BITE: Advice from Those Who Care…

​ In the Lord I take refuge;
how can you say to my soul,
“Flee like a bird to your mountain,
  for behold, the wicked bend the bow;
they have fitted their arrow to the string
to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart;
  if the foundations are destroyed,
what can the righteous do?” Psalms 11:1-3 [ESV]

On to chapter 11. The title of this Psalm is “To the choirmaster. Of David” and it comes in two parts: 1) The psalm is submitted to the choirmaster but 2) it is a Psalm of David. One way to understand this psalm is to see David as the author, who consults his counselors about a critical situation that endangers his kingdom and life. However, the psalm also offers a guide for us who face similar situations of danger and temptation to run away.

These first 3 verses lay out what David’s military and court advisors are suggesting David to -> essentially “Run for the hills and find the high ground where there is an advantage”. However, this chapter starts out with David’s answer; It is in the LORD that he takes refuge. David’s advisors end with a rhetorical question that suggests that flight is the only recourse when the foundations are being destroyed. The foundations here are likely those of society, and probably suggest a disintegration of those institutions that maintain social order, protect virtue and fend off evil. To the advisors, in other words, it looks as if the wicked have gained the upper hand and the righteous have no alternative but to leave and seek protection.

But we know what David’s answer is – Let the Lord deal with his enemies. I don’t think that this is suggesting an irresponsible approach to protecting oneself; even Paul fled cities where he knew he was being hunted. What I think it means is that we should never lose the belief that God is above all things including the most evil and violence seeking of humanity.

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