Psalms

Does The Lord Stand Afar and Pay No Heed In Times of Trouble?–Psalm 10

Does The Lord Stand Afar and Pay No Heed In Times of Trouble?–Psalm 10

“Why, Lord, do you stand afar
    and pay no heed in times of trouble?
Arrogant scoundrels pursue the poor;
    they trap them by their cunning schemes.
The wicked even boast of their greed;
    these robbers curse and scorn, You, Lord.


In their insolence the wicked boast:
    “God does not care; there is no God.”
 Yet their affairs always succeed;
    they ignore Your judgment on high;
    they sneer at all who oppose them.
They say in their hearts, “We will never fall;
    never will we see misfortune.”
Their mouths are full of oaths, violence, and lies;
    discord and evil are under their tongues.
They wait in ambush near towns;
    their eyes watch for the helpless
    to murder the innocent in secret.
They lurk in ambush like lions in a thicket,
    hide there to trap the poor,
    snare them and close the net.
The helpless are crushed, laid low;
    they fall into the power of the wicked,
who say in their hearts, “God has forgotten,
    [He] shows no concern, never bothers to look.”

Rise up, Lord! God, lift up Your hand!
    Do not forget the poor!
Why should the wicked scorn God,
    say in their hearts, “God does not care”?
But You do see;
    You [do] take note of misery and sorrow;
    You take the matter in hand.
To You the helpless can entrust their cause;
    You are the defender of orphans.
Break the arm of the wicked and depraved;
    make them account for their crimes;
    let none of them survive.

You, Lord, are King forever;
    the nations have vanished from Your land.
You listen, Lord, to the needs of the poor;
    You strengthen their heart and incline Your ear.
You win justice for the orphaned and oppressed;
    no one on earth will cause terror again.”

[Adapted Prayer from Psalm 10]

Does The Lord Stand Afar and Pay No Heed In Times of Trouble?–Psalm 10

Sometimes it feels like evil is winning. Like the malicious are coming out on top. But this Psalm reminds us that even though it appears this way, it is not actually what’s happening. What we are seeing in the natural is only part of the story, and it’s only temporary. Our God, who is Holy and perfectly just, the One who sees and knows all things, is making all things right at the perfect time. We must remember that our understanding is limited, but God’s is not. In accordance with His perfect and divine economy, evildoers do not prevail. The wicked, while seemingly on top for a moment, will not stay there. Judgement always comes.

Psalm 10 is a continuation from the prayer of Psalm 9, yet takes on a more anxious and aggravated tone. King David’s obvious concern and perplexity about the apparent prosperity of the wicked has come to the forefront. It seems to him, just as it does to us today, that God is sometimes indifferent (or entirely absent) to the plight and hardships of His people and to the faithlessness of the wicked. Evildoers do not believe in God, much less fear Him, and certainly do not keep His Commandments (obey His Word). And for a time, that blatant disdain for God and His Laws seem to have little effect on their rise in power and material prosperity.

By the end of David’s emotional lament however, settled in his spirit and reminded of who God is, the psalmist knows that God will prevail over evil. The time of the wicked is limited and He will soon make all things right for the righteous. Justice is coming. It always comes.

As you read over this Psalm today, do as King David did — take comfort in knowing that God is the God of fairness and justice. Go to Him with confidence knowing that the same saving God of Israel is the same God who sides with and vindicates you, the faithful and the righteous, today. He is the one who lifts and honors the honest, the meek, the humble, the poor, orphaned and the weak. Our God is the ultimate Vindicator. He is about to make all things right despite the seeming and fleeting successes of the sinful. God is with you. He is with us. And justice will soon prevail. Trust Him.


“You, Lord, are King forever” -King David; Psalm 10:16.

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