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Psalm chapter 11

What does Psalm chapter 11 mean?

Psalm 11 does not have a clear context. It's possible that David wrote this while threatened by the forces of king Saul (Psalm 18). Another possibility is that this was part of his reaction to the rebellion of his son, Absalom (Psalm 3). The general theme is that godly people can trust the Lord, so they should stand firm against evil. If God-honoring authority is lost, there is nothing more good people can do.

The opening lines of the psalm are a rhetorical question. Whether through the advice of his counselors, or his own fear, David is being tempted to flee in terror. His response, in essence, is to say, "how could I do that?" David realizes that godly authority—in this case, his role as king—cannot be lost without catastrophic consequences. The third verse of this psalm has been applied to everything from culture, to family, to government, and even to personal faith. If the most crucial, important building blocks are dissolved, there simply is nothing to be done to avoid disaster (Psalm 11:1–3).

Contrasting the urge to run away, David celebrates the fact that God is sovereign and aware of everything. He knows that God cares deeply for His people and for righteousness. The psalm closes with David's prayer for God's judgment to fall on evil people and a hopeful anticipation of one day seeing the face of God (Psalm 11:4–7).
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