psalm xi – the limits of reason

David’s advisor tells him exactly the right thing to do. People want to kill him, so he should flee to refuge. He should escape, then he would be safe. It’s only rational.

David’s advisor says, “take refuge in the resources you have available.” David says, “all my resources are nothing. God is all.” His advisor rests on a faulty reason, that the foundation of the righteous is God alone, so it cannot be destroyed.

I’m not saying you should go outside with and walk in front of cars to see if God protects you. You, Christian, have not been promised physical safety like David was. So how do we take refuge in God alone?

Know that God supersedes the rational mind. Your rational mind is always active. You use it every day to collect data to live and avoid disaster, and that is a God given gift. But God is not bound by the data you collect. A pretty benign example would be giving your wealth to the church and charity. You receive nothing in return. There is no accrued stake in the church purchased or influence won amongst the elders (hopefully). Giving is a net loss for you financially. It may even impede your ability to live better. Yet it is God’s will, and so those thoughts must be done away with. There is something greater Unseen that supersedes the seen. That’s what David understood.

God does not call us to live irrationally, but submit our reason to Him, knowing it would be ruin to not. To be convicted by God is to take a plunge into the unknown where data has lost its usefulness. It’s to step onto the foundation of God and off the flimsy, self-constructed foundation. It’s when the enemy comes that we are given David’s choice. The advisor of our mind will give us tantalising advice, offering all kinds of escapes. Our role is to be taught by God in His Word to recognise when we must stand firm in the darkness because we know that in that darkness we rest on a sure foundation. Better with God in the dark than ourselves in the light.

I have taken refuge in the Lord.
How can you say to me,
“Escape to the mountains like a bird!
For look, the wicked string bows;
they put their arrows on bowstrings
to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart.
When the foundations are destroyed,
what can the righteous do?”

The Lord is in his holy temple;
the Lord—his throne is in heaven.
His eyes watch;
his gaze examines everyone.
The Lord examines the righteous,
but he hates the wicked
and those who love violence.

Let him rain burning coals
and sulfur on the wicked;
let a scorching wind be the portion in their cup.
For the Lord is righteous; he loves righteous deeds.
The upright will see his face.

psalm xi (csb)

<— psalm x psalm xii —>