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Psalm 11

When the Foundations Tremble

“The more we depend on God, the more dependable we find he is.”

Sir Cliff Richard


Never ever do believers experience God to be so sufficient as when they find

themselves in the most difficult times, confronted with trials beyond their control.
It is in man's extremities that he discovers God's sufficiencies. This was the
personal experience of David in Psalm 11, a song of strong confidence in God
in the midst of unsettling times.

David was facing a national crisis that threatened to overturn the stability of the
nation of Israel. All around him, the moral foundations of the people were
crumbling. This upheaval was caused by evil men who sought to do him harm.
Adding to this ordeal, the people who were loyal to David panicked, counseling
him to flee Jerusalem. But David remained calm and resolute, keeping his eyes
on the Lord. In this hour of crisis, David determined to trust in God in spite of his
circumstances. His faith, unshakable and unwavering, kept him steadfast in
uncertain times.

The title of this psalm reads, “For the director of music,” indicating that the
specific historical setting of this psalm is unknown. All that is known is that
David was the author, and he wrote while in desperate straits. In the midst of
turmoil, he assured his followers that in spite of the threats of the wicked, God
remained in control. David acted as an example to believers by remaining
resolute and unflinching in the face of desperate circumstances.


MAIN IDEA: David stood strong in faith, even when other believers gave him
faulty counsel. He remained fixed upon God who controls all.

David's Trust (11:1a)

11:1a. David began the psalm with a declaration of his trust in God: In the
LORD I take refuge. In the midst of great difficulties, even the potential loss of
his life at the hands of his enemies, he remained confident in God who was his
refuge. As he had done throughout his life, David fled to God as his
unassailable fortress of protection as he faced this crisis. Not looking to others,
or even to himself, David placed his trust exclusively in the Lord.
David's Temptation (11:1b-3)

11:1b–2. David was surrounded by well-meaning but weak-willed supporters,

people who advised him to leave Jerusalem and escape the encroaching
danger. In response he said to them, How then can you say to me: Flee like a
bird to your mountain? To David's advisers the opposition seemed too strong to
resist. His aides looked with terror at the wicked who were bending their bows
and setting their arrows to shoot at them, the upright in heart. They perceived
that their enemies were lurking in the shadows, waiting for the right moment to
spring their deadly ambush.

11:3. In the face of this danger, David's supporters were fearful, saying, When
the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do? The word
foundations is a metaphor for social order (Ps. 82:5; Ezek. 30:4). The word
destroyed describes the turbulent upheaval of the moral values and civil order
of their day. These advisers sensed they could no longer live in a culture in
which right failed and evil prevailed. This was the counsel that David heard from
his supporters—an appeal to run and hide from his oppressors.

David's Triumph (11:4–7)

11:4a. David replied to his fearful followers, redirecting their focus to the Lord.
First, David affirmed God's sovereignty, testifying, The LORD is in his holy
temple. The presence of God had not moved from the temple. The psalmist also
reminded his fellow believers that God was still upon his throne, ruling and
reigning over this painful trial. Nothing was out of control; God was in control!

11:4b-5a. Second, David affirmed God's scrutiny: He observes the sons of men;
his eyes examine them. David assured his supporters that the eyes of God see
all human hearts, examining the inner life of the righteous who trust the Lord, as
well as probing the souls of the wicked who were attacking them because they
loved violence. In light of this, believers must remain strong in faith, not
cowering to their enemies because God sees their hearts as well as the hearts
of their enemies.

11:5b–6. Third, David underscored God's severity: On the wicked he will rain
fiery coals and burning sulfur. This imagery probably alluded to God's fatal
judgment such as that which fell upon Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19; Deut.
29:23; Ezek. 38:22). The wicked could expect that a scorching wind would be
their lot. This refers to the hot blast associated with God's dreadful judgments.

11:7. Finally, David affirmed God's support of the righteous. His saints would be
rewarded and the wicked would be destroyed because the LORD is righteous.
God must act consistently with his holy character, and he will execute perfect
justice in all his dealings with men. The fact is that he loves justice and will
never let injustice go unpunished. Therefore, when upright men face trouble,
they must remember that they will see his face. This expression denotes a loyal
citizen's access to his king, in this case heaven's true king, the Lord.


All Christians will encounter many threatening trials in their lives, especially
when they live in a manner worthy of the Lord (Matt. 5:10–12; John 15:18–20; 2
Tim. 3:12). This world is no friend of grace when God's people live for him.
When the righteous are persecuted for the gospel, they must remain strong in
the Lord, finding their strength in him. In the midst of such fiery trials, God's
people must take refuge in him. They must do so with unwavering faith, firmly
committed to resist the temptation without withdrawing from this world. The key
is insulation, not isolation.

When opposition comes, close friends around us may weaken and cause us to
panic when they urge us to run from trouble. But such counsel must be resisted.
God is sovereign through every trial, and he reigns over all. God alone is the
Lord, and he overrules all for our good and his glory.


1. David's Trust (1a)

1. An explicit trust in God (1a)
2. An exclusive trust in God (1b)
2. David's Temptation (1b-3)
1. He heard counsel to depart (1b-2)
2. He heard counsel to despair (3)
3. David's Triumph (4–7)
David declared:
1. God's sovereignty (4a)
1. He resides in his holy temple (4a)
2. He reigns on his heavenly throne (4a)
2. God's scrutiny (4b-5a)
1. He observes all men (4b)
2. He examines all men (4c-5a)
3. God's severity (5b-6)
1. He rejects the wicked (5b)
2. He judges the wicked (6)
4. God's support (7)
1. He is righteous (7a)
2. He loves justice (7b)
3. He favors the upright (7b)


Sl 11
a. Uma confiança explícita em Deus (1a)
b. Uma confiança exclusiva em Deus (1b)
a. Ele ouviu o conselho de partir (1b-2)
b. Ele ouviu o conselho do desespero (3)
Davi declarou:
1. A soberania de Deus (4a)
a. Ele reside em seu templo sagrado (4a)
b. Ele reina em seu trono celestial (4a)
2. O escrutínio de Deus (4b-5a)
a. Ele observa todos os homens (4b)
b. Ele examina todos os homens (4c-5a)
3. A Severidade de Deus (5b-6)
a. Ele rejeita os ímpios (5b)
b. Ele julga os ímpios (6)
4. O Apoio de Deus (7)
a. Ele é justo (7a)
b. Ele ama a justiça (7b)
c. Ele favorece o reto (7b)