Psalm 11 – Shelter

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We have finally come to a day without a lot of rain.  Its been a really rainy Spring (the number of times I’ve had to mow the lawn reminds me of that) so there have been LOTS of days when I’ve needed to bring my umbrella (my awesome Colorado one that my mother-in-law gave me a few years ago) including a few days ago when I first read this Psalm.  I love the way that this Psalm flows – it is a dialogue between David (writer/composer)  and someone who cannot understand how David keeps faith in God.  David starts out with an affirmation of God’s protection and shelter (much like an umbrella covers up the carrier while the rain and storms pour around them) and then the commentary from the “opponent” who is incredulous that David could make this affirmation, and then closing with what is pretty common in the Psalms of a call down of God’s wrath upon the enemies.  But for me, I love the sense between the first two parts of the Psalm – the affirmation that God’s shelter is enough even with the naysayers around saying otherwise.

Since moving here, I have grown to love walking into church when I don’t need to drive somewhere.  I am grateful to live in a community where I can do that.  Over the last year especailly, I have started walking in all kinds of weather – not just warm, clear days.  There’s something about walking in the rain under an umbrella – that even though there may be some dampness to the cuffs of slacks or something similar, the umbrella does protect from the rain even when it is coming down hard.

That’s how I feel about the shelter of God – it doesn’t protect completely – just because I follow Jesus in my life doesn’t mean that I am free of anything that could harm me or trouble me.  Instead I know that there is cover and there is presence.  Sure, I may get a bit wet, but not nearly as much as if I didn’t have that cover at all.

In the Lord I have taken shelter.
How can you say to me,
“Flee to a mountain like a bird!
For look, the wicked prepare their bows,
they put their arrows on the strings,
to shoot in the darkness at the morally upright.
When the foundations are destroyed,
what can the godly accomplish?”
The Lord is in his holy temple;
the Lordʼs throne is in heaven.
His eyes watch;
his eyes examine all people.
The Lord approves of the godly,
but he hates the wicked and those who love to do violence.
May the Lord rain down burning coals and brimstone on the wicked!
A whirlwind is what they deserve!
Certainly the Lord is just;
he rewards godly deeds;
the upright will experience his favor.

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