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PSALM 10

LET'S STUDY IT TOGETHER ... VERSE BY VERSE!

 

 

 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15

 

1 "Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble? 2 The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined. 3 For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth. 4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. 5 His ways are always grievous; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them. 6 He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity. 7 His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity. 8 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. 9 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. 10 He croucheth, and humbleth himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones. 11 He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten: he hideth his face; he will never see it. 12 Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up thine hand: forget not the humble. 13 Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? he hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it. 14 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. 15 Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man: seek out his wickedness till thou find none. 16 The LORD is King for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land. 17 LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear: 18 To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress.

 

LESSON 1, VERSES 1 AND 2:

The Psalm is longer than we normally study, here on the Website. Yet the Lord has brought me to this Text, all eighteen verses. Perhaps some days we can digest two or three verses.

Psalm 10 has no superscript, no hint of its author or historical setting. In fact, a number of the ancient Hebrew manuscripts, and later Greek ones as well, have Psalms 9 and 10 appearing together, as a unit.

Truth be told, like Psalms 1 and 2 beautifully compare and contrast with each other, so do Psalms 9 and 10. Except Psalm 1 deals with individuals and Psalm 2 with nations. In our Text the order is reversed, Psalm 9 with nations first.

Plus, when studied together, Psalms 9 and 10 are an acrostic, using successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

Still, time being a factor, we will limit our concentration to Psalm 10. Which, based on the foregoing reasoning, might be Davidic.

Let's get started. At least today we can get the "feel" of the Passage. It presents to us an example of prayer, a specific kind of prayer too.

"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." Psalm 10:1-2

The Lord, in the Psalmist's opinion anyway, is far too "distant!"

And David is going to tell God just that!

Here is boldness in prayer for sure! The New Testament word for "boldness," the one used in Hebrews 4:16, is "parresia," meaning "to say it all!" Unloading on God, holding nothing back! Casting all one's care, and everything else, on the Lord of the universe!

The form of the verb "standest" is one that shows incomplete action, God stands and stands and stands "afar off!" In a "remote" or a "distant" place! To the Psalmist God is not nearby!

He is withdrawn!

More than that, God has not simply become too busy or otherwise occupied! He has actually "hidden" Himself! "Alam" hints at "secrecy." God has removed Himself to some secluded and unknown location!

And anytime God has absented Himself like this, "trouble" will come. "Tzsarah" those "tight, constricting, narrow" times when no "wiggle room" is left! Times of great "constraint!" Even "cramped" situations would qualify under this noun's domain.

What a terrible set of circumstances!

Mercy!

Little wonder that God is being implored to come out of hiding!

And typical of much of the Psalm, verse 2 begins to list some reasons why God should do so, why God should act!

The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined."

The adjective "wicked" translates "rasha," actively ungodly people. Not benignly and mildly mischievous folks! Nearly reprobates here!

"Pride" is "highness" literally, being "stuck-up!" A synonym or two, "haughtiness, arrogancy."

"Persecute" is "to hotly pursue." With the intention of inflicting harm. To further fleece them!

And the "poor" are the "dejected, pushed down, lowly" men and women of earth. "Down and out" people one might say.

Hurting the most weak and vulnerable members of society!

Like wicked King Ahab and his even more wicked Wife Jezebel, who stole and killed the poor Jew named Naboth. A sin that ultimately led to the deaths of these two royal figures.

Poor people are still being defrauded today, deceived and abused. Financially, emotionally and even physically. Maybe spiritually too.

So far we have: "Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? Why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble? The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor ..." Psalm 10:1-2a

Now the prayer!

"Let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined." Psalm 10:1-2b

Wow!

Lord, reward them according to their wicked works!

Let the law of "sowing and reaping" apply here!

"To be taken" in something is "to be caught, to be seized, to be arrested!" What goes around, comes around!

They have "invented," in Hebrew "chashab," which means "calculated, planned, purposed, reckoned" certain evil "tools."

