Safe No Matter What

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The events of this past week in Quebec and Ontario and the deaths of two Canadian soldiers, and their two disturbed assailants, highlights the anxiety that lies, often barely concealed, at the core of our society.

It seems like the world, even our fairly isolated world here in Canada, is falling apart.

As I read Psalm 11 this morning, I wanted to echo the psalmist’s confidence that everything is under control—no mean feat when danger seems to lurk in broad daylight in “safe” places like parking lots and national memorials.

David begins by saying: “In the Lord I take refuge.” That’s the best place to start. In one of my Bibles I have written in the margin: “The righteous know to go to the refuge.”

But those who were not so secure immediately questioned his resolve to find comfort in the embrace of God.

How then can you say to me,” he wrote: ‘Flee like a bird to your mountain. For look, the wicked bend their bows; they set their arrows against the strings to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart. When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?’” (11:1-3).

But David was not deterred. He believed that no matter how may shadows hide how many bowmen with arrows pointed at his heart, God was in control.

The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord is on his heavenly throne. He observes the sons of men; his eyes examine them. The Lord examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates. On the wicked he will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a scorching wind will be their lot” (11:4-6).

David knows that God is paying attention and that justice will be done. With renewed confidence he could say: “For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face” (11:7).

In the refuge that is God’s embrace, we can relax and know that God will do what we can’t because He is righteous and can’t do anything else but that which is good and perfect. Added to that we can concentrate, not on the horrors of the situations around us, but on the presence of the One who has it all under control.

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