It’s Psalm 11 today and our notes have been supplied by Marina.
In contrast to yesterday’s Psalm, today we have a Psalmist who sees things from the right perspective. His first line is confident, he knows who God is and he knows where he needs to be. He is humble, he makes no demands on God, he is more than happy just to take refuge in his all- powerful Lord. He is incredulous when he is told that he should flee. What better place could there be?
I’d like to say that is a picture of my own life but unfortunately it isn’t. Like most of us I assume, we know the theory that God is our place of refuge we can even quote the verses that tell us that God is our stronghold in times of trouble but I’m sure, that like me, many of us try to make our own refuge in times of trouble. I often find that while life is going well and everything is ticking over as it should then I’m happy to say God is my refuge and I know that he has everything under control and at these times I find it hard to understand how anyone could possibly doubt. But life has a way of not always going to plan and when things happen that are beyond my control I feel the need to take charge, make my own plans and sort things out myself. When you look back you see the mess you could have made of things if God hadn’t graciously stepped in. It’s then you realise just how powerful and loving God is.
The sad thing is that so few of us have the confidence of the Psalmist. He has obviously had many trials and battles and he is being warned that ‘wicked men bend their bows’ against him. I doubt that many of us have faced these physical slings and arrows but many people face trials every day. Some move from one disastrous relationship to another looking for security or acceptance. Others face problems with debt, alcohol or drugs. Yet the Psalmist makes it clear that the Lord’s eyes watches over us. The Bible is clear that God loves us, cares for us and God will protect us. We are told that His name is a strong tower but so often we forget all this and rely on our own strength. I think we can all take comfort from the way the Lord dealt with Peter who showed great trust in the Lord when he stepped out of the boat but as the waves surged around him he started to panic. Perhaps he tried to swim, use his arms for balance or kick out his legs against the waves. Whatever he did we know that he was trying to save himself or change his circumstances but ultimately it was the hand of Jesus that saved him. Jesus himself told the story of the two builders. One built his house on sand, no foundations, no security against storms. The other built his house on the rock, safe and secure against any storm. Jesus describes himself as that rock. Today’s Psalmist knew this truth and built his own life on the promises of God. God is gracious and he lifts us when we fall but I think the message we can take from the Psalm is- we can be safe and secure in God’s unfailing love in all circumstances when we put our trust in him.
My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
No merit of my own I claim
but wholly trust in Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand.
All other ground is sinking sand