The Book of Psalms Bible Study Psalm 11

Psalm 11

G-d is intimately involved in this world. It is wrong to think that G-d created the world and then took a step back. Although G-d is in control that does not mean that He controls everything (we have free choice) but He’s aware of everything – and if He does not allow it it will not happen. This psalm builds up spiritual confidence – we do not need to fear the enemy.

v1: Because the inscription to this psalm is so short it is linked to the first verse in Hebrew and doesn’t have its own separate verse.

· In the L-rd – This is such an important (new covenant) statement (“In Messiah,” as we have so often spoken about). One of the great outcomes of being ‘in the L-rd’ is that He is a refuge/shelter – One who can be trusted to keep us safe, a very present help in trouble.

· When David says “you” (written in the plural) here he is speaking to his enemies – not to G-d.

· A soul is the innermost part of a human being. The enemy loves to bring fear, anxiety and worry into a person’s deepest parts.

· Flee as a bird to your mountain – this shows us the strategy of the enemy. The word used for ‘flee’ here is often translated as an emotional word (to bemoan something, to be full of despair and inner pain). The enemy wanted David to flee like a frightened bird. David, however, is not going to do that, as he has taken refuge in the L-rd. That refuge (covenantal relationship) has given him inner tranquillity, security peace of mind etc

v2: The enemies and their weapons are ready and prepared to cause destruction.

· The word translated “secretly” here is a word for thick darkness. What this verse is revealing to us is that when we have taken refuge in the L-rd our enemies can shoot at us, but their firing is obscured as they are firing into thick darkness.

· Upright in heart – Those who take refuge in the L-rd are the ones who are upright in heart, those who want the will of G-d in their lives.

v3: This verse is a very accurate description of what is happening in the world right now (economically, politically, spiritually, socially etc). The foundations that bring stability to our society are crumbling. What is our role while these things are crumbling around us?

v4: Holy Temple – this is a word that speaks of the Holy of Holies, the most Holy place. When David wrote this there was no functioning temple (Solomon, his son, built the first temple after David was already dead). The way David has worded it speaks of G-d’s Presence uniquely dwelling with us (1 Corinthians 6:19)

· Heavens – that which is greater than earth. Since G-d’s throne is in the heavens we can be assured that it is greater than any throne found on earth.

· Eyes speak of vision/perspective. G-d’s vision/perspective is perfect.

· A human being’s eyelids cannot see but with G-d that’s not the case. His eyelids have discernment of humanity. G-d not only sees, but He also has discernment re what He’s going to do.

v5: Tests – G-d discerns the righteous one’s objective. He knows, perfectly, the condition of the righteous one’s heart.

· The wicked ones love violence – we have spoken about this word before (hamas). They delight (a demonic sense of enjoyment) in causing pain and suffering to others.

v6: A burning wind is a very strong wind. A strong wind makes sure a fire keeps burning, and that fire causes widespread damage and destruction.

· The portion of their cup – this means their final outcome. Their lot. Their future.

v7: Notice here: The wicked love violence, but G-d loves righteousness (things that reflect G-d’s judgment and truth – what G-d deems as proper)

· Upright – the word used here is a word that can also be translated “straight”. Those who are upright will see G-d’s face (Numbers 6: 24-26). Seeing G-d’s face is an idiom for receiving and experiencing His blessing.

2 thoughts on “The Book of Psalms Bible Study Psalm 11”

  1. these studies are very clear and appreciated. I use the CJB by Stern : many of the words are different to yours. ie you have a burning wind and I have a scorching wind, so the severity of the wind is actually diluted in Stern.
    What english translation from hebrew do you use? Is it a published translation? I suspect that you’re translating direct.
    I’m not a scholar but would like accuracy above general understanding now.

    1. Hello Jan. I am commenting out of the NKJV – sticking as closely to Baruch’s direct translation of the text as I can. Two things that I have found very helpful in gaining a better understanding of the text are by using (not always 100% accurate but gives a good general idea of the words used) and by using a Hebrew to English translate tool – which I find on google. I do have a Hebrew Bible (Biblia Hebraica) which I find very useful for word order – although the words are translated in biblehub tend to scramble most passages. Hope that helps! Lee

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