2 The wicked in [his] pride persecutes the poor; Let them be caught in the plots which they have devised. 3 For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire; He blesses the greedy [and] renounces the LORD. 4 The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek [God]; God [is] in none of his thoughts. 5 His ways are always prospering; Your judgments [are] far above, out of his sight; [As for] all his enemies, he sneers at them. 6 He has said in his heart, “I shall not be moved; I shall never be in adversity.” 7 His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and oppression; Under his tongue [is] trouble and iniquity. 8 He sits in the lurking places of the villages; In the secret places he murders the innocent; His eyes are secretly fixed on the helpless. 9 He lies in wait secretly, as a lion in his den; He lies in wait to catch the poor; He catches the poor when he draws him into his net. 10 So he crouches, he lies low, That the helpless may fall by his strength. 11 He has said in his heart, “God has forgotten; He hides His face; He will never see.” 12 Arise, O LORD! O God, lift up Your hand! Do not forget the humble.PSALM 10:2-12
THE ENEMY IS STILL OUT THERE
Psalm 10 is a broken psalm. It doesn’t have an introduction. It is written in an acrostic style that somewhat completes psalm 9 but it has letters missing and out of order. Even in the chaos of it’s organization it reminds us that we live in a broken world. There is much that needs to be fixed.
In verse eleven we get a glimpse into the sinister mind of the wicked man. He thinks God doesn’t know or doesn’t care about what he does. He uses the seeming inactivity of God as a reason to figure and devise more wicked schemes.
At this point we have to ask ourselves why does the psalmist feel so much need to give us so much detail about the wicked man? Why is he so concerned that someone is out there prospering by doing wicked things and setting his heart against God? He is reminding us that we cannot coast because the enemy is still out there!
History is filled with moments where a city was under siege or a war was being waged, but those in official power were drinking and celebrating their victories early. They fell into laziness or unconcern and later lost the city or the war because they celebrated before it was all finished. The psalmist is saying, “We can’t truly celebrate yet because wickedness still prevails!”
Part of the point of this Psalm is to register such a dissonance that we cannot slumber on wickedness. We must remember that our lives are always at odds with the wicked and how they would live. Isn’t the news we hear of wickedness winning in our own day something that drives us to prayer? When we hear of those who have taken advantage of others, doesn’t that drive us to intercession?
The Psalmist cries out to God to put things right. We know that there will come a day and time when God will set all things right. All injustice will be settled in him. We know that day is coming. Sometimes it just seems so far away.
Notice the prayer in verse 17 for the orphan and those who are oppressed. “Prepare their heart” or strengthen their heart. Even when we don’t see justice in this moment or in our day. Set it right in my heart that I might bear up until I see your final justice. Give me grace and strength and hope in YOU until that day comes.
Father, thank you for this psalm and all the chaos it presents. It doesn’t wrap up neatly in a bow and it reminds me of the messiness of life apart from you. In the celebration of your goodness it can be easy to forget we still live in a sinful and fallen world. Help me not to be content while wickedness prevails around me. Guide me in my community and my moment in history to stand against wickedness and intercede for victims of injustice. Don’t let me be idle while others are suffering. Thank you for your grace in bringing this to our attention to read and meditate on today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.