Have you ever found yourself in the wilderness? I mean like literally in the wilderness. When I was kid I was a Royal Ranger and one of my very last merit badges was the primitive shelter badge, now this one was no joke. We had to go into the woods, and in our case this was the middle of West Virginia. We were only allowed to have what we were wearing and common things like a pocket knife then a sack lunch. We then had to build a shelter and spend the night in that shelter. They would partner you up with a couple of other students so you weren’t alone. So me and a friend of mine thought it would be funny to joke with the youngest guy in our group and tell him that the woods were full of bears.
Now throughout the course of the day when we were building the shelter out of a tree that had fallen and sticks that we collected it was all fun and games. But that night our persistence finally scared our young friend into backing out of the project and going back to the campsite, soon after the other guy dropped out because as much as he enjoyed picking on the younger guy, he was afraid of bears too. That left me alone in the woods, in some silly shelter, wondering where the nearest bear was. But there was no way I was going to go walking out in the woods, I was stuck there, scared and alone. I spent the whole night on high alert, focused on every sound, and there were plenty. Let me tell you, that verse in the Bible that says joy comes in the morning, had never been more real to me! I was so relieved to see sunrise and head back to the camp for some breakfast.
Looking back on that whole experience I can now see that those who were in charge of us were really not all that far away and they never would’ve let us go into bear infested woods by ourselves. But I also learned something more valuable than what that merit badge was trying to teach me. I learned that when I am alone in the wilderness, be it literal or figurative, God is always with me. I can bring my fear and emotion to Him.
I imagine if I would’ve written a psalm from that primitive shelter it might have gone something like this:
Lord why have you let all of my friends abandon me?
Why have they left me alone out here in the woods all alone?
I’m scared and alone but I know that you are here with me.
I love you Lord, never leave my side.
Tonight I want us to take a look at Psalm 11. This was a Psalm written in the middle of a national crisis by the King David, the greatest king of Israel. Nobody is certain what exactly was going on, or if David was even the king yet for that matter but we do know just from the Psalm that the situation was grave, life and death and David needed to be reminded of the promises of God over his life. David was already anointed King by God and he knew the promises of God, which is why fleeing was out of the question. David resolved to trust in God through the storm.
Wickedness appeared all around David and the moral foundations of the people were crumbling to the point that the national stability of the nation were in question. David’s friends and advisors had even urged David to flee Jerusalem because these evil people wanted to kill David. But David remained calm through the crisis, keeping his eyes on God. Lets look at the Psalm,
1 I trust in the Lord for protection.
So why do you say to me,
“Fly like a bird to the mountains for safety!
2 The wicked are stringing their bows