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What are the paths of the sea?
David Visited by Jonathon
Mary, Queen of Scots & Ps. 11
Ps. 19 ahead of science
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Luther song based on Ps. 46
Ps. 51 a favorite of John Bunyan
Ps. 84 sung by martyrs
Hymns Inspired by Psalm 100
The Priest King
Who was Melchizedek?
The Hound from Heaven
Francis Thompson
 
 
 
 
 

Book of Psalms
 

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15
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Psalm 11


To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

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.


Bible Commentary
1
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
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
3 It 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 do?"  When 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 myrmidons.2
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 afflictions.2 Let 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 God.3
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
7 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 
3
Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible - http://bible.crosswalk.com/Commentaries
4.  Jamieson, Fausset, Brown - Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible- http://bible.crosswalk.com/Commentaries
5.  John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible - http://bible.crosswalk.com/Commentaries
6Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary Vol. 3 pgs 657, 658
7. 
Psalm 11: Confidence in God's Power by Jason Dulle -
http://www.apostolic.net/biblicalstudies/psalm11.htm
8.  Absolute Confidence by Dr. Tony Ash -
http://www.heartlight.org/articles/200301/20030112_psalm11.html

 

 

Learn More About ...
 
Psalm 11
David Visited by Jonathon
Psalm about Decision Making
Mary Queen of Scots
Psalms Trivia

 

 

Music for Psalm 11

An audio clip for Psalm 11 is currently unavailable. This song was composed in 2004 and may be recorded in a future Psalms 11-20 album. Click on image to listen to other songs from the Bible in Song collection.
 

 

 

David Visited by Jonathon

A fugitive in the Wilderness of Ziph, David was encouraged by an unexpected visit from Jonathan.  The two men freely talked together and "made a covenant before the Lord (1 Sam. 23:16-18).  After this visit David sang Psalm 11.6
 

 

Structure of Psalm 11

1. The Psalmist states His trust in YHWH and the advice of the Fearful Righteous (1-3).
Expression of trust in YHWH (1a).
The Fearful’s advice to flee (1b).
The Fearful rehearse the activity of the Wicked (2).
The Fearful express their concern for the fate of the Righteous (3).

2. The Psalmist explicates the reasons he trusts in YHWH (4-7).
YHWH is in heaven beholding all that is going on (4).
YHWH is aware of who the Righteous and Wicked are, and He hates the wicked (5).
The Psalmist expresses his desire for the judgment of the Wicked (6).
The character of YHWH is called upon to substantiate David’s claims (7a)

3. The Psalmist states the outcome of the fate of the Righteous—they will behold God’s face (7b).7

 

 

Psalm about Decision Making

This is a psalm about decision making, but the decision is no ordinary one. The author is facing dire, even life-threatening, circumstances. The threat is near, and the danger was so great advisers were urging the writer to flee for his own safety. He refuses, announcing in bold terms his faith in a righteous God who was aware of the evil intents of his adversaries. This all knowing God would assuredly bring judgment on wicked and violent oppressors, because he is a God of perfectly righteous judgment. In the first line the author forcefully declares his faith. This is set against the counsel of flight in the rest of verses 1 and 2. Verse 3 indicates the disasterous consequences if the assassins were to succeed. Verses 4-7 give the writer’s reason for refusing to flee. He will stay and trust God to deal with the crisis. The last verse (7) rings out the confidence in God which underlies the psalmist’s decision.8
 

 

Psalm 11 in Hebrew

The Hebrew of this short psalm is vivid, forceful, and direct; in it, assonance is freely used, and dominating vowel sounds at the close of the verses varying from verse to verse.6
 

 

Mary, Queen of Scots

It is said that Mary, Queen of Scots, recited Ps. 11 while kneeling at the scaffold awaiting execution.  In the hour of trial we may likewise express our trust in God.6
 

 

Psalms Song Category

The Psalms Song Category is a great starting point for searching the songs which make up this music category. The song category page contains Daily Scriptures and easy links to song previews and song pages. The song pages include interesting background information and commentary about the songs and the Bible author. Sometimes there are links to related web pages including Bible Quotes, Sermons, Music samples, and Bible Puzzles.
 




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