Read: Psalm 11:1 – 3; 1 Samuel 26:19 – 20
The specific incident in David’s life to which the Psalm 11 refers is not known, but the circumstances were dire: the wicked had him in their sights and his doom was sure. To make matters worse, not only were the wicked closing in on David, he was being counseled to run for his life, based on the assumption that there was nothing he could do to change his predicament. The 11th century Rabbi Shlomo Itzhaki (Rashi) said the word translated “flee” was the word used by Gentiles to taunt the Jews, as in the plural form it meant “wander” – i.e., flee, and find no rest.
Think About It: What had David decided to do, instead of fleeing from the threat that surrounded him? How are the foundations being destroyed by wicked people even today? What can the righteous person do about it?
Prayer: Lord, help me not to be discouraged by dire circumstances.
Read: Psalm 11:4; 1 Samuel 30:6; Hebrews 11:26 – 28
One of the low points of David’s life is recorded in 1 Samuel 30. His own followers spoke of stoning him because their wives and children had been captured by raiders. At this low point, David encouraged his heart in the Lord. Psalm 11:4 – 7 may be read as a description of what it means to encourage your heart in the Lord. Psalm 11:4 begins with a reminder of where God is.
Think About It: Where does Psalm 11:4 say God is? If the foundations of my life are destroyed, where does that leave God’s house? When it comes to shaking things up, who does the shaking, and who gets shaken, according to Hebrews 11:26 – 28? How can this reminder help me when I find myself in dire circumstances?
Prayer: Lord, I praise You because You are unshakeable.
Read: Psalm 11:4, 7; Psalm 103:9; Daniel 4:35; Psalm 2:4; 1 Samuel 17:26, 45; Psalm 18:6, 14
David encouraged himself by remembering that the Lord’s throne is in heaven. The mention of God’s heavenly throne references important truths about God which are good for those in dire circumstances to remember.
Think About It: What attributes of God, related in each case to a reference to His throne or His temple, are suggested by the following verses:
Psalm 103:19 (application in Daniel 4:35)
Psalm 2:4; (application in 1 Samuel 17:26, 45; 1 Samuel 14:6)
Psalm 18:6, 14
Prayer: Praise God that He is sovereign, omnipotent, aware, and active.
Read: Psalm 11:5, 7; Deuteronomy 12:31: 16:22;Proverbs 6:16 – 19; Isaiah 61:8; Zechariah 8:17
David encouraged himself by remembering what the Lord loves and what the Lord hates. The Lord has strong feelings. David, who was in dire circumstances because of threats from wicked and violent men, was greatly comforted by the fact that God hates the wicked and the lovers of violence.
Think About It: A favorite memory verse for little children is the portion of 1 John 4:16 that says, “God is love.” We rightly emphasize this, but we should not neglect the truth that God also feels hatred. What does God hate according to the Scripture references for today? What does God love? How can God’s feelings of hatred and love be a comfort for me when I find myself in dire circumstances? (Psalm 37:28).
Prayer: Praise the Lord that He hates evil and loves righteousness.
Read: Psalm 11:4, 5; Hebrews 4:13, 12:6
David encouraged himself by remembering what the Lord does. The Lord tests all mankind. The phrase “His eyelids test” may refer to the narrowing of the eyelids that happens when something is placed under close scrutiny – nothing escapes the Lord’s notice. Or “His eyelids test” may refer to the way a person might act if they think that the Lord’s eyes are closed and He doesn’t see what is going on. Then true character is revealed.
Think About It: God even tests the righteous. The Hebrew word translated “test” can also be translated as “to assay.” What is involved in assaying silver or gold? How does the concept of “assaying” help explain the difficulties faced by righteous people?
Prayer: Praise God that He disciplines me like a true child of His.
Read: Psalm 11:5 – 6; Genesis 19:24; Ezekiel 38:22; Psalm 9:16
David encouraged His heart by remembering that not only does God test mankind, He judges the wicked. “Let Him,” in v. 6 may also be translated as “He will” – that is, it may not be just a request, but a prediction of what God will do. God will either rain coals or snares on the wicked – the Hebrew word may be translated either way.
Think About It: What is meant by the cup described in Psalm 11:6 (see Isaiah 51:17; Jeremiah 25:15; Revelation 14:10, 16:19)? Who must drink from this cup? How can I escape God’s wrath (Romans 5:9)?
Prayer: Thank God for the way of escape provided by the shed blood of Christ.
Read: Psalm 11:7; Exodus 33:18; Psalm 17:15; 140:13; 1 John 3:2; Revelation 22:4
David encouraged his heart in the Lord by remembering that God rewards the righteous.
Think About It: How does David describe the reward of the righteous in Psalm 11:7? What are some other types of reward that await the righteous (e.g. John 14:2)? Is the reward described in Psalm 11:7 the greatest reward of the righteous? Summarize the things in Psalm 11 that describe how I can encourage my heart in the Lord.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, may I see You face to face!