For the wicked boasts of the desires of his soul,
and the one greedy for gain curses and renounces the Lord.
In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him;
all his thoughts are, “There is no God” (Psalm 10:3-4).
His ways prosper at all times;
your judgments are on high, out of his sight;
as for all his foes, he puffs at them.
He says in his heart, “I shall not be moved;
throughout all generations I shall not meet adversity” (v. 5-6)
The helpless are crushed, sink down,
and fall by his might.
He says in his heart, “God has forgotten,
he has hidden his face, he will never see it” (v. 10-11)
Psalm 10 centers around the prosperity of the wicked. This theme appears a number of times within the Psalms: Why do the wicked always seem to escape judgement? Why do they prosper when the righteous suffer?
Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand;
forget not the afflicted.
Why does the wicked renounce God
and say in his heart, “You will not call to account”?
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.
Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer;
call his wickedness to account till you find none (v. 12-15).
How can God say He is just when the wicked run (seemingly) unrestrained? Why does He not strike them down immediately and be done with it?
Why does He not answer when the righteous cry out?
The psalmist answers these questions this way: God does see all the evil that men do (v. 14). Not one action is outside of his sight, despite however strongly some argue to the contrary. And God will call the wicked to account (v. 15).
The Lord is king forever and ever;
the nations perish from his land.
O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted;
you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear
to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more (v. 16-18).
God will bring justice to those who are oppressed—and not one who trusts in him will be forsaken on that day (v. 18).
So how should I respond to the prosperity of the wicked? I should not respond with bitterness or complaint, but by trusting that God will not forsake me in the end.
I frequently find myself seeking revenge against people whom I know are cruel, vindictive, mean-spirited people who manipulate situations to get the outcome they desire.
But this isn’t right. “Vengeance is mine,” says the Lord in Deut. 32:35. It is not my duty to pursue vengeance, but to pursue holiness.
Today, by God’s grace, I will do this. But we shall see.
For other entries in this series, please visit the Blogging the Psalms page.