"Devices" once in the King James Bible is translated "witty inventions," Proverbs 8:12. "Mezimmah," used only 19 times total in all Scripture.

Lord, let their own thoughts and imaginations return to "bite" them! May they fall into the pit they themselves have dug! Proverbs 26:27 nearly promises this end for such extremely ungodly people: "Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him."

So today, here is prayer.

Persuasive prayer!

Pray buttressed by logical, Biblical reasons for God to answer!

The Psalmist has truly been reasoning with God!

"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." Psalm 10:1-2

Why can't we do the same?

If we approach the Throne of Grace reverently?

Yet boldly!

                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

God did this!

Once He asked the Israelites to be so bold in prayer as to command God's very Hands! To tell God what to do!

Don't believe me?

"Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me." Isaiah 45:11

See it?

"Concerning the work of My Hands ... command ye Me."

Wow!

 

 

LESSON 2, VERSES 3 AND 4:

Here's a description of the ungodly person. "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." Psalm 10:3-4

Again remember that "wicked" is the word that suggests active, malignant, spreading wickedness, not just the dormant kind. 

The verb "boasteth" is "halal," quite familiar! It's usually translated "praise" in Scripture! It's "praise" 117 times and "boast" only 10 times in the King James Version. Whatever this perverted man wants, he brags on it and praises it, never questioning its validity. He's self-centered, nearly an ego maniac! The noun "desire" is from a root verb meaning "to crave, to lust after, to wish for, to sigh for, to wait patiently" for something!

Not only that, this rebel "blesses" those whom the Lord "spurns or despises!" His priorities are exactly opposite those of the Almighty! Here the "covetous" are those who "gain by violence!" They want a thing so badly they will do anything to get it, including robbery or perhaps even murder!

What God loves, this man hates! Conversely, what God hates this man loves! Look at Isaiah 5;20 in this context. "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"

The man described here is proud too! And his vanity shows, in his face even! "The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts." Psalm 10:4

"Pride" is "gobahh," meaning "loftiness, height, haughtiness, exaltation!" In other words, "stuck-up!" And "countenance translates "aph," literally one's "nose or nostrils!" But here a "part" describes the "whole," a portion of the face depicting it all. Plus this man's disdain and bitterness and temper might be the focus here, so angry he "snorts!" Or at least breathes hard, noticeably so!

The noun "seek" is "darash," which means "to resort to, to consult," nearly to worship! Notice it says this ungodly man "will not" seek God, not that he "can not" seek God! Big difference!

Then comes an indictment that's astounding, and didactic as well. Of this reprobate it is said, "God is not in all his thoughts."

Wow!

Normally the world would call that fanaticism!

Something or someone dominating all a person's thoughts!

But God, our God, our dear Heavenly Father, apparently expects such! Maybe even requires it! To be in our thoughts! All our thoughts! Paul in Philippians 4:8 certainly tells us what to think! And Scripture dozens of times tells us what not to think!

But that's usually directed to the children of God! To His saints! Believers, born-again people.

Here the utterly unsaved are accused of not thinking about the Lord! In a pejorative way, too.

Do I keep God on my mind like I should? Like He expects? Even in the Old Testament, watch this time line! "And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart. And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." Deuteronomy 6:6-7, pretty much "all the time!"

In fact, we children of God can learn a lot about how to live by reading in reverse this denunciation of the ungodly!

"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." Psalm 10:3-4

What a study in hamartiology this is! It means the "doctrine of sin," the "study of sin," that's all. It's a division of the science of "theology."

And be sure of this. If these wicked people were abundant in David's day, back a thousand years before Jesus was incarnated, they are even more prevalent today!

Beware!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, VERSES 5 AND 6:

Psalm 10 paints a classic picture of the wicked man!

Descriptive phrase after phrase pours from the pen of the Psalmist.

Today we examine verses 5 and 6, of a total of 18 in the whole chapter. "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."

