Thomas Edison was determined to invent a commercially viable electric lightbulb. He knew the value it would bring to the average person. Yet after 9,000 failed attempts, his friends and family began to ask if he was ready to give up. A newspaper reporter famously asked Edison if he felt like a failure, to which he replied, “Why would I feel like a failure? I now know definitely over 9,000 ways an electric lightbulb will not work.”
In today’s psalm, David faced adversity. We do not know exactly what trial he was facing, but it was significant enough that people around him encouraged him to “flee like a bird to your mountain” (v. 1). Their advice was to run away! After all, wicked men were dangerous. They hid in the shadows and attempted to assassinate the righteous (v. 2). David’s problems were not just these men, but that the very foundations of society were being destroyed (v. 3). The moral order had fallen away. What could a righteous person do, but run?
David had an answer. Instead of running, we can choose to look up. “The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord is on his heavenly throne” (v. 4). The wicked may seem like they are getting away with murder. It may look like there is no hope for the upright. But David knew that was not the full picture. The Lord sits on the throne and will hold the wicked accountable. He is not aloof to human oppression, but carefully examines “everyone on earth” (v. 4). In His justice, He will judge the wicked and uphold the upright. We can trust in this because the Lord “hates” evil, but “loves justice” (vv. 5, 7). We can choose faith in our incorruptible God.
Lord Jesus, we pray we’ll heed the admonition that comes to us from today’s Scripture reading. As Psalm 11 encourages us, we pray we’ll choose faith in you and find our consolation and refuge in your love.