I have been listening to the Psalms online and find them to be filled with much encouragement. I often think of the Psalms as soothing to my soul, but not always is that the case. For instance Psalm 10 reminds me that there are evil people in this world, and sometimes we encounter them and have to endure under them. I enjoy television shows that tell a story about someone who did some crime and was caught. I think one reason I enjoy a good who-done-it is because I like to solve puzzles and investigating a crime is certainly a large puzzle to solve. I am finding a common thread among the crime shows that study a real crime, often times the victim was not very wise in the choices they made which eventually leads them to becoming a victim. I always like to think that I would be smarter than that victim was but the truth is we all at some point in our lives will face someone in our lifetime that has evil intended for us. King David had many enemies and often they were very evil. Psalm 10 is his cry to the Lord and his description of an evil person is very good.
Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises. He boasts about the cravings of his heart; he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord. In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. His ways are always prosperous; your laws are rejected by him; he sneers at all his enemies. He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.” He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.” His mouth is full of lies and threats; trouble and evil are under his tongue. He lies in wait near the villages; from ambush he murders the innocent. His eyes watch in secret for his victims; 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. His victims are crushed, they collapse; they fall under his strength. He says to himself, “God will never notice; he covers his face and never sees.” Psalm 10:1-11, (New International Version or NIV).
David must have been in a situation where he needed God’s help. So often in my own life when I find myself in a battle I don’t feel God is close to me. For instance going through the divorce was a time when I felt God was far off and I wanted and needed His guidance like I had never needed it before. I realized in that moment that God had not moved away from me but I had slowly been drifting away from Him. Once I realized that fact I got back to church and daily reading of the Bible and really dug into a deeper understanding of God. Not only did this help me endure but it helped me to endure gracefully. David must feel that same isolation from God and then he gives a detailed and I believe quite accurate description of an evil person.
He boasts about the cravings of his heart; he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord. Have you ever met such a person? I haven’t met personally many of the television personalities but I can often see that this description is correct about some of them. Or what about some of the government or banking moguls, doesn’t this fit them too? Unfortunately I have also met people in my everyday life that fit this description; they do not love anything about the Lord.
His mouth is full of lies and threats; trouble and evil are under his tongue. There is one kind of person I simply hate to be around and that is a liar. Someone who will lie to me is someone I don’t want in my life. I have had to be around some people who I wondered if they even knew how to tell the truth. My son has to go to school with some children who lie constantly and it bothers him too. The person who is constantly devising a plan to harm others is not a person I care to have as a part of my life. Yet there are many liars in our world today, aren’t there?
He lies in wait to catch the helpless; he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net. His victims are crushed, they collapse; they fall under his strength. If you have ever been a victim of someone’s evil plan you fully understand this passage. Evil people are constantly looking for someone weaker or more innocent or in the wrong place at the wrong time to trick, to deceive, and to harm. And of course they never think that they will get caught. For David as for us today, God is who he turned to for protection and guidance.
Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless. Why does the wicked man revile God? Why does he say to himself, “He won’t call me to account”? 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. Break the arm of the wicked man; call the evildoer to account for his wickedness that would not otherwise be found out. The Lord is King for ever and ever; the nations will perish from his land. You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror. Psalm 10:12-17, (NIV).
One of the most encouraging things to remember when facing an evil person or situation is to know that God is the record keeper of all things. God has an account book where the deeds of every person are recorded and there will be accountability to God for what a person does. That helps me to realize that I am not alone and even though the situation I may be facing seems like I can’t survive or win, I know that God will keep me accountable just as He will the other person. I feel encouraged because while I must forgive the person who is hurting me I also know that God will hold that person accountable for what they are doing to me.
The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless. How comforting this statement really is to me. My son may have a father but that man does not see my son much and certainly doesn’t do any teaching or helping my son. I deem my son basically as fatherless and I worry about the lack of male teaching for him. And yet, God is going to help my son! I have seen the help of God in my son’s life recently too, men at church are taking time to speak to my son and to formulate a relationship with him. Male teachers are giving my son attention and inputting into his life as well. He has a great brother-in-law that has taken time to get to know my son and seeks to help him. Yes God is working in my son’s life and that makes this Mama worry less knowing that the void is being filled.
Break the arm of the wicked man; call the evildoer to account for his wickedness that would not otherwise be found out. How often I have thought these words and even though I have forgiven people who have harmed me I still have had a hard time not feeling like David and wanting to see the wicked punished. And then the truth came out about what these people had been doing and the community I lived in saw the truth and even though it was ugly truth I realized that God had brought forth their sins to be seen and was breaking them so that they didn’t harm anyone else for a while. God is in charge and what I learned is that you can’t hide from God no matter who you are. I want to be the person that God commends for being faithful rather than the person that God breaks the arm. I am thankful for this Psalm because David expresses his real emotions and they are as real as mine have been. But David also comes to the realization that God is in charge of the situation and will do good for His children. I hope you are one of His children too.
Until next time…Katherine