1 I trust in the Lord for protection. So why do you say to me, “Fly like a bird to the mountains for safety! 2 The wicked are stringing their bows and fitting their arrows on the bowstrings. They shoot from the shadows at those whose hearts are right. 3 The foundations of law and order have collapsed. What can the righteous do?” 4 But the Lord is in his holy Temple; the Lord still rules from heaven. He watches everyone closely, examining every person on earth. 5 The Lord examines both the righteous and the wicked. He hates those who love violence. 6 He will rain down blazing coals and burning sulphur on the wicked, punishing them with scorching winds. 7 For the righteous Lord loves justice. The virtuous will see his face.
I guess it sometimes looks frankly bonkers to trust in the Lord when, humanly speaking, there seem to be other options. In this Psalm, David seems to be being counselled to run for the hills – it looks like his only way of escape. Yet he appears content to take refuge in God alone – trusting that he will see him out of his current tight spot. I’ve always liked the image of being under God’s umbrella – when we choose to come under God’s authority and make obedience to him our first choice, we automatically come under his protection. It’s not a reward based thing: it’s just a natural by-product of walking closely with him.
Questions for thought and discussion…
- What does it look like, in practical terms, to trust in the Lord or find refuge in him?
- How can we help our young people to really understand how to do this?