“Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?
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 heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.
The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
-Psalm 10 (KJV)
David complains. Of the many songs we’ve read by David, complaining wouldn’t really be a characteristic I pin on David. I does mention how the wicked grieve him, and he prays passionately for deliverance from them, but complain? And his first line of complaint is to God about God! In his suffering, he feels like God is far from him, and he forgets, in his distress, that God is never far away. But notice how he still prays in honesty and with passion against the wicked.
David’s complaining is turned to the acts of the wicked. He sees how their pride and boasting hurts the poor. The wicked do not consider God as part of their lives, their only goal is the destruction of those around them. And the Lord abhors them for it. They put down the poor and they build up others in wickedness. The wicked, knowing that he can defeat those less than him, builds him up, and only makes him more prideful. They are certain that their way is right and is determined not to change. David points out the ways you can tell a wicked person- cursing, deceit, fraud, vain, mischievous, prideful, boasting… and David is certain that God will put an end to them.
I can honestly say I have never met or known someone that would be considered wicked by the standards laid out by these verses. I have met boastful and prideful people, and bear witness that their manner of speaking about themselves is a downfall to those around them. I have encountered those who have never considered a higher being, such as God, existing, which is always shocking to me. I can recall instances in some of the classes I teach when a child does something mean, knowing full well what they are doing. Obviously, for kids, it is more of a cry for attention. I had one child punch another kid in the back- the whole class saw it (except me) and they all went, “OOOOOOOOoooooooo! He punched him!” And I looked at the kid and asked him why, and his response was, “I just don’t have control!” To which I pointed out that had he been sitting in his seat then it wouldn’t have happened. But he was honest. He doesn’t have control, but it was also clear to me from his words that he had been labeled. Do you know, a lot of things we struggle with are because of labels from others that we have decided to believe? As soon as I spoke to that child, they were very well behaved, but I didn’t tell him how awful his actions were. I sat him down and I told him I knew he could control himself, and he never failed to prove himself. We find so many verses in Proverbs that speak of how careful we need to be with our words. I’m not much for coddling others, and I tend to be very blunt and straightforward with my speech, but working with children has really made me take time to consider what I want to say to them. I can’t tell them that the image they created looks nothing like the lesson I taught or that it is worse than the younger students’ drawing next to them!
I do believe such wicked people exist in our world. Certainly we’ve all heard those who speak curses, only saying negative things, guilt-tripping and manipulating those around them. And it would be foolish for us to believe that we have not hurt some one using similar tactics at some point in our lives. Whether we intended to do it or not. But have you ever been in a place where someone said or did something without intending for it to hurt you, but it got to you anyway? Jesus knew that as we, Christians, would grow into Him, more would rise up against us to destroy us, so He gave us the verses in 1 Peter 4- “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”
It’s tough to rejoice when someone has hurt you, but know that God hasn’t hurt you; and that the other person may not have intended it the way they said it. Know that being offended is a choice you have. And begin to look for the strings of lies and deceit the enemy is trying to slip into your relationship so you can promptly cut free from them with the truth. Remember, David lived on the other side of the cross, so he prays for the ‘smite button’ on his enemies. God still sees the acts of the wicked and will deal with them in time, so our command is more like ‘kill them with kindness’. When it seems like all your coworkers do is take down to you and each other, be the person who builds them up in kindness.
Though David feels far from God, he knows that God has heard the cries against the wicked. David clearly has a heart for the persecuted and those who are oppressed by the wicked. It shows in each of his songs. It’s reflected in his cries to God for deliverance. We’ve heard it over and over again. It isn’t wrong to bring your complaints to the Lord, it isn’t wrong to pour out your heart and even confess that you feel God is far from you. God hears those passionate prayers, and more of who He is making us into is revealed in the things He puts on our hearts to pray about.
Sorry if this post seems to jump around, I am a bit congested, trying to keep my lungs where they belong.
Be blessed, friends.