Psalm 11: Preserve the Foundations, Do Not Flee to the Mountains


“If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do” (Psalm 11:3)?

What are these foundations?

1. The Lord is on His throne, surveying all that He has made (11:1, 4).

  • The Temple served as a layout of the heavenly counsels (Hebrews 8:1-7), where the Temple in Jerusalem served as a “copy and shadow of the heavenly things” (Hebrews 8:5).
  • “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him” (2 Chronicles 16:9).
  • “The eyes of the Lord are in every place,
    keeping watch on the evil and the good” (Proverbs 15:3).
  • To hold to a belief in a Design without a Designer is ultimately to hold to a Book without a Divine Author—and then anything goes.  Nothing is sin—the only sin is to deny someone the very thing they wish to do.  Christ is of no consequence.  If there’s no sin, then no need of Christ to atone for sin.  The foundations are gone—no holds barred!

2. The Lord is refining the righteousness and restraining the wicked (11:2, 5).

  • The ‘wicked’ in verse 2 are those who live to undo and undermine the ‘upright in heart’—those who live for Christ, love Christ, and proclaim what Christ proclaimed: “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:14-15).  They have aimed their bow at believers—they feeling the moral upper hand in going against those who would say their lives are wrong and unholy.
  • Eric Metaxas at CPAC 2013 noted, “God is the one who determines who is on the right side of history.”  The full quote:

“And so what we are seeing on both these issues is the unconstitutional Establishment of a religion, aided and abetted by the state.  But it’s a secular religion and a secular orthodoxy. Indeed, it’s a secular fundamentalism — and it says on the subject of marriage there is to be no discussion. The science is settled.  It’s the future. And some in the GOP are jumping on the bandwagon. But ladies and gentlemen, whenever someone tells you the science is settled and the debate is over, that’s a sure sign that the debate is NOT OVER, but that they are deathly afraid that the debate might begin.  So they want to tell you it’s settled and let’s hurry up and get on the right side of history. But God determines who is on the right side of history, not the mainstream media and not the government.”

  • King David was right:  “They have fitted their arrow to the string, to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart” (v. 2).
  • Does God really hate the wicked?  Yes—it is a divine wrath and disapproval of the gaul of using His knowledge and His creation of being His imagebearer to do such violence both in mind and action against His fellow imagebearers and even the Creator Himself!
  • Spurgeon rightly said, “Why, then shall I flee from these wicked men?  If God hateth them, I will not fear them. . . . Think of their end, their fearful end, and all fear of them must be changed into contempt of their threatenings and pity for their miserable state.”
  • But all who are believers were among the wicked who lived in enmity against God, but we were washed and sanctified through the cleansing blood of our Lord Jesus, who died for the wicked to make them righteous (see 1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

3. The upright are stalked by the wicked, but shall behold the face of the Holy One (11:6-7).

  • Even though the wicked shoot their arrows, God will protect those whom He made righteous.
  • God’s judgments do come—and it begins with the house of God (1 Peter 4:17), and may be delayed in coming elsewhere.
  • The wicked will not conquer—behold, the righteous will see the face of their Creator, Protector, Provider, Redeemer, and Sustainer.  All thanks to the crucified, risen, and coming again Savior do we have hope.


The Lord reigns and rules from heaven, watching all that happens.  Meditate on these two verses:

  • “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him” (2 Chronicles 16:9).
  • “The eyes of the Lord are in every place,
    keeping watch on the evil and the good” (Proverbs 15:3).

In what ways does this comfort you but also challenge you?


“The Lord tests the righteous” (11:5).  God sends trials, challenges, tribulations, and persecution in order to use these afflictions to strengthen you in a way like none other.  Read 1 Peter 1:6-7 and 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 and see if there are ways you may rejoice in the afflictions God sends.


The wicked are shooting their bows at the upright in heart (see 11:2).  Do you know of a fellow believer who is dealing with these “arrows”?  In what aspects may you use this Psalm to give them perspective on the present (see v. 4) and the future (see vv. 6-7).  The Lord has never for one second taken His eye off His children!  And now that Christ has been raised from the dead, by the Spirit Christ reigns and lives in us.  We are never alone!


“His eyes see, his eyelids test, the children of man” (v. 4).  All will have to answer for their acceptance or rejection of Christ.  If we are for Christ by His blood, then He declares and makes us righteous.  If we are not in Christ, no matter how good we may be in the eyes of self and man, then He declares us wicked and unrighteous.  Let’s bring them back to the foundations!

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