The noun "ways" is spelled "derek" in Hebrew. It means "road, path, journey," being derived from "darak," a verb meaning "to walk, to march, to tread." It means here the man's "manner of life," the choices he makes and the habits he pursues.

These "are grevious," in God's Eyes anyway. This is a picturesque term also. It means "to twist or writhe," as if in pain! At times also "to twirl, to dance," under happier circumstances of course.

The ways of life of this ungodly man always disturb Almighty God! "Kol eth" is a phase meaning at "all times." This man, due to his bad heart, cannot please God, never!

Next the Psalm makes one brief statement about God! To God, really! "Thy judgments are far above out of his sight." Wow! The wicked man being described cannot comprehend God's awesome judgments! He misses them!

A violent earthquake may come, but to the wicked a "tectonic plate" merely shifted! A giant hurricane? Just El Nino or global warming! A terrorist attack, not to worry, some "nut" acting alone!

The wicked miss God's hand behind the amazing events of life, especially His judgments!

He robs God of His omnipotence and perfect Wisdom! God's "doings" do not even interest the ungodly man, apparently.

The comes a tough clause talking about the rebels again: "As for all his enemies, he puffeth at them." The noun for "enemies" here is interesting. "Tzsarar" means anything that "binds or cramps or constricts" a man's plans. "Afflictions, adversaries, troubles, distresses!" He sees every single "inconvenience" as a "intruder," as an "enemy!" The very opposite of James 1:2, "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations," or "trials."

The verb "puffeth" is puzzling. "To breathe upon them, to blow upon them, to snort at them!" The wicked "sneers, scorns, scoffs" at his inconveniences! He can't handle the disturbances of life!

He could never say, along with Paul, "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses," 2nd Corinthians 12:10, all "for Christ's sake!" 

Now quickly, verse 6. "He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity." He has no room, no plans, for problems, not at all! The verb "mot" means "to shake, to slip, to totter, to fall, to slide." Nothing is going to upset this man, he is "beyond" such things, proud as he can be! Too good to be upset, to be disturbed! He deserves peace and contentment, only! "Adversity" translates the ubiquitous noun "ra," anything "bad or disagreeable or malignant." Any delay to this man, any "bump in the road," any inconvenience is unacceptable!

These are all amazing traits of a person who is, in common everyday terms, "spoiled!" Used to getting "all" he wants! He's never been told "No!" Raised with a "silver spoon" in his mouth!

While the godly man or woman, under God's direct Supervision, faces trial after trial, test after test, valley after valley! Paul yet again: "But we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." This, Romans 5:3-5 is all nonsense to the wicked man of Psalm 10. "Tribulations" being good? Who ever heard of such?

Well, let me say this.

I believe I'll take the Christian viewpoint of life any day!

Jesus gives us the strength to handle what comes our way. Excuse me, this is "Paul" day I guess. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." So said the great Apostle, from jail!

When things do fall apart, in America I mean, what will the terminally wicked do?

Fret?

Demand medication?

Make an appointment with his therapist?

Commit suicide?

One thing for sure, he will not be able to cope!

In his own mind, he deserves better!

While the born-again man opines: "Lord, It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes." Psalm 119:71

Wow!

Viva la difference!

Our problems can be our teachers!

To bring us closer to the Lord!

Or our problems can be bothersome little "pests," that rob us of peace and joy and contentment!

Two views!

To which do you subscribe?

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, VERSE 7:

What a list of sins!

In one man's heart?

Mouth, I should say.

"His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity." Psalm 10:7

Only one verse today. Partly because tomorrow's Text will consist of three interconnected verses.

When I mentioned the wicked man's "heart" a second or two ago, then corrected myself to the wicked man's "mouth,"  I was nearly quoting something Jesus said.

For example, Matthew 15:18, among other places. "Those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart." Pretty plain!

Back to our list.

"His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity." Psalm 10:7

This individual is not merely "dabbling" with these sins, either! He is "full" of them! That's a verb really, "male," meaning "replenished, abundant, overflowing!"

