Connecting with Culture
It’s been said that culture is ‘what we make of the world’, but what does that look like as Christians? How can we begin conversations about what’s goin...
For the director of music. Of David.
In the LORD I take refuge.
How then can you say to me:
‘Flee like a bird to your mountain.
For look, the wicked bend their bows;
they set their arrows against the strings
to shoot from the shadows
at the upright in heart’ …
For the LORD is righteous,
he loves justice;
the upright will see his face.
Psalm 11:1–2, 7
David’s in trouble again.
Enemies are lurking, waiting to attack. Society is crumbling before his eyes. ‘Quick! Get out of here!’ say his friends. ‘Find somewhere safe to hide!’
Psalm 11 tells us about David’s response in a crisis. We don’t know the exact details of the crisis, but from what we do know of David’s life, it’s not unlikely that verse 2 is talking about literal bows and arrows. In any case, the threat is real, David looks powerless, and fleeing seems like a sensible option.
But David stays calm and stays put. As he so often does, he raises his eyes above his immediate circumstances and looks to heaven. In the face of danger, his view of God shapes what he chooses to do.
David knows that the Lord is reigning: the world may seem to be falling apart, but ‘the LORD is on his heavenly throne’, as we read in verse 4. Nothing that is happening to David is outside his sovereign control.
David knows that ‘the LORD is righteous’: he sees everyone and all that they are doing, and ultimately he will deal with the wicked. Though their actions are frightening, God’s judgement will one day come.
And David knows that the Lord is his ‘refuge’ – that’s how he begins the psalm. In contrast to the fate of the wicked, for those who are upright in heart the Lord offers blessing and the joy of his presence.
The advice to escape doesn’t seem so sensible now. David doesn’t need to fear or flee his enemies: by trusting in God, he’s already in the safest place he can be.
It’s unlikely that we’ll encounter people skulking in the shadows with bows and arrows. And of course, there are times when it’s right to flee danger. But imagine the difference it might make on our frontlines – physical and digital – if we cling to our faith when we’re ridiculed for our old-fashioned beliefs, or stand firm when we’re attacked for holding a biblical view on a controversial issue, or resolve to live a godly lifestyle among colleagues who have other expectations.
When challenges come, is our instinct to panic, to despair, to try to find somewhere safe to run to? Or do we, like David, entrust ourselves to the reigning, righteous God, who is our refuge?
Executive Assistant, LICC