The Bible says in Psalms 10:1, Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? Why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble? Sometimes, when the troubles of life, or the forces of evil, or the selfishness of man rains down upon you it might seem as though God is not involved or that God is not listening or that the grace and the love of God is not being shed upon your life.
But this is never the case. Jesus has promised to His children (Hebrews 13:5), ..I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. God does not change. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And God keeps His promises. Just because circumstances change and just because one day there is peace and another there is trouble does not mean that God stands afar off. And that is the point of this verse.
There will be times when the circumstances of your life will cause you to look upward to heaven and cry out to God, Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? Why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble? The rain falls on the just and the unjust. But God does not change. Neither His love nor His grace nor His blessings decrease because trouble.
Psalm 10:2-3 says, The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined. For the wicked boasteth of his hearts desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth. One of the troubles which is common among this world in which we live is the rampant selfishness of men. Wicked men will take advantage of others in any way that they can, manipulating, deceiving, stealing, and usury because of the covetousness of his heart. There are many people on this earth that are poor, some even destitute and unable to survive. There would certainly be a lot less of these troubles in the world if men were not so covetous.
There is nothing wrong with making a profit. There is nothing wrong with being rich. There is nothing wrong with desiring to better your own life and your own possessions. But there is something wrong with taking advantage of those in need so that you can gain. It says here in verse 2 that God abhorredth such. To abhorreth can imply great anger and even total rejection. There is no worse situation in life than to provoke God to anger rather than provoking Him to shed His love and grace upon you.
The thoughts of God and the desires of God and the intentions of God towards men are good. This is why He sent His only begotten Son Jesus to give His life on the cross for our sins. But wicked men are the opposite of God in their thinking, and they persecute the poor. The result of their actions will be that they will be taken in their own devices because God abhorreth them.
Psalms 10:4, The
wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is
not in all his thoughts. If God is so
good and has so many wonderful intentions towards men, then why do most men
reject Jesus in their hearts? It is because of pride. The Bible says pride
cometh before a fall. Lucifer fell because of pride. And man will fall too, all
the way to the pit of hell. It does take some measure of humility to face the
shame of your sins and come kneeling at the cross of
Sometimes what goes on in the soul is outwardly manifested upon the face: such as joy, or extreme anger, or even extreme pride. Apparently a man can become so willfully resistant to God that such pride can become rampantly ostentatious upon his face. Jesus said (Matthew 7:1), seek and ye shall find... Some people do not seek God because of pride. Of course, you have to know where to seek Him. And as we know from Psalms 9 the best way to find God is through knowing His judgments.
But before you try to judge just how righteous or just how wicked you are consider Psalms 10:4 a little more thoroughly. Concerning the wicked, it says that, God is not in all His thoughts. What you think about is very important. And every thought which passes through your brain should be no less than a prayer guided by the Spirit of God. Every thought you think is just as important as the big decisions in life that you make. Anytime you have a thought that is Godless then at that moment you are in a sense a Godless man. It is no wonder then that we can say God is so good and that God has so much grace shed upon us through His Son Jesus. It is no small surprise that each day we must rely upon the grace of God, not just with each step that we take, but with each thought that passes through our minds. Just remember God should not be in some of your thoughts but in all of your thoughts.
What happens to a man who does not seek after God? What happens to a man who does not have God in all his thoughts. Psalms 10:5-11 tells us. His ways are always grievous; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them. He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity. His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity. He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor. He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net. He croucheth, and humbleth himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones. He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten: he hideth his face, He will never see it.
Without Jesus man is nothing. Without Jesus man can only become a liar, a manipulator, a person who takes advantage of other men, even a murderer. In the mind of such a man is only darkness. The judgments of God never pass into his thoughts and such a man believes he can do whatever he wants and that God will not judge him for it.
Such people as these are also described in the book of Second Peter. It says in Second Peter 3:3-7, Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water. Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
There are not many who walk the straight and narrow road in this life. And it is indeed an easy road to stray from. All it takes to become like the grievous man described in these verses in Psalms is to not keep God in all your thoughts. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. It is also important to remember that one day there is going to be great judgment: Christ is going to return. But perhaps the most important way to avoid becoming like the grievous man is to keep your sins confessed. Because any time that a man sins and does not repent to Jesus, he is saying in his heart, God hath forgotten: he hideth his face, he will never see it.