These are not occasional slip-ups! They are more like habits of life! Patterns have developed around these transgressions.

The three that come directly out of his mouth are probably more evident, more vocal, more easily identified than the two under his tongue.

The etymology of the Hebrew noun "mouth" just can't be overlooked here. It's word history. Literally it is the "truth" behind the words we use, "etumos" being one Greek word for truth. That which is "genuine."

"Peh," one's "mouth," means "that which breaks thing into pieces! That which shatters things! In the King James Bible, that which "scatters!" Isn't that exactly what our mouths do? Far too often human mouths leave a trail of scattered garbage! Harming others instead of encouraging them!

Now we must consider that first trio of sins, "cursing and deceit and fraud."

One preacher told me that "cursing" is the lazy person's sin! It's committed by people who won't take the time to think and choose better vocabulary words! Just blurt out what comes naturally! Let your old sin nature rule every time! You don't even have to think to do this! It's just habit! "Alah" translates the noun for an "oath." A "sware" word! An "execration." To denounce, to hate, thus "to curse," all synonyms!

"Deceit" is "mirmah," that is "to trick, to mislead." In the King James, that which is "feigned" or faked! "Guile, subtilty, false!" The man is not honest, just a hypocrite really!

And "fraud" is "tok," literally an "injury" to a person! Hurting them, verbally! It's root, "tever," means "to sever." To split things up! Listen to Proverbs 16:28. "A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends." Wow!

Now the last two sins! This is not a very encouraging Lesson, is it? Unless we look at it his way, "Things to avoid!"

True of the wicked man, the antagonist of Psalm 10, "Under his tongue is mischief and vanity."

This is the truth. Once in the Old Testament the word here for "tongue," spelled "lashon," is translated "flame!" King James Version too! Reminds one of James 3:5. "Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!"

"Mischief" is "amal," normally a Hebrew word for "labor, pain!" It hints of "misery, trouble, sorrow, grievance," that which is "wearisome." All these words are found as translations of "amal" in our Bibles, the Authorized Version. 

Finally "vanity." Spelled "aven," the word just means "iniquity" 47 of its 78 times in Scripture. But it is a derivative of a Hebrew verb meaning "to pant." To exert oneself, to work real hard ... but "to no avail!" Emptiness, "nought" one time in God's Word. Much investment, no return! "Vanity!"

Instead of this ungodly five-fold lifestyle, let me contrast it with another approach. One spawned by the Holy Spirit of God! A life filled with "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance." You know what I'm going to say now, yet again!

Wow!

Sin versus holiness!

No wonder there is often an appeal to godliness, a magnetism! The Bible once speaks of "the beauty of holiness!"

"Purity," in the long run, is far more attractive than wickedness!

Yet more and more Psalm 10:7 characterizes our nation! Dark are the days in which we live.

But that makes Galatians 5:22-23 all the brighter!

Again, the difference.

The wicked man. "His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity." Psalm 10:7

The godly person. "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance." Galatians 5:22-23

I know where I want to be!

How about you?

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5, VERSES 8-10:

Find the dominant theme in the following verses.  "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." Psalm 10:8-10

Four times the word is used.

The "poor."

This man, the actor in this paragraph, is an oppressor!

He is wicked, indeed!

The term "lurking place" is "maarab" in Hebrew, an "ambush" really! A hunter's "blind," one source says.

A "secret place," the whole term, is a "hiding" place. Often "to hide" when up to no good!

But what is his "goal?" Who is his "target?" "His eyes are privily set against the poor." Wicked eyes, I might say! "Privily set" is yet another covert kind of verb, "to lurk, to keep from discovery," spelled "tzsaphan."

"Against the poor."

The preposition "le" is translated "against," noting "direction." Mr. Wickedness is targeting poor people! Easy prey! Defenseless! They can't hire lawyers or private investigators either! And though they don't have a lot, by the time these thieves "fleece" all the poor man's land and crops and inheritance, the total is surprising!

