Scriptures

Psalm 10

Introduction

Although there is no heading for this psalm most people accredit it to David because it is arranged in the midst of several psalms that are specifically credited to David, Psalms 3-9 / Psalms 11-32.

This psalm and the previous one appear to belong together. The previous psalm dealt with the majesty of God and this psalm deals with the unbelief that existed among God’s people.

David begins this psalm by describing the character and the behaviour of the wicked and ends the psalm with complete confidence that God will deliver the righteous.

‘Why, LORD, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises. He boasts about the cravings of his heart; he blesses the greedy and reviles the LORD. In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. His ways are always prosperous; your laws are rejected by him; he sneers at all his enemies. He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.” He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.” Psalm 10:1-6

David begins by describing the way we often feel in times of trouble, Psalm 9:9, he wonders why God is ‘far off’. It’s easy to think that God has moved far away from us during difficult times but the truth is God hasn’t gone anyway, Job 13:24 / Psalm 46:1, it’s usually us who have moved from Him.

David once again speaks of how the wicked target the weak but fall into their own scheming traps, Psalm 9:15. While the wicked prey upon the weak they arrogantly boast and as a result they won’t submit to God and His will, Matthew 6:19-24 / Colossians 3:5.

Notice the words which David uses to describe the wicked, ‘arrogant’, ‘boastful’ and ‘proud.’ God hates these characteristics, he especially hates pride, Proverbs 6:17, and it’s because of pride that the wicked oppress the weak and it’s because of pride they refuse to submit to God and His will.

They live their lives as though there is no God at all. This is a perfect description of atheism, Psalm 14:1 / Psalm 53:1. They look for security in materialism, they think their wealth will keep them from harm and as a result, they think they are unmovable.

‘His mouth is full of lies and threats; trouble and evil are under his tongue. He lies in wait near the villages; from ambush he murders the innocent. His eyes watch in secret for his victims; like a lion in cover he lies in wait. He lies in wait to catch the helpless; he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net. His victims are crushed, they collapse; they fall under his strength. He says to himself, “God will never notice; he covers his face and never sees.” Psalm 10:7-11

David now goes on to describe the behaviour and actions of the wicked. He says they continually lie, they continually plan evil, they hang around in hiding places waiting to catch the helpless and they murder innocent people.

In the days of the prophet Hosea, he describes people who are exactly like this, Hosea 4:2 / Hosea 6:9. In the New Testament, the apostle Paul quotes these words to describe the wicked in his days, Romans 3:14.

The Hebrew word for ‘helpless’ is ‘aniy’ and this word is only found in this psalm, Psalm 10:8 / Psalm 10:10 / Psalm 10:14. These atheists really believe they can carry on oppressing the weak and helpless in society because they don’t think God notices or turns a blind eye to them.

God hasn’t forgotten the weak and helpless, He sees everything the wicked are doing, and they will eventually pay the consequences for their wickedness, Ecclesiastes 12:14 / Hebrews 9:27 / Revelation 6:14.

‘Arise, LORD! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless. Why does the wicked man revile God? Why does he say to himself, “He won’t call me to account”? But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless. Break the arm of the wicked man; call the evildoer to account for his wickedness that would not otherwise be found out.’ Psalm 10:12-15

David, once again as in the previous psalm, asks God to ‘arise’ and take action against the wicked, Psalm 3:7 / Psalm 9:19. We look around at the sinful actions of people in the world today and like David, we wonder how long they will get away with their wickedness, Revelation 6:10.

The wicked believe that they won’t be held accountable for their actions, but David here reminds us that God will take action. They may not pay the consequences for their sins in their lifetime, but they will certainly pay for their wickedness on Judgment Day, Matthew 12:36 / Romans 14:12 / Revelation 20:11-15.

God sees everything which is going on in the world and He is deeply concerned for the helpless in our society, Psalm 82:3-4 / Isaiah 1:17 / James 1:27.

David pours his heart out and asks Him to ‘break the arm of the wicked’, he wants God to judge the wicked now, so that the helpless and vulnerable in society can get some relief from the wicked who are oppressing them.

‘The LORD is King for ever and ever; the nations will perish from his land. You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror.’ Psalm 10:16-18

After pouring his heart out to God on behalf of the helpless in society, it appears that God has heard his cries and answered his prayers.

David pronounces that ‘the LORD is King’, which was always His rightful position, Exodus 15:18 / 1 Samuel 8:7-9 / Daniel 7:14 / Zechariah 14:9 / Revelation 11:15.

Although David began this psalm on a negative asking where God was, he ends the psalm on a positive note, knowing that God’s justice will be served concerning the wicked who were oppressing the vulnerable in society.

These wicked men and mere mortals, Psalm 9:19, and God will ensure that they never harm the helpless again.

Conclusion

When we think about atheists, Psalm 14:1 / Psalms 53:1, especially those who are always attacking people’s faith, we can’t help but stop and think that they must have more faith than most Christians do.

When we think about the universe when we think about our planet and all the incredible animals which live on it. When we think about human beings, their bodies, the emotions we feel, our consciences and our intelligence, etc, we wonder how anyone can deny the existence of God.

While God gives us a purpose for living and dying, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, and Jesus offers us hope for this life and the next, John 3:16 / John 10:10, the atheist offers us nothing, they offer no hope for this life or the next to come.

The atheist, H. J. Blackham said the greatest objection to atheism is this, ‘It’s too bad to be true!’ How true his words are, Romans 1:18-25.

Go To Psalm 11

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

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