King James Version
1 In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?
2 For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart.
3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?
4 The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD's throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.
5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.
6 Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.
7 For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.
When he penned this Psalm David was under persecution from Saul, who
sought his life, and hunted him ‘as a partridge upon the mountains.'
His timid friends were alarmed for his safety, and recommended him
to flee to some mountain where he had a hiding place, and thus to
conceal himself from the rage of Saul. But David, being strong in
faith, spurned the idea of resorting to any such pusillanimous
expedients, and determined confidently to repose his trust in God."2
The faint-hearted friends of David say "Observe how the wicked bend
their bow and make ready their arrows so that they may treacherously
surprise him with secret ambushes."2,3,4
“The uprightness of thy heart will not be thy security.’’2
was equally correct that the very foundations of law and justice
were destroyed under Saul's unrighteous government: but what were
all these things to the man whose trust was in God alone? He could
brave the dangers, could escape the enemies, and defy the injustice
which surrounded him. His answer to the question, "What can the
righteous do?" would be the counter question, "What cannot they
prayer engages God on our side, and when faith secures the
fulfilment of the promise, what cause can there be for flight,
however cruel and mighty our enemies? With a sling and a stone,
David had smitten a giant before whom the whole hosts of Israel were
trembling, and the Lord, who delivered him from the uncircumcised
Philistine, could surely deliver him from King Saul and his
4 David here declares the great source of his unflinching
courage. Jehovah's throne is in the heavens; he reigns supreme.
Nothing can be done in heaven, or earth, which he doth not ordain
and overrule. He is the world's great Emperor. Wherefore, then,
should we flee? If we trust this King of kings, is not this enough?
Cannot he deliver us without our cowardly retreat? The eternal
Watcher never slumbers; his eyes never know a sleep. His eyelids try
the children of men: he narrowly inspects their actions, words, and
thoughts. God sees us always; he never removes his eye from us. He
pries into the reasons, the motives, the ends of all your actions.
My danger is not hid from him; he knows my extremity, and I may rest
assured that he will not suffer me to perish while I rely alone on
him. Wherefore, then, should I take wings of a timid bird, and flee
from the dangers which beset me?2
5 The Lord trieth the righteous: he doth not hate them, but
only tries or chastens them.2,5
They are precious to him, and therefore he refines them with
not that therefore shake our foundations nor discourage our hope and
trust in God.3
Persecution is a Christian's touchstone, it is a lapis lydius that
will try what metal men are made of, whether they be silver or tin,
gold or dross, wheat or chaff, shadow or substance, carnal or
spiritual, sincere or hypocritical.
But the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth: why, then, shall I flee from these
wicked men? If God hateth them, I will not fear them.2 The
persecutors and oppressors may prosper and prevail awhile, however
they now lie under, and will for ever perish under, the wrath of
6 The punishment of the wicked is described by vivid figures
denoting abundant, sudden, furious, and utter destruction.4
Snares or grievous plagues or judgments will rain down on the wicked
when least expected.5
Sodom and Gomorrah perished by a fiery hail, and by a brimstone
shower from heaven; so shall all the ungodly.2
The psalmist here seems to speak not so much of present calamities,
as of eternal punishments. This is their portion, and as it were the
meat and drink appointed them by God.5
The delightful contrast of the last verse is well worthy of our
observation, and it affords another overwhelming reason why we
should be stedfast, unmoveable, not carried away with fear, or led
to adopt carnal expedients in order to avoid trial.2
Jehovah is a righteous God, and therefore loves righteousness
wherever he finds it and pleads the cause of the righteous that are
injured and oppressed; he delights to execute judgment for them, Ps.
103:6. He, like a tender father, looks upon them with pleasure, and
they, like dutiful children, are pleased and abundantly satisfied
with his smiles. They walk in the light of the Lord.3
References and notes
1. Authorized King James Version
2. Charles H. Spurgeon, "The Treasury of David" - http://bible.crosswalk.com/Commentaries
Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible
4. Jamieson, Fausset, Brown - Commentary
Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible- http://bible.crosswalk.com/Commentaries
John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible -
Adventist Bible Commentary Vol. 3 pgs 657, 658
Psalm 11: Confidence in God's Power
by Jason Dulle -
Dr. Tony Ash -