Flee as a Bird (Psalm 11)

As I said yesterday, I got confused and backed up to Psalm 10. I didn’t realize it until I already had the Psalm 10 post done and ask I said, I wrote it, I am going to post it. But, as promised, we are back on Psalm 11.

Psalm 11

Song of Trust in God

To the leader. Of David.

In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to me,
    “Flee like a bird to the mountains;
for look, the wicked bend the bow,
    they have fitted their arrow to the string,
    to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart.
If the foundations are destroyed,
    what can the righteous do?”

The Lord is in his holy temple;
    the Lord’s throne is in heaven.
    His eyes behold, his gaze examines humankind.
The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked,
    and his soul hates the lover of violence.
On the wicked he will rain coals of fire and sulfur;
    a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.
For the Lord is righteous;
he loves righteous deeds;
    the upright shall behold his face.

When I first sat down with this text yesterday, after confusing myself with Psalm 10 and 11, and I had myself back on track, verse 1 brought back some memories for me.

My wife is a pretty good amateur musician. Though she doesn’t do much singing these days, she plays the flute and has a fair knowledge of several other instruments. I haven’t been able to get her to really try the guitar but I have yet to give up.

For someone who has never taken a piano lesson of any kind, and also not someone who really plays by ear, Cindy does a pretty good job on the piano. She reads music well and understands the layout of the keyboard but she also has a pretty limited repertoire, she does have several songs she plays, some better than others.

I guess it was close to 30 years ago, when we would go to the church to work on something or some other reason, Cindy would usually make her way to the piano and start playing. I would usually sit down and listen for a while.

She often played one song I wasn’t familiar with. At first she didn’t sing it so I didn’t know the lyrics. The song came from the old Broadman Hymnal. As I understand it, The Broadman Hymnal is to Baptists and The Cokesbury Hymnal is to United Methodists.

She finally started singing the lyrics. I really liked the song’s tune. When she started singing the lyrics I was in love with the song. Take a look at these lyrics:

[Verse 1]
Flee as a bird to your mountain
Thou who art weary with sin
Go to the clear flowing fountain
Where you may wash and be clean

[Chorus 1]
Fly, for the avenger is near thee
Call and the Savior will hear thee
He on his bosom will bear thee
Thou who art weary of sin, oh
Thou who art weary of sin

[Verse 2]
He will protect thee forever
Wipe every falling tear
He will forsake thee, oh, never
Sheltered so tenderly there

[Chorus 2]
Haste now, the hours are flying
Spend not the moments in sighing
Cease from your sorrow and crying
The Savior will wipe every tear, oh
The Savior will wipe every tear

Many of the comments I read online were critical of the first two lines, “Flee as a bird to your mountain, thou who art weary of sin…” I actually see the lyrics are pretty faithful to Psalm 11, and that is a good thing since Psalm 11 was the inspiration for “Flee as a Bird.”

It seems to me, whether dealing with my own sin and the consequences that can result, from the sins of others around me. I feel the impact of those sins and any of us, at least some of the time I can quickly or eventually grow weary of the sin (my own included) that is around me. I want to run to a place of peace. I want to take a break to regroup, to pray before I step back into the trenches. We all need time to rest and recover. We need to flee to the mountain to find a way beyond our weariness of sin.

David is right about this one and as far as I am concerned, those who are critical of Carolyn Herring’s wonderful song, are perhaps weary of sin but not enough to think about it in their next seventh day because we all need rest.

I recently found the guitar chords for “Flee as a Bird.” I think it is time for me to learn that one too. Because I love this song it would only make sense for me to learn to play those chords and sing the lyrics.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Seeking the genuine,
Keith

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved
Permission is granted to use these thoughts for non-commercial activities

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