Bible Reading: Psalm 10
Why do You stand afar off, O Lord?
Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble?
In pride the wicked hotly pursue the afflicted;
Let them be caught in the plots which they have devised.
For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire,
And the greedy man curses and spurns the Lord.
The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him.
All his thoughts are, “There is no God.”
His ways prosper at all times;
Your judgments are on high, out of his sight;
As for all his adversaries, he snorts at them.
He says to himself, “I will not be moved;
Throughout all generations I will not be in adversity.”
His mouth is full of curses and deceit and oppression;
Under his tongue is mischief and wickedness.
He sits in the lurking places of the villages;
In the hiding places he kills the innocent;
His eyes stealthily watch for the unfortunate.
He lurks in a hiding place as a lion in his lair;
He lurks to catch the afflicted;
He catches the afflicted when he draws him into his net.
He crouches, he bows down,
And the unfortunate fall by his mighty ones.
He says to himself, “God has forgotten;
He has hidden His face; He will never see it.”
Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up Your hand.
Do not forget the afflicted.
Why has the wicked spurned God?
He has said to himself, “You will not require it.”
You have seen it, for You have beheld mischief and vexation to take it into Your hand.
The unfortunate commits himself to You;
You have been the helper of the orphan.
Break the arm of the wicked and the evildoer,
Seek out his wickedness until You find none.
The Lord is King forever and ever;
Nations have perished from His land.
O Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble;
You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear
To vindicate the orphan and the oppressed,
So that man who is of the earth will no longer cause terror.
Psalm 10 continues what David started in Psalm 9. In Psalm 9, David praises God and places his hope in God’s justice over the wicked in the final age. In Psalm 10, David laments that in the present age the wicked often prosper while the poor suffer. This contrast mirrors the already but not yet world we live in.
Psalm 10 teaches that the actions of the wicked are rooted in self and pride. They say with their deeds as Nietzsche did: “God is dead,” mimicking what Satan said to Adam and Eve in the garden: that man can be his own god.
James 4:6 tells us that God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble. Verses 16-18 remind us that God is sovereign in every circumstance and that He will lift up the humble, both in this age and in the age to come.
We cannot right every wrong in our world, but we are called to do what we can to act on behalf of those who are suffering in this age, for God’s glory.
I am thankful that God shows us the ups and downs of David through this pair of Psalms, because David’s emotions are human, ones we can relate to. When you find yourself lamenting at the injustice around you today, anchor yourself with the wisdom and truth of the Word, and let that discontent be what motivates you to fight for what is right, because while our God is not dead, a faith without works is.
Weekly Memory Verse: God’s business is putting things right; he loves getting the lines straight, setting us straight. Once we’re standing tall, we can look him straight in the eye. Psalm 11.7