Faith's Answer to Timid Counsellors
Psalm 11:1-7
In the LORD put I my trust: how say you to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?…

The structure of the Psalm is simple and striking. There are two vividly contrasted halves: the first gives the suggestions of timid counsellors, who see only along the low levels of earth; the second, the brave answer of faith which looks up into heaven. Vers. 1-3. The Psalmist begins with an utterance of faith, which makes him recoil with wonder and aversion from the cowardly, well-meant counsels of his friends. The metaphor of flight to a stronghold, which is in the word for trust, obviously colours the context, for what can be more absurd than that he who has sought and found shelter in God Himself should listen to the whisperings of his own heart, or to the advice of friends, and hurry to some other hiding place? Safe in God, the Psalmist wonders why such advice should be given, and his question expresses its irrationality, and his rejection of it. Have we here a good man's dialogue with himself? Were there no voices in him: the voice of sense which spoke to the soul, and that of the soul which spoke authoritatively to the sense?.... The timid counsel is enforced by two considerations: the danger of remaining a mark for the stealthy foe, and the nobler thought of the hopelessness of resistance, and therefore the quixotism of sacrificing one's self in a prolongation of it. Prudent advice, when the prudence is only inspired by sense, is generally foolish; and the only reasonable attitude is obstinate hopefulness and brave adherence to duty. In the second part the poet opposes to the picture drawn by fear the vision of the opened heaven and the throned Jehovah. To the eyes that have seen that vision, and before which it ever burns, all earthly sorrows and dangers seem small. There is necessarily in the Divine nature an aversion to evil, and to the man who has so completely given himself over to it as to "love" it. Retribution, not forgiveness, is here the conception of the relations between man and God.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: {To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.} In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?

WEB: In Yahweh, I take refuge. How can you say to my soul, "Flee as a bird to your mountain!"

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