By bro Lee Tian Seng
Psalm 11:1-3 (KJV)
In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain? For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart. If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?
What do you do when you are fearful, or when you are facing dangers or threats? What do you do if your enemies seek to harm you? Our natural reaction is to “flee” or “hide”. The friends of the Psalmist advise him to “flee as a bird to your mountain”.
The circumstances in which the Psalmist finds himself are:
1. The wicked bend their bow and are ready to shoot him.
His enemies surround him and ready to strike him with an arrow to his heart. Their bows are bent and the arrows are placed on the taut strings, ready to be released at the target. Yet, the Psalmist says “how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?” When danger presents itself in this way, anyone would flee. If a burglar holds you at gunpoint to your head, you will probably tremble and turn white as sheet. If you can run, you will. As what we encounter in life are much less stressful than such, we have more reason not to panic but to place our trust in the Lord. (Proverbs 3:5)
2. The attack which is deadly will be struck in secret.
The enemies also will strike “privily” (KJV) or “in secret” (NKJV). This means that the attack will be in “darkness”. While the righteous walks in the light, he will not be alerted of the attack but be caught by surprise. The arrow when released will pierce through the heart of the righteous and it will be deadly. The suddenness of the assault is scary at best; there is no knowing when the enemies will strike. When we are in such a dangerous situation, we will probably hide ourselves. That is what the people in Israel may have done. They hide in the mountains from their enemies. However, the Psalmist asks if he should take the counsel to hide in the mountains. To him, the Lord is his refuge and there he will seek shelter. (Psalms 91:2)
3. The foundations of his confidence are destroyed.
The “foundations” refers to prosperity, social support, peace, and law and order in the society. If these foundations are destroyed, can one seek justice if oppressed? Can one fall back on his wealth? Can one even walk the street unmolested? When a country is overtaken by its enemies or when it is devastated by a natural calamity, its foundations are destroyed and the people will be in despair. The Psalmist asks, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” This is a rhetorical question. The answer is the righteous cannot do anything but trust in the Lord. We often assume that we can always count on our government, our paper qualifications, our wealth or even our health. If we lose some or all of these, can we still be confident in life? The truth is that we often place our confidence in such things than in God. So when these fail, where can one put his confidence in other than in God?
Shall we be fearful and flee as a bird to our mountain or shall we put our trust in the Lord? I suggest that when dangers threaten us, let us not flee to the mountains. Instead, let us flee to our almighty God. In Him is Hope, Protection and Deliverance.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)