Major themes are repeated over and over in the Psalms. Of course, this is what we might expect. The psalmists’, and our, experiences are similar and are pretty much every day occurrences: opposition from God’s enemies, struggles with sin, pleas for divine mercy, thanksgiving for mercies received, etc. Charles Spurgeon puts it thusly: “The Psalms are a rich repository of experimental knowledge.” To this psalm Spurgeon assigns the name “The Song of the Stedfast.” He does so because David “describes the temptation with which he was assailed and presents the arguments by which his courage was sustained.”
The very foundations upon which the nation and David counted on for survival were crumbling (perhaps a reference to Saul’s unrighteous reign). The wicked were ascendant and aiming their bows at the hearts of the righteous. In such dark times, we are inclined to despair. Oh, we understand David’s words; in our own day, all around, the foundations seem to crumble. What are we to do? We will do as David declared, “In the Lord I take refuge” (11:1). The Lord will deal appropriately with evil doers. We will trust in him, and our eyes will behold his face (11:7). But we must look to him. William Gurnall asked, “The shadow will not cool except in it. What good to have the shadow though of a mighty rock, when we sit in the open sun?” There are those who bemoan their sorrowful condition, who walk around with drooped faces, crying out, “Whoa is me.” To them we say, get out of the hot sun and be cooled in the shadow of the Almighty. For us, we will, with David, take refuge in the Lord.
Whom have we, Lord, in heav’n, but thee,
And whom on earth beside?
Where else for succor can we flee,
Or in whose strength confide?
Thou art our portion here below,
Our promised bliss above;
Ne’er may our souls an object know
So precious as thy love.
When heart and flesh, O Lord, shall fail,
Thou wilt our spirits cheer;
Support us through life’s thorny vale,
And calm each anxious fear. --Harriet Auber (1829)