I can remember exactly what I was wearing. Exactly what I was doing. Exactly where I was when my parents told me they were separating. Heartbroken, confused, nauseous – I choked back my tears and swallowed the lump in my throat. I didn’t know what the future was going to look like, or how our family would get through. So many questions flew through my mind and worry filled my heart. That night, as I lay my heavy head on the pillow, I begged God for answers. I pleaded with Him to show up and make all of this go away.
“Where are You, God?”
“Why aren’t You doing anything?”
Didn’t He see what was happening to my family?
Often times I’ve found myself just like the psalmist in Psalm 10. Worried. Afraid. Confused. Hurt. Have you?
Let’s dig deeper.
Psalm 10 is written from the perspective of someone who follows and obeys God. Within the Israeli community, there are wicked people who turned away from God. The wicked abuse, hurt, and take from the people in their community, and also curse the Lord. Although the wicked refuse to obey God, their lives still seem prosperous. The psalmist does not understand why good things happen to such wicked people, and why God is not doing anything about the suffering His people endure. Ultimately, the psalmist comes back to reality and sees God’s faithfulness even amidst the chaos.
v. 1 “Why, O Lord, do you stand far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?”
Psalm 10 begins with someone searching for an answer. An answer to their fears, their pain, their suffering. The psalmist isn’t necessarily questioning God’s ability, but His action. Why isn’t God doing anything?
Have you ever asked God these questions? What situations in your life made you question where God was?
The evil within the community is rising. At first, the wicked are prideful in their hearts, resulting in the wicked renouncing the Lord (v. 2&3). The wicked become so full of arrogance they do not seek God and claim that He doesn’t even exist (v. 4). With frustration, the psalmist cries out to God wondering why the wicked prospers in all that he does, even though the wicked does not seek God. Eventually the sins of the wicked come out of their mouths in “cursing and deceit and oppression…mischief and iniquity” (v. 7). Through to verse 11, the wicked premeditate evil; waiting and watching for their attack, and eventually commit murder. They say in their hearts that God does not care about His people. The afflicted, the fatherless, the oppressed, the helpless are crushed.
Now, in these 10 verses there is so much to learn. There is a progression of evil as the wicked are eventually overcome with sin that they commit murder and deny God. What a reminder of how sin works! We are not immune to this. Sin is gradual and consuming, and ultimately leads to death (as seen in this Psalm). But that’s another topic for another day…
Read through these verses very carefully. What do you notice? I see myself being described right there in my bible – a hot mess! First the psalmist cries out to the Lord, begging Him to not forget the helpless – then goes back to being confused and concerned with the works of the wicked – then begins praising God and meditating on His truth.
How often are we like this in our prayers to God? We get caught in emotion and feelings. We go back and forth between crying out to God for help, confused and frustrated with our current situation, then we praising Him and remember His truth. We are a bunch of messy, crazy people! But how comforting is it that there are messy, crazy people in scripture too?
v. 16(a) “The Lord is king forever and ever…”
I find this verse particularly interesting. What does it mean that the Lord is KING? When you see that word, what do you think of? I think of someone who is in charge. Who controls. Who has a plan and follows through. THAT is our God. THAT is our King.
He is in charge, He controls, He has a plan, and He follows through. Forever and ever. And if we see God as our King, then we know that He is in charge. He is in control. He has a plan and follows through on His promises. We see this in the New Testament:
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
Here is the beauty of Psalm 10. God does in fact hear his afflicted. He listened to the psalmist, just like he listens to us. He sees what is happening in our lives. He knows our circumstances and knows the pain we’re experiencing. And the beauty of this scripture? It points directly to Jesus.
The answer the psalmist is looking for – the answer we are all looking for -was born in a manger. God’s ultimate answer for the afflicted, the fatherless, the oppressed, you and me – the answer is Jesus Christ.
The Son of God, born into our world became just like us and took it upon Himself to defend every dark power, every deep sin, every wrong doing and injustice, to provide us a way out. To give us the life that God created us for in the beginning. He who knew no sin, BECAME sin, in order that we might become the righteousness of God. SAY WHAT! There is the answer. He is our answer.
Even though this Psalm doesn’t address you and me by name. Even though originally, this text represents the wickedness in Israel. This Psalm is so relatable to us.
Who has struggled with consuming sin? Who has been hurt, let down, stepped on, forgotten? Who has cried out to God asking for relief? We all have. Just like this psalmist. I don’t doubt that this Psalm mirrors many of our hearts.
Scripture like this gives me great confidence to bring my troubles, worries, fears, questions to the feet of my Savior. To share with Him the depths of my heart. Because He hears me. He sees me. He knows me. And He is faithful to me. He hears and sees and knows you too.
Like the psalmist, through whatever trial or pain we must learn to stand firm in the truth that comes only from the Lord. Our King, for ever and ever.