:13
  • 12. Psalms 33:18; Psalms 66:7; Psalms 34:15-16
  • 13. S Deuteronomy 7:13; S Job 23:10; Genesis 22:1; James 1:12
  • 14. S Job 28:28; Psalms 5:5; Psalms 45:7; Isaiah 1:14
  • 15. S Genesis 19:24; S Revelation 9:17; Ezekiel 38:22
  • 16. S Genesis 41:6; S Job 1:19; Jeremiah 4:11-12
  • 17. S 2 Chronicles 12:6; S Ezra 9:15; 2 Timothy 4:8; Psalms 7:9,11; Psalms 45:7
  • 18. S Psalms 9:8; Psalms 33:5; Psalms 99:4; Isaiah 28:17; Isaiah 30:18; Isaiah 56:1; Isaiah 61:8; Jeremiah 9:24
  • 19. S Job 1:1; Luke 23:50
  • 20. Psalms 17:15; Psalms 140:13

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

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