Psalm 10

A. Questions

10:1 Why [cf. Ps. 2:1; an indication of the psalmist’s preoccupation with why the wicked prosper], Lord, do you [or why does it feel or seem that you are far off and unengaged] stand far off [“The presence of God is the joy of His people, but any suspicion of His absence is distracting beyond measure.” (Spurgeon)]? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

B. The Rule of the Wicked
10:2 In his arrogance [“Pride is the egg of persecution.” (Spurgeon)] the wicked man [in the case, members of the covenant community, those who should know better] hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises.

10:3 He [the person who is not an atheist but who has chosen to live like one] boasts [an indication of pride] about the cravings of his heart; he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord [total disregard for God and His commandments].

10:4 In his pride [“A brazen face and a broken heart never go together.” (Spurgeon); pride ruins all who indulge in it] the wicked man does not seek him [because he finds his sufficiency in himself and his own schemings]; in all his thoughts there is no room for God [“…and if God be not in our thoughts, our thoughts will bring us to perdition.” (Spurgeon)].

10:5 His ways are always prosperous; your laws [God’s judgments] are rejected by him [cf. Prov. 13:13]; he sneers at all his enemies [anyone who opposes him].

10:6 He says to himself, [note the kind of language spawned by pride…] “Nothing will ever shake me.” He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.” [he is emboldened to do evil by his belief that God is not watching nor will hold him accountable]

10:7 His mouth [his own mouth and tongue are a weapon used to gain advantage at any cost] is full of lies [he cannot be trusted; his oath is worthless] and threats; trouble and evil are under his tongue.

10:8 He lies in wait [like a wild animal waiting to pounce on its unsuspecting prey] near the villages; from ambush he murders the innocent. His eyes watch in secret for his victims;

10:9 like a lion in cover he lies in wait. He lies in wait to catch the helpless; he catches [overpowers] the helpless and drags them off in his net [with no hope of justice or mercy].

10:10 His victims are crushed, they collapse; they fall under his strength [as a prey is held under the claws of a lion; uses his strength to overpower the weak; arrogance expressed in injustice].

10:11 He says to himself, [it is a mistake to live without accountability and to think that we sin with impunity] “God will never notice; he covers his face and never sees.” [“The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” (MLKing Jr.); The wheels of God’s justice may move slowly but when they come they grind finely.]

C. Prayer for Deliverance
10:12 Arise [because of the activity of the wicked, now is the time for God to act], Lord! Lift up your hand [a symbol of God’s strength], O God. Do not forget the helpless [those without strength].

10:13 [the psalmist is amazed at the arrogance of the wicked…] Why does the wicked man revile God? Why does he say to himself, “He won’t call me to account” [it is foolish to believe that we sin with impunity]?

10:14 But you, God, see [God is aware; nothing happens behind God’s back] the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you [we must abandon ourselves to God in times of trouble, trusting only in Him]; you are the helper of the fatherless [cf. Ps. 37:40; 46:6-7; 109:26-28].

10:15 Break the arm [a symbol of strength] of the wicked man; call the evildoer to account for his wickedness that would not otherwise be found out.

D. The Rule of God

10:16 The Lord [the hope of the righteous] is King for ever and ever; the nations [in this context a reference to the wicked in Israel who behave like the unrighteous nations] will perish from his land.

E. Resolution
10:17 You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,

10:18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed [a reference to those who were most easily wronged and abused and taken advantage of; were protected by God’s law (cf. Ex. 22:22-24)], so that mere [not the gods they suppose themselves to be through the unjust exercise of their power] earthly [not heavenly; man is weak and confined to the earth] mortals will never again strike terror.

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