Hitting on the least able to protect themselves!

Like banks overcharging on small loans, loans only the poor might need! The ultra wealthy do not pursue small loans! Or triple charging on "bounced" checks, debiting the poor man's lean account anyway, profiting by a pauper's lack of resources.

Just an example.

And if you now think, since I used this "bank" illustration, a "financial" institution, that I am an anti-capitalist, I frankly don't care!

I am not a communist.

I am not a socialist.

I am a believer in free enterprise, but I am against exploiting poor people, no matter who is doing it!

I think God is "against" them too!

Next the Psalmist compares Mr. Greedy to a "lion in waiting," for his prey, for his lunch! "He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor." That verb "catch" means "to seize." Only found three times in all the Bible!

"Den" is "sok," a "booth, a covered place, a thicket," even a "tabernacle!" From his place of relative comfort, this rascal strips the poor man! From his ivory towers! From his New York offices, penthouses no doubt! Oh, excuse me! I'm thinking of those bankers again!

Again, his target?

"The poor!"

Twice in our trio of verses today, "poor" is represented by the noun "aniy." One who is "afflicted, lowly, weakened, troubled, oppressed, bowed down!" Downcast, due to some heavy load imposed upon him! Extremely burdened!

We might say "unfortunate."

Full of word pictures, metaphors, the wicked man next "draws" the poor man "into his net!" A "hint" as to what a fisherman does to his catch! Haul him in, let him die, skin him, eat him for supper!

It's like what wicked King Ahab and his hellish Wife Jezebel did to the poor man Naboth! A crime for which both King and Queen ultimately died! And rightly so!

Now let's finish today's text. "He croucheth, and humbleth himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones." Psalm 10:10

Still after the "poor," but the noun has changed. Four times the English word "poor" is utilized, but two different terms in Hebrew.

Let me show you. You can scan the verses and get the picture. "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 ("cheleka"). He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor ("aniy"): he doth catch the poor ("aniy"), when he draweth him into his net. He croucheth, and humbleth himself, that the poor ("cheleka") may fall by his strong ones."

This arrangement is called an "inverted parallelism." A "chiasm." It quite simply looks like this: "a-b-b-a."  It's a form of Hebrew poetry. Beauty in a sermon! Artwork in an indictment!

Well, back to "cheleka," which at base means "to be dark, to be unhappy," and colloquially means "hapless, luckless," yes it was in a lexicon! "Dejected!" Down and out people!

Easy targets!

Don't have much, but can't protect what little they do possess!

Take their land!

Repossess their homes!

Even steal their wives, if you wish!

Or their children!

Look what's really happening here!

Not only are the poor being wronged!

Don't miss this!

God is defending the unprotected!

The poor!

I'm just noticing something. A little late, but still I've seen it now. One form or another of the word "poor" is used repeatedly in Psalm 10. I count six times!

This is the Bible Psalm that defends the poor man, against the aggressor!

While Psalm 68:5 does not specifically use the word "poor," the concept is there. Synonyms are there. "A Father of the fatherless, and a Judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation." Wow!

Oh, we Believers often bad-mouth poor people even! "Lazy" we call them, even before investigating. "They could do better!" Or, "They don't even try!"

That might be partially true, of some anyway.

But not of all!

Some are sick.

Some have lost their jobs and can't find gainful employment, having tried again and again and again!

Some have been exploited, by Baptists in more than cases than one! I say that because I am a Baptist.

I know this. The New Testament, in harmony with the old, has a "heart" for poor people!

God loves them!

Jesus died for them!

And He will not let the crooks keep running over them!

Not for ever!

Pay Day is coming!

Judgment Day is on the way!

"He (God) shall judge (defend) the poor of the people, He shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor." Yes, Psalm 72:4.

Wow!

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

Really!

I feel like the keyboard is "smoking" this morning!

"Hot" with the wrath of God, against rich, unscrupulous tyrants!

