10 Why, O Lord, do you stand far away?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
2 In arrogance the wicked hotly pursue the poor;
let them be caught in the schemes that they have devised.
3 For the wicked boasts of the desires of his soul,
and the one greedy for gain curses and renounces the Lord.
4 In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him;
all his thoughts are, “There is no God.”
- The president of the United States recently said that the progressives in society need to ‘help’ those with deeply held religious beliefs overcome their convictions. He said, “those who have come so far on their journey to equality have a responsibility to reach back and help others join them.” What did the psalmist say about people who try to convince other people to abandon their faith principles and blend in with the culture?
5 His ways prosper at all times;
your judgments are on high, out of his sight;
as for all his foes, he puffs at them.
6 He says in his heart, “I shall not be moved;
throughout all generations I shall not meet adversity.”
7 His mouth is filled with cursing and deceit and oppression;
under his tongue are mischief and iniquity.
8 He sits in ambush in the villages;
in hiding places he murders the innocent.
His eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;
9 he lurks in ambush like a lion in his thicket;
he lurks that he may seize the poor;
he seizes the poor when he draws him into his net.
10 The helpless are crushed, sink down,
and fall by his might.
11 He says in his heart, “God has forgotten,
he has hidden his face, he will never see it.”
- This section of the psalm describes the people in the culture who watch for opportunities to crush the public expression of faith. Groups such as the Freedom from Religion Foundation frequently sue municipalities, churches and sometimes individuals for being too visible in the expression of their faith. How does the psalmist characterize their attitudes? Have you ever felt under assault by such forces?
- The psalmist describes various offenses against individuals whose convictions grow out of the Bible. What contemporary events occur that are like the evils the psalmist knew in ancient times? How does this psalm bolster your conviction that God inspired these writings?
12 Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand;
forget not the afflicted.
13 Why does the wicked renounce God
and say in his heart, “You will not call to account”?
14 But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation,
that you may take it into your hands;
to you the helpless commits himself;
you have been the helper of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer;
call his wickedness to account till you find none.
- Barronnelle Stutzman declined to provide flowers for a wedding ceremony for homosexuals. Aaron and Melissa Klein declined to bake a cake for a wedding ceremony for homosexuals. Elaine Huguenin declined to photograph a wedding ceremony for homosexuals. Each of these individuals made this choice in keeping with deeply held convictions rooted in Biblical teaching that marriage is the union of a man and a woman. Each of these persons lived by faith shaped by the Bible and a personal relationship with Christ. What does the psalmist tell us about a culture where these people are regarded as criminals? What is his cry when these forces are arrayed against him?
16 The Lord is king forever and ever;
the nations perish from his land.
17 O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted;
you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear
18 to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.
- The culture expects that people with political and social agendas will march in the streets, scream at other people on television, and make snarky remarks about their opponents in the social media. What does this psalm teach Christians to do when the culture is exploding?
- How do Christians achieve any impact on the culture?
By Katherine Harms, author of Oceans of Love available for Kindle at Amazon.com.
Image: Open Bible
By Wnorbutas (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0