Today’s passage: Psalm 11
Today’s chocolate: Equal Exchange Dark Chocolate Mint Crunch
Psalm 11 appears to be a response from David to an unseen second party. This second party, whose words are related in the first three verses of the psalm, is urging David to flee the threat of wicked men. “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (3) asks this person. He exhorts David to preserve his life and hide in the mountains.
David certainly spent a period of his life on the run and in hiding, chased by a jealous King Saul. But to Psalm 11’s off-camera critic, he offers a reminder: “The Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven” (4). What does it mean that the Lord’s throne is in heaven? It means that he rules from a vantage point where he can see everything. The wicked, who are alleged to strike at the righteous from the dark (2), do not escape God’s notice. He will rain snares, fire, brimstone, and burning wind on them (6), judging them for their evil actions. Invisible Sky King always has the higher ground, and those who do evil make themselves his enemies.
Meanwhile, David states: “The Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; the upright will behold His face” (7). That’s the reward for not stooping to the wicked man’s violence: God’s presence. Not financial prosperity, material possessions, not even a guarantee of freedom from pain or sorrow. Just refuge with God, the right to an audience with the Invisible Sky King himself. That’s it.
It’s safe to say that Psalm 11 speaks from a place of orientation. But the second party urging David to flee could easily be imagined as a disoriented David, perhaps the David of Psalm 5 or 10. And while everything David writes in this psalm may well be true, its context in the psalms as a whole reminds us that when evil comes knocking, we’re not always as confident as we’d like to be.