Poor, humble folks have a Friend in Almighty God! I am so glad that Mark 12:37 tells us, "The common people heard Him gladly." Read it this way, the "poor" people.

I grew up poor.

And while still not rich by any means, I could be poor again tomorrow! Really poor!

I'm going to love them, too.

The poor.

 

 

LESSON 6, VERSES 11-13:

One reason wicked people behave so badly is given in today's verses. "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." Psalm 10:11-13

This ungodly man has somehow persuaded himself that God does not judge sin! In fact, that God no longer even sees sin! That God has withdrawn Himself from the affairs of men!

Verses 11 and 13 let us see into this man's heart, mistaken as it can be! "He hath said in his heart ...." Back in Psalm 14:1 the fool says in his heart, "There is no God." Our Psalm 10 antagonist is not quite that bad! But his theology is still critically twisted.

If a man or woman is going to listen to his or her own heart, better keep it in harmony with the Word of God!

An old saying proclaims, "Ideas have consequences!"

The wicked man's ideas sure do! "He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten: He hideth His face; He will never see it.

The verb "forgotten" is "shakach," just meaning "to forget" in this sense, "to cease to care!" Mr. Foolishness thinks God no longer is concerned about sin and oppression and rebellion!

The verb "hideth" means "to keep in secret." He wrongly reasons, "God is not looking."  And "seeth" translates "raah," meaning "to consider, to preceive, to observe," close scrutiny.

This unwise man has persuaded himself that God is "absent." Just as well say that. God does not participate in the affairs of men!

If a person really believes a lie like this, he will act anyway he pleases! Do anything he wants! Fulfill all his desires, good or bad!

In today's middle verse the Psalmist prays, briefly. "Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up thine hand: forget not the humble." Psalm 10:12, containing both a positive request, and then a negative one.

When God is asked to lift up His Hand, His great Power is being invoked. God's Hand, God's Arm, both represent His awesome Ability, His Omnipotence! In other words: "God, please do something!"

What?

"Forget not the humble." That is, the poor, the oppressed, the people Mr. Wickedness is trampling!

Look at this. Praying for persecuted people! Praying for the downtrodden! Praying for abused folks! Reminds me of Hebrews 13:3, which instructs us: "Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body."

Wow!

When loved ones are being mistreated, or for that matter anyone you know, ask God to intervene!

Now the Passage again returns to the wicked man, to his thoughts. In verse number 13 we hear: "Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? he hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it."

Note something.

To say that God does not care about sin, does not judge sin, is tantamount to "condemning" the Lord God Himself!

The verb is "naatzs," meaning "to spurn, to abhor or hate, to blaspheme!"

That's right, to misrepresent God's Character, to call our Holy God a party to wickedness, is a terrible thing!

To make God the Author of iniquity, like this man just did! "God will not require sin!"

That critical verb. "require," is "darash," actually "to seek" for something, "to search, to study," but also "to investigate!" To demand an answer for wrong behavior!

If God no longer is concerned about wrongdoing, anything goes!

And folks, that's exactly where society is today!

God has been removed from society. Man evolved, no Creator necessary! Mankind now solves his own problems, all of them! So again, God is obsolete! Jesus has been declared illegal in our schools, irrelevant at the doctors' offices, and too old-fashioned for our public forums!

In other words, to most Americans, God is gone!

So you know what?

The average man, getting to be the average woman too, does whatever he or she pleases!

Just like in Psalm 10 here, "God is not looking!"

Do what feels good!

Do what comes natural!

Perversion? By what standard? If there's no God overseeing everything, then there is no Book to rule us either!

Man rules!

Woman rules!

God does not care!

That's today's text.

Psalm 10, that wicked man there, now sounds just like our morning newspapers! Or like our University lecture halls! Or television channels!

"He, the wicked person, hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten: He hideth His face; He will never see He hath said in his heart, Thou God wilt not require it." Psalm 10:11 and13

I just noticed something. This man who denies God's omniscience, speaks to God before the soliloquy is over!

