“Why, O Lord, do you stand far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? Psalm 10:1 (ESV)
There may be no better proof of the reality of who God is than the Psalms. Skeptics and non-believers claim that the Bible is a bunch of fairy tales, made up lies. Why would anyone who wants to invent a religion include a Psalm like this? One of the things that reveals the truth of Scripture is how the writers tell the truth about the human experience, especially the inner thoughts and outward bad actions of God’s followers. Psalm 10 is one of those reality checks. The true observation and lament about how God seems to distance himself from his people “in times of trouble” strikes home at some point in time with every believer. To me, the beautiful and comforting thing is that God knows it, even expects it, and helps us through it.
This particular Psalm resonates with me right now because it perfectly describes the things that are happening all around us. The power hungry and greedy among us oppress the poor. Now the ‘not so poor but getting by’ among us are also threatened. We see many falling for the lies and manipulation. They are blind to the truth before their eyes. Generations have fallen for the fake promises of politicians who have held office for most of their live, who have gained power and wealth, but have never run a successful business or have any personal accomplishments other than their office and their promises.
How about these descriptions for a reality check?
…the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, “There is no God” (10:4)
…“His ways prosper at all times…” (10:5)
…“His mouth is filled with cursing and deceit and oppression; under his tongue are mischief and iniquity” (10:7).
…“His eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;” (10:8)
… “he lurks that he may seize the poor; he seizes the poor when he draws him into his net” (10:9)
If that is not enough insight, the psalmist goes on to reveal how any dedicated, though normal, God follower will do next. Well, at least this is what I do….I give God several suggestions on how to solve the problem! Yes, I admit it. I am full of ideas and especially in the dark of night, when I cannot sleep, it seems like I can dream up all kinds of things to help God out. (Ouch!)
…“Arise…forget not the afflicted” (10:12
…“But you do see” (10:14) My interpretation: ‘God I know you have all power, all wisdom, and are everywhere present so I’m sure you see this stuff…why aren’t you doing anything about it?’
…“Break the arm of the wicked and evil doer; call his wickedness to account till you find none” (10:15).
This night song ends in praise, as if the Psalmist’s frustration has been released—like steam from a pressure cooker. We who love the Lord will always get back to our center. We know he is “king forever and ever”. Then our heart can sing the beautiful affirmations from Psalm 11 that begins with- “In the Lord I take refuge…” and that ends with: “For the Lord is righteous; he loves righteous deed; the upright shall behold his face” (Psalm 11:1 &