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TRUST!  DON’T FLEE!  TRUST!!!

Psalm 11

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.      Every child of God has his enemies that he must face.

1.       Some of the enemies are weak and easily defeated.

2.       Others are extremely powerful and can cause fear to swell in the heart of the Christian.

 

B.      David knew about such enemies and wrote about them often in the psalms.

1.       There were two occasions when he fled from his enemies.

a.       When Saul sought his life.

b.       When Absalom attempted to seize the throne.

2.       Fleeing, however, is not the appropriate response of the faithful child of God.  Why?  The answer is found in Psalm 11.

 

C.      We have entitled this psalm:  “Trust!  Don’t Flee! Trust!!!”

1.       Roy Deaver entitled the psalm:  “The Answer of Faith to the Counsel of Fear.”

2.       Another title could be:  “The Lord Is in His Holy Temple.”

 

I.                   THE PSALMIST’S ANCHOR (Ps. 11:1)

 

In the Lord put I my trust…

 

A.      Simply, the word trust means “confide in.”

 

B.      It also means to flee to for protection, to seek refuge.  David’s refuge was in the Lord. 

 

C.      David’s advisors knew the enemy was powerful and knew the enemy was near. 

1.       Some of them would give counsel, saying:  “Flee as a bird to your mountain.”

2.       To them, the only safe course was to escape from the city and into the rocks, crevices, and caves of the mountains.

 

D.     David’s refuge, however, was not in the mountains.  It was in God.  Thus, he responds saying:  “In the Lord put I my trust:  how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?”

 

II.                THE WICKED’S AFFLICTION (Ps. 11:2-3)

 

A.      David’s enemies are described (Ps. 11:2).

 

For lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privly shoot at the upright in heart.

 

1.       Four descriptions of the enemy:

a.       Wicked:  morally bankrupt, actively bad people, criminals, hostile toward God, and guilty of sin

b.       Dangerous weapons:  the bow and arrow was a weapon designed to damage and kill

c.        Active:  they bend the bow and make ready the arrow

d.       They are subtle:  they shoot their arrows privily

2.       Their target is the upright in heart.  The upright are the straight, the right, and the correct.

 

B.      David’s enemies create doubt (Ps. 11:3).

 

If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?

 

1.       The foundations of a kingdom are the basis, the support, and the stay upon which it rests.

2.       The foundations could involve several things:

a.       The physical structures:  crumbling walls, opened gates, access to the palace, overtaking the temple, or securing the arsenal

b.       The king’s advisors:  secretaries, financial advisers, priest, prophets, close friends, and family

c.        Key components:  God, truth, justice, righteousness, honesty, honor

3.       The enemy wanted David to believe that the foundations of his nation had been destroyed.

a.       The enemy had torn the foundations down.  The foundations were broken down, in ruin, and broken into pieces.

b.       In such cases, the question is:  “What can the righteous do?

1)      They should flee.

2)      They should surrender.

3)      They should cease their struggle against the enemy.

4.       The enemy wants God’s children to believe that all is lost.  He wants him to believe that there is no hop.  He wants him to believe that the foundations have been destroyed and there is nothing he can do.

 

III.             THE FAITHFUL’S ASSURANCES (Ps. 11:4-7)

 

A.      God’s Control (Ps. 11:4a)

 

The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven…

 

1.       Note that the psalmist does not have his eye on the enemy.  He has he eyes upon God. 

a.       Too often, we only see that which is near and immediate.

b.       Faith’s focus is removed from these things.  Faith looks into the heavens and sees God.

2.       God is sitting upon his throne in heaven.

a.       He is the ultimate authority.

b.       To Him, all men must bow.

1)      False teachers will bow before Him.

2)      Skeptics will bow before Him.

3)      The immoral will bow before Him.

4)      Death will bow before Him.

 

B.      God’s Concern (Ps. 11:4b)

 

…his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.

 

1.       When men look intently upon something, they squint their eyes to see as closely as possible.

2.       God in like manner is looking, examining, scrutinizing, and investigating the affairs of men.

3.       Examples:

a.       God knew when Hagar had been cast out (Gen. 16:7)

 

And the angel of the Lord found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way.

 

b.       God knew Elijah was hidden within a cave (I Kings 19:9).

 

And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here Elijah?

 

c.        God saw Paul in the city of Corinth (Acts 18:9-10).

 

Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not they peace:  for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee:  for I have much people in this city.

 

4.       God sees us as our enemies surrounding us and seeking to overcome us.  He is aware of our plight.  He is deeply concerned about our well-being.

 

 

C.      God’s Involvement (Ps. 11:5a)

 

The Lord trieth the righteous…

 

1.       Trials are designed to prove us.

a.       They make us more dependent upon God.

b.       They cause us to be smarter and stronger.

c.        They enable us to be more useful in the service of God now and in the future.

2.       This type of knowledge causes the righteous to embrace the trial (I Pet. 1:7).

 

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

 

D.     God’s Opposition (Ps. 11:5b)

 

…but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.

 

1.       God has no tolerance for the wicked.

2.       The text says He hates them.

a.       The definition of the word hate is “hate.”

b.       God has righteous indignation toward them because of the sins they have committed against Him and against His people.

 

E.      God’s Punishment (Ps. 11:6)

 

Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible temptest:  this shall be the portion of their cup.

 

1.       God’s anger boils over into action.

2.       Notice, He rains “snares, fire and brimstone.”

a.       The wrath of God comes upon the wicked like a thunderstorm.

b.       There is no escaping the punishment that He sends upon them.

3.       The words “horrible tempest” expand upon God’s anger.

a.       Horrible means “burning” or “raging.”

b.       Tempest is defined as “temper” or “anger.”

c.        God’s anger burns deep as He strikes vengeance upon the enemy.

4.       This is the portion of their cup.

a.       This cup includes only the wrath of God.

b.       There is no admixture of tender mercy or grace or forgiveness found therein.

 

F.      God loves the righteous (Ps. 11:7)

 

For the righteous Lord loveth the righteous; his countenance doth behold the upright.

 

1.       God has a loving affection for the righteous.  He especially loves those who love Him.

2.       His countenance, His face, or His presence beholds the upright.

a.       He never turns away from them.

b.       He is always watching and concerned about them.

c.        Ultimately, He will cause them to triumph over their enemies.

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.      Faith is that which conquers the fear of one’s enemy.

1.       Fear sees that which is near.  Faith sees into the distance places of heaven wherein God dwells.

2.       Fear looks upon the enemy.  Faith sees the Lord in His holy temple.

3.       Fear concentrates upon a seeming reality, defeat.  Faith focuses upon the ultimate reality, victory.

4.       Fear is wrapped up in the physical.  Faith engulfs itself in the spiritual.

 

B.      When our faith conquers our fears, we, too, will say:  In the Lord put I my trust:  how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?