December 29, 2021
Scripture: In the LORD I take refuge; how can you say to my soul, “Flee like a bird to your mountain, for behold, the wicked bend the bow; they have fitted their arrow to the string to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart; if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Psalm 11:1-3 ESV
Observation: In this psalm, David segments his verses into three parts: a contrast between those who flee conflict with those who confidently find refuge in the Lord (verses 1-3); a comparison of Yahweh’s righteous judgment of the godly and the wicked (verses 4-6); and affirmation that the upright will behold the glory of their just and loving Creator. David also reminds us that our Heavenly Father sees all the machinations of humankind (verse 5). For the righteous, whom he loves, he will test them (see Hebrews 12:5-6), but for those who persist in their wicked ways, he will destroy them (verse 6).
Takeaway: The issue isn’t whether we withdraw from or enter into conflicts but where we find refuge. Do we rely on our judgment and abilities, or do we lean on God? David consistently sought the Lord, trusting in his watchful eye, whether running from Saul and Absalom or charging toward warring nations. In particular, when escaping Absalom’s pursuit, David refused his soldiers’ suggestion to bring the ark as added protection: “Then the king said to Zadok, “Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me back and let me see both it and his dwelling place” (2 Samuel 15:25). Like David, we will only find refuge in the Lord when we trust in his care.
In our present day, there is much concern about moral decline in our culture. It may be appropriate to press into the fray of battle and become agents of change or step aside and allow God’s judgment to pass. Regardless, we would do well to seek refuge in him by spending more of our time in prayer than hastily charging ahead. When we do, he will impart his peace, strength, and courage. However, if we fail to seek our Savior’s shelter and act independently, our reactionary responses will only exacerbate the conflict and heighten our fear and anxiety.
Prayer: Father God, we thank you that we can find refuge under your watchful eye no matter the circumstance. Would you please help us avail much prayer to discern where your sanctuary rests—whether on the sideline or the battlefield—thereby strengthening our trust in and reliance on you? Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling