It is easy to notice that David seems to think of himself like a bird. But, not just any old bird. He compared himself first, to an eagle in Psalm 103:5, "My youth is renewed like the eagle's;" once to an owl in Ps 102:6, "I am like an owl in the desert;" and to a pelican, in the same verse, "Like a pelican in the wilderness;" another time to a sparrow Ps 102:7, "I watch, and am as a sparrow;" once to a partridge, "As when one doth hunt a partridge." He would like to be like a dove in Ps 55:6, "O that I had the wings of a dove, for then I would flee away and be at rest."
David, like all of us, sees himself differently in different situations, yet always having wings.
When things were going well and he was on top of the situation, he felt like an eagle. When things were going against him and his resources seemed dried up, he felt like an owl in the desert. When he was heartbroken, he compared himself to a pelican. (Note-the New King James says vulture, but the Greek word is defined as a pelican. Both are birds with wings, no less, and they both wander in the wilderness.) Or, he felt as lonely as a sparrow alone on the rooftop. Worst of all, he sometimes felt hunted for sport, like a partridge.
David often used this metaphor of a bird, and it seems fitting. A bird is going to fly whenever any of these problems present themselves. We as Christians can also fly. But, looking at Psalm 11, it appears that David resents being given the advice to flee, like a bird. His friends and enemies know he can very well escape to the hills, to his hideouts there. The young shepherd boy, David, is most comfortable in the wilderness with nature all around him anyways. The very metaphor which David so often used on himself, his enemies in the first verse of this Psalm used on him.
Whether the reason for David being given advice to flee was the impending attack in Saul's court, or later after the massacre of the Priests by Doeg, or later when Saul was pursuing him in the woods, David always eluded Saul. So, it is obvious David did indeed flee, and that would have been his intention from the start. It looks as if his enemies are taunting him here by accusing him of being a scared little bird hopping from hilltop to hilltop. Birds are skittish. They have excellent eyesight, and strong wings. They see trouble coming and fly quickly to safety. But, they are skittish because they are small and fragile. Yet, David didn't like the reference here. He protested because He knew he wasn't running in fear, but running to the safety aforded by God, and God is our mountain. What else did they think David was going to do? Stay and be killed by Saul. That seems to be what enemies often expect from us, to stand still and wait for destruction. No, God's children are instructed to be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves. Turn the other cheek doesn't mean to be foolish.
Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of
wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
Indeed, if the foundations of government and justice are destroyed, what else can the righteous do but run to God? David knows this. A Christian does not have to be afraid to turn away from bad situations, abuse, crippling loss, or injustice. God provides shelter, and he gave us our wings to fly to Him. Go ahead David, fly to your God!