Monday, 16 May 2011

Psalm 11 - An exposition

This is a Psalm of absolute trust in the secure refuge of the Lord. David is in some trouble and his friends are warning him to quickly flee to the mountains where he can find refuge and safety. This is not a terrible suggestion but David’s reaction to their advice suggest that He should stop trusting in the refuge of the Lord and succumb to human protection and advice. David rejects their suggestion and places supreme confidence in the refuge of the Lord.

There is much to learn from this Psalm; the faithful of old have also secured their future in the refuge of the Lord and God has protected them and brought each of them home to his heavenly Kingdom. Likewise we also ought to possess the same confidence and be willing missionaries unafraid of the arrows of the enemies knowing with full confidence that we are protected and covered by the shield of Yahweh in which no arrows could penetrate.

David begins the Psalm by declaring Vs1 In the LORD I take refuge. If you are in continual danger and are prone to attacks from your enemies, this is a declaration of which you ought to begin your day. In the LORD I take refuge. God is the creator of all things and he is sovereign over all things so it stands to perfect reason that He is stronger than all things and therefore he is the safest and secure of refuge. Who is your enemy? Will they be stronger than God and who is your refuge? Will they be able to defend you better than God? In the negative for God is the absolute defender and protector and He delights in protecting those who trust in him. This is why Jesus could say to His disciples ‘Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God believe also in me’. If God is your fixed refuge then your reaction would be like that of David when your friends tell you to trust in their advise and abandon God’s protection. You will say to them How then can you say to me: “Flee like a bird to the Mountain. vs. 2 For look, the wicked bend their bows; they set their arrows against the strings to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart. Vs 3 When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?”. David’s dangers were imminent and so maybe yours. His enemies are lurking in the shadows waiting eagerly to strike. David is aware of their wicked ways but yet he is firm. His friends are full of worry and in their tender care for David’s life they advise him to flee like a bird to the mountain because the foundations are being destroyed therefore there is nothing the righteous can do but abandon their faith and hope in Jehovah.  But David knows a different God, a God whose foundations can never be shaken, whose foundations is like the sun forever shining in its glory. David knowing the unshakable nature of God’s foundation rebukes his friends for their advice and maintains his stand that In the Lord will I take refuge. When trouble surrounds your soul and all seems to be falling down; your house is shaken, your fear is multiplied, when the cares of this world darkens your day, remember the beauty of His majesty. Remember the sure foundations of His kingdom and heed not to foolish advise from mortal men. Those who trust in the Lord are able to stand firm in the midst of great trials because God’s foundations are never shaken and can never be shaken. Has Christ not triumph over death and has he not taken away the sting of sin.  Christ is the victor and He is the Kyrios.

David is firm of the Lord’s foundations and goes on to declare the uprightness of God’s nature and How he will protect the righteous that is those who make God their refuge. Vs 4 The Lord is in his Holy Temple; the LORD is on his heavenly throne. He observes everyone on earth; his eyes examine them. God sits in Heaven governing the affairs of men and we see sitting at his right Hand his precious Son who died for the saints. Why then should you fear? For Christ is forever interceding for us and it is written that nothing can separate us from Christ and just as Christ is committed to our protection so also is His Father. Did Jesus not say “Neither shall anyone snatch them out of my hand. My Father who has given them to me is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand”, John 10:28-29. You belong to Christ therefore you are secured as surely as the morning will come; do not fear but abide in the safety of His refuge.

It is a terrible and pleasing thing to know that God examines all men and his examination have concluded with one universal result; that is, that all men have fallen short of his glory and there is no one good not even one. All are worthless and deserve death, all are corrupt and wicked. This doctrine of universal depravity being true, yet, there are those who are righteous; that is, those who are trusting in the mercy of Yahweh and counting upon his grace as shown in the death of death that is of the death of his Son. The righteous are those who live by faith and a faithful man is one who makes Yahweh his refuge. If your soul confesses that Jesus is your Lord and Saviour then God delights in observing you for Vs 5 The LORD examines the righteous. This examination is all for your good; the LORD considers your ways and measures up how he may improve your character to be more like His Son. So his major concern is your sanctification; He notices your blemishes and He comes with a tender hand to clean you and wash you. Therefore you have no need to fear of the wrath to come for God has destined you for salvation. But those who are wicked, that is, those not willing to trust in Christ and thus be just and righteous, God examines their ways with a different look. His eyes his set upon them for condemnation and anytime he desires he could immediately let their foot slide and therein they shall enter the misery of his wrath for all eternity. But now while there is breath in them, he pleads with them to forsake their evil ways and come under his refuge, upon the refuge of his cross wherein all the eternal wrath have been absorbed by his Son. If you remain in your sins and do not come to Christ then you are wicked and it is says of the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion. Passion is described as being an intense emotion it is an overpowering emotion which only shows God’s perfect hatred for sin and against those who practise it. And because of this intense hatred which is perfectly just, loving and Holy, Vs. 6 He will rain fiery coals and burning sulphur; a scorching wind will be their lot. God does nothing in half measures, the Just receive in abundance of his divine love and grace likewise the wicked will be punished in the fullness of his wrath. Sodom and Gomorrah, the immoral twin cities were witnesses of the wrath of Jehovah and all perished except those who heed and trusted in Yahweh. History is available to teach us and wise men will be quick to trust and rest in the refuge of the LORD but those who are proud and self seeking, who want to do things their way will find out in the end that the wrath of God is their eternal portion. I wish you not to have this portion so I plea with you to have mercy and glory for your eternal satisfaction. Flee from the wrath to come.

God punishes evil and wicked men because Vs 7 the LORD is righteous, he loves Justice; the upright will see his face. Therefore do not grow weary in doing good, never repay evil with evil but delight in Justice and mercy; delight in the security of the poor and spend your time doing good. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled. You shall be filled with God himself; the whole trinity shall make their dwelling with you. Because the foundations of God is firm forever, what have you to fear oh feeble saint? Do you not know that Him who is with you is greater than all of those who are against you. Do not fear little one for it is your Father’s delight to give you the kingdom. Therefore do not be afraid but declare to the spiritual host of wickedness that Christ is your refuge and your deliverer.

K.Oni

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