What does Psalms 11 mean?
Chapter Commentary:
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).
Verse Context:
Psalm 11:1–3 addresses David's temptation to run from his enemies. This suggestion either comes from his advisors or his own fears. His urge is to flee quickly for safety to the mountains because his enemies are well armed and ready to kill him. However, David testifies that the Lord provides his protection. He refuses to allow the nation to suffer the devastating loss of its king. This establishes the psalm's perspective on how the Lord's people should respond to the erosion of godly authority.
Psalm 11:4–7 explains David's reason for rejecting the temptation to flee to the mountains. Faced with danger, the natural urge is to run and hide. Instead, David's choice is to trust in God. He sees the Lord as sovereign, fully in control of the situation David faced. He believes the Lord tests the righteous but despises the wicked and will judge them. Someday the righteous will see the Lord's face.
Chapter Summary:
David is tempted to run in terror from his enemies, like a frightened bird. Whether this is advice from counselors or simple fear, David refuses to given in. He declares that the Lord is his refuge. The wicked are well-armed and prepared to fight, but David trusts God to keep him safe. In part, David stands firm because he recognizes the consequences if godly authority is removed. The psalm celebrates God's sovereign rule and omniscience, ending with encouragement. The Lord is righteous and loves righteous deeds; someday those who honor Him will see His face.
Chapter Context:
This psalm is another depiction of David in trouble. It may have been written when he fled from Saul's court and was hiding in the wilderness (Psalm 18). Or David may have written it when his son Absalom was pursuing him (Psalm 3). Whatever the occasion, this psalm expresses David's trust in the Lord as all-knowing and righteous.
Book Summary:
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
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