Psalms Reading – 1.11.2022
1 Why, LORD, do you stand far off?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
2 In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak,
who are caught in the schemes he devises.
3 He boasts about the cravings of his heart;
he blesses the greedy and reviles the LORD.
4 In his pride the wicked man does not seek him;
in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
5 His ways are always prosperous;
your laws are rejected by him;
he sneers at all his enemies.
6 He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.”
He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.”
7 His mouth is full of lies and threats;
trouble and evil are under his tongue.
8 He lies in wait near the villages;
from ambush he murders the innocent.
His eyes watch in secret for his victims;
9 like a lion in cover he lies in wait.
He lies in wait to catch the helpless;
he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net.
10 His victims are crushed, they collapse;
they fall under his strength.
11 He says to himself, “God will never notice;
he covers his face and never sees.”
12 Arise, LORD! Lift up your hand, O God.
Do not forget the helpless.
13 Why does the wicked man revile God?
Why does he say to himself,
“He won’t call me to account”?
14 But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
you consider their grief and take it in hand.
The victims commit themselves to you;
you are the helper of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked man;
call the evildoer to account for his wickedness
that would not otherwise be found out.
16 The LORD is King for ever and ever;
the nations will perish from his land.
17 You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that mere earthly mortals
will never again strike terror.
This psalm of lament turns the focus away from David’s national enemies that we saw in Psalm 9 and now focuses on the individual wicked person. These persons hunt down the weak and seem to get away with murder. They arrogantly boast about all the evil they do and declare they will never get caught or have to pay. Their lips are filled with lies and threats. They ruthlessly ambush the innocent and the helpless.
They do not believe that God sees their evil nor do they have any room for God in their minds filled with total depravity.
In the midst of this cry asking God why He is not yet intervening is the call for God to arise and do something and not forget the cause of the helpless. Even though it seems nothing is changing and evil prospers without restraint, the psalmist declares faith that God does see the afflicted, that God hears the grief of the afflicted, and that God is the helper of the fatherless. The Lord is King. He encourages and defends the weak and will defeat the wicked.
Even when evil seems to prosper and we wonder how long God will put up with it, we must continue to declare faith in God as the great King of the universe and call on Him to act on behalf of the afflicted and oppressed. Let us be encouraged and not give up hope for the Lord is King!
Psalm 9:1, I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
Question(s) to Consider:
In what situation are you asking God, “how long before you intervene?” In the midst of your lament, are you declaring your confidence in God’s ability to reign over evil?