In the previous verses of this Psalm the word wicked was used to describe the unrepentant man. In these verses it is the word grievous. Anytime a wrong is done grief is caused to someone. God is omnipotent and the eyes of the Lord are in every place beholding the evil and the good. Perhaps the reason God chose the word grievous here is because of the great amount of grief that is caused to God when men sin. God is love. And God formed man so that man could have fellowship with God. This word grievous is elsewhere translated formed in reference to God creating man. That is because the main idea of the word is twisted. The concept of being twisted has both a positive and a negative meaning. On the positive side as in formed, to be twisted refers to twisting something into shape. On the negative side, to be twisted, refers to something that is causing you discomfort and unpleasantness, and thus is grievous to you.
How often indeed all men sin! We see the grief that
men cause other men in this world through their hatreds, and murders, thefts,
and cruelties. And the world spins on and on, and how many of us know the grief
that is caused to the Almighty. But thankfully we have a chance to understand
how grievous we are. We need only look to the cross of
Psalms 10:12 says, Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up thine hand: forget not the humble. Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? He hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do with all thy might. The hands are for doing. And that is exactly the meaning of the phrase, O God, lift up Thine hand. God is a doer, God is a God of action. Sometimes as we look at our lives we think and we feel just as it says in Psalms 10:1, Why standest thou afar off, O Lord? Why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble? But the truth is God is lifting up his hands, God is doing things. As a matter of fact it even says in verse 17, LORD, thou has heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart. God is not a time-waster. God is not a procrastinator. It only took God 7 days to create the world. And it will take Him even less time to destroy it. God is a doer. Wicked men contemn God. To contemn means to abhor and to blaspheme. Wicked men have the same attitude towards God and His Word that God has towards unrighteousness. How opposite indeed are the two. And wicked men think that God will not require it. To require means to diligently seek. God is a God of action. And He will diligently seek out judgment on all this world. It must be emphasized that judgment is coming. People must be warned. It is appointed unto men once to die but after this the judgment. Psalms chapter 10 makes it very clear that wicked men think God is not going to bring judgment. But they are wrong. Perhaps if more people could come to see the truth that God will lift up his hand, just as Christ was lifted upon on the cross in judgment because God must judge sin, then perhaps more wicked men, instead of contemning God, they would turn to Jesus and confess their sins.
Psalms 10:14, Thou hast seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to requite it with thy hand: the poor committeth himself unto thee; thou art the helper of the fatherless. Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man: seek out his wickedness till thou find none. The Lord is King for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land. The eyes of the Lord are in every place beholding the evil and the good. God sees everything that goes on in the world. God is going to bring judgment on the evil doers. And God is going to help those that turn to Him. How is it that we know these things are going to happen? After all, thousands of years have passed and Christ has not returned. Because the LORD is King for ever and ever.
Psalms 10:17-18, LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear: To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress. Some very important phrases are given in these verses. Notice that verse 17 says that the LORD hast heard and the Lord will cause his ear to hear. In other words God may choose to listen to you and God may choose not to. Psalms 10 began with the question, Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? Is God far away or is God near? Is God listening to you or is He not hearing you? We know that God is a God of action. He is looking down upon the earth and He sees everything in His omnipotence: both the good and the evil. But what He is doing is seeking out the humble. What God is doing is preparing the hearts of men to be open to receive Jesus. This Word prepare is also used in Exodus 19:11, And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.
God is a God of love. It grieves him that men are evil. That is why the description of men in Psalms 10 is called grevious. But God is a holy God and there must be justice brought to His creation. Sometimes it seems that God is standing afar off in times of trouble. But this does not mean God does not see the evil that men do, but rather that He is lifting up His hand. He does His work to prepare and to soften the hearts of men to receive the truth about Jesus Christ. Of course, ultimately men must choose for themselves to accept or to reject Christ. Perhaps this is why the word contemn is used in verse 13. It also means blasphemy. It is the idea of a total and completely eternal rejection to the truth. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the father but by Him.
Think carefully about the word prepare. It is God that prepares the hearts. After all, it is God that saves. It is Jesus that died on the cross for the sins of men. In the end when this life is over and everyone stands before Jesus at the judgment, praise will be given to God and God alone because He has done all the work and He is the one who deserves all the credit.
If you take a look at your life and you feel that it seems God is standing afar off, remember that God is a God of action. His timing is perfect. And His work is to prepare the hearts of the humble.
Copyright; 2011 by Charles
F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved