Psalm 11

“In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to my soul, Flee like a bird to your mountain…” (Psalm 11:10

The true meaning of this verse may have been lost in the hymn using the last phrase, “Flee as a Bird.” The song takes the train of thought that the sinner is to flee to their mountain whereas the psalm is suggesting the opposite. Both have a point to make. I will take a look at both of them.

First the hymn. The hymn portrays a situation where one is burdened by sin and cannot find appropriate rest. Flee like a bird suggests leaving the place of sin and doubt and going to the bosom of Christ which in the song would be “your mountain.” There, in your mountain, you will find rest.

Next the psalm. The psalm is David’s way of silencing his critics who want him to run away instead of standing with God. David’s answer is why would you tell me to fly like a bird to hide in the mountains when my refuge is right here with God. Perhaps they are suggesting that God cannot save David or hid him from his enemies.

David makes a strong statement of trust and faith. He says, “The Lord is in His holy temple.” God has not abandoned David. God knows what is going on in the world and he sees what the children of men are doing. David feels secure in knowing that God is present and aware of what is happening. David says I will take my refuge in him. I will not flee to the mountains and hide.

David stays in the presence of God rather than fleeing like a bird. He pictures the enemy as lying in wait, bows, and arrows ready. Why chance the arrows when God is in His temple? David expects God to uphold the righteous. That has been God’s promise, and David is taking advantage of it. Why not hide under the wings of God rather than try your own?

Task for Today: Whatever is in your path don’t run to your own stronghold. Like David, understand that God is in His Temple. As the poet said, God is in His heavens, all’s right with the world.” Trust God for salvation. Let God be your refuge and not the world.

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