Read Psalm 10
1 Why, Lord, do you stand far off?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
2 In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak,
who are caught in the schemes he devises.
3 He boasts about the cravings of his heart;
he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord.
4 In his pride the wicked man does not seek him;
in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
5 His ways are always prosperous;
your laws are rejected by him;
he sneers at all his enemies.
6 He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.”
He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.”
7 His mouth is full of lies and threats;
trouble and evil are under his tongue.
8 He lies in wait near the villages;
from ambush he murders the innocent.
His eyes watch in secret for his victims;
9 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.
10 His victims are crushed, they collapse;
they fall under his strength.
11 He says to himself, “God will never notice;
he covers his face and never sees.”
12 Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God.
Do not forget the helpless.
13 Why does the wicked man revile God?
Why does he say to himself,
“He won’t call me to account”?
14 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.
15 Break the arm of the wicked man;
call the evildoer to account for his wickedness
that would not otherwise be found out.
16 The Lord is King for ever and ever;
the nations will perish from his land.
17 You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that mere earthly mortals
will never again strike terror.
One of the beautiful things about the psalms is the honesty and the vulnerability with which they are written. Psalm 10 is another example of that as David writes from a place a lot of us can resonate with: frustration with the world around us. The psalm, which some scholars consider to be a continuation of Psalm 9, starts off with David looking at the wickedness all around him and wondering aloud why God isn’t striking the evildoers around him down. It’s a question that we, if we’re honest, have likely asked God before too. Why does it seem like evil people prosper? Why does God let that happen? What about those of us doing our best to be faithful?
It isn’t hard to look around us and see evil. We know that the enemy is real and at work in the world. Wicked people live as if there is no God, amassing empires, mistreating those around them, and living as if this life is the ultimate. It shouldn’t surprise us—it’s their worldview. David is frustrated by this and begs and pleads with God to intervene. It’s a good reminder for us. Even when we feel discouraged by the brokenness surrounding us, we can pause and plead with God to restore the world, all while knowing that there will always be brokenness on this side of eternity.
David closes out this psalm by doing something that was common practice in the lives of all Old Testament saints when faced with trials: He praises God, listing off attributes of God. He knows that God hears the afflicted and he finds comfort in that. This psalm that began with frustration ends with hopeful faith. God wins! At the end of the day, when we lay our heads on our pillows, we can find comfort in the fact that God will hold everyone accountable for their lives lived here on earth. The wicked will be punished. The faithful will be rewarded. God is on His throne. And that is where our hope lies.
- What do you notice about the tone of this psalm? Have you ever felt the way David felt?
- What brokenness in the world are you asking God to restore today?
- Notice the hopeful turn this psalm takes towards the end. How can you live with the same hopeful attitude that David has? How does the fact that God will win in the end give you comfort and strength today?
As you go about your day today, pray this common prayer:
Father, we know that you hear our cries. As we look at the world around us, it’s frustrating to see the brokenness, but we know it breaks your heart even more than it does ours. Today, we’re asking you to use us to further your Kingdom. To be lights in dark places. To help restore what is broken. To be faithful witnesses in a world that needs them. To be ministers of reconciliation everywhere we go. Amen.