“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?’
The Lord is in his holy temple;
the Lord’s throne is in heaven;
his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man…
For the Lord is righteous;..
the upright shall behold his face.” Psalm 11:1-4,7
“Save, O Lord, for the godly one is gone;
for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man.
Everyone utters lies to his neighbor;
with flattering lips and a double heart they speak...
[They] say, ‘With our tongue we will prevail,
our lips are with us; who is master over us?’
‘Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan,
I will now arise,’ says the Lord;
‘I will place him in the safety for which he longs.’
The words of the Lord are pure words,
like silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
purified seven times.
You, O Lord, will keep them;
you will guard us from this generation forever.
On every side the wicked prowl,
as vileness is exalted among the children of man.” Psalm 12:1-2,4-8
David had certainly seen his fill of wickedness, violence, crumbling moral foundations, deceit, broken relationships, haughty boasting, and the disenfranchisement of the poor and needy. Where did he go for relief and protection? He set his refuge in the Lord, spelled out each complaint from that secure vantage point, had his full say, and by an act of faith and will, put complete trust in God and His word to handle the mess. There is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
The psalms are so often a reflection of our own heart and a mimic of our voice. We are mocked and threatened for our faith stance, and find the foundations of our trusted institutions shaky, uncertain. The godly fall, the faithful deceive, and we are left wondering why, who next, and is this really real? As man advances, he pushes aside the divine, shaking off any higher power, authority, and accountability. Wickedness, vileness, and violence pepper our cities and headlines, and we cry for the Lord to arise.
And arise He does. He rides the winds to our rescue, and underneath are His everlasting arms. He keeps His promises, and our souls in safe harbor. Though evils are many, and many suffer, the Lord God surrounds His own and secures us forever. We need not be shaken, nor unsettled, nor afraid. (Deuteronomy 33:26-27; Psalm 3:3; Proverbs 30:5)
What is my list of complaint? Would I pour out all that concerns me in the world, my nation, my home, my own heart, and hide it in the inerrant and powerful promises of God? He is concerned with all that concerns me, and will bring His perfect resolution to my every care. He is trustworthy, and on my side. (Psalm 56:8-11; 138:8)
Father, turn my How long? into firm trust in Your steadfast love. From refuge in You, may my heart daily rejoice in Your salvation and Your bountiful dealing with all that disturbs. Increase my delight in Your pure, unshakable word. (Psalm 13:1-2,5-6)