"God does not care!" Then before you know it, "Thou God, will not require it!"

God is God, even to the atheist! Even to the rebel! Even to the reprobate! They just can't totally erase the concept of Deity from their minds! He is imprinted there! A Creator can do that, leave signs of His presence!

What a Lesson!

What stark facts!

And in the face of such blatant iniquity, what can a Christian do?

Pray, just like the Psalmist!

Pray!

"Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up thine hand: forget not the humble." Psalm 10:12, Amen!

Let's not just pray for ourselves all the time, or just for our special loved ones! Let's include the persecuted masses of humanity too!

Here is the opinion of James. "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction." And surely prayer preceded these "visits!" James 1:27

Mercy!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7, VERSES 14-15:

This part of our Text is pure prayer, Psalm 10:14-15.

"Thou Lord 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 wicked man had persuaded himself that God was not looking! That God does not see wrongdoing, sin, oppression!

But the Psalmist says that God does see such things!

Yes!

"The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good." Proverbs 15:3

To "behold" the sins of the wicked is even more precise. "Nabat" implies consideration and attention, "inspection" nearly.

"Mischief" here involves "misery, weariness, toil, heaviness," all being laid on the shoulders of the poor. Taking advantage of them, unnecessarily adding to their load!

"Spite" is downright "anger, wrath, indignation," traits God easily discerns in the wicked people of our Psalm.

And God, eventually, will "requite" it with His Hand! "Thou Lord hast seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to requite it with thy hand."

This verb is "nathan," basically "to give." God will give these ungodly people exactly what they have been dispensing! They will get a big dose of their own medicine! They will reap what they have sown!

Wow!

Then comes some instructions for us when we are oppressed! Commit these things to the Lord! Peter says it best, "Casting all your care upon Him; for he careth for you."

David, again, in our Text. "Lord, he poor committeth himself unto Thee; Thou art the Helper of the fatherless.

The verb "commit" here, in Hebrew "azab," has a strange twist! It literally means "to abandon!" To leave or to forsake! I think the implication is this, "to leave oneself, one's own thinking, and run to another," here fleeing unto the Lord!

Running for safety!

Why?

God is our "helper!" It's "azar," half the term "help meet" of Genesis fame! God is my Mate, my Companion, essentially fulfilling the role that my wife once did, before she died! Symbolically, maybe I should say.

"Fatherless" here implies the literal orphans of the land, the word meaning "all alone." But in spirit it also involves the person who is under attack by the "wicked wolves" of this whole tenth Psalm, of the whole Psalm 9-10 complex really.

Then the prayer continues to the Lord. "Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man: seek out his wickedness till thou find none."

To "break someone's arm" is to render them powerless. To strip them of the ability to hurt and plunder and torment the poor and needy of the land!

The adjectives "wicked" and "evil" are synonyms. They are "rasha" and "ra" in Hebrew, visibly related even. Active, spreading, militant, hard-core evil! Sin at its worst!

God is on a search! "Seek out" his many sins, O Lord! "Darash" means "to search with great care." And "wickedness" here, once again, is "resha," still a relative of the "ra" family. The bad stuff, sin on the attack!

Lord God, don't miss a bit of their error! Search for it "till Thou find none." Literally "till thou find 'bal' or none" This little Hebrew word means "nothing" or "close to nothing." One lexicon says "hardly" any at all.

For these oppressors, sounds like their day is coming! God will clearly judge them, or so the Psalmist hopes and prays.

Let's put today's phrases and clauses back together again, reverently. "Thou Lord 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." Psalm 10:14-15

God's Word, line upon line.

Commit yourself to God today!

He will be your Protector!

Here is God's promise to each of us. "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you." James 4:8

Wow!

A lot to ponder this morning.

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 8, VERSES 16-18:

This whole Psalm, this whole prayer, eighteen verses, and I am not sure the Lord has answered a single request!

Not yet, anyway!

Still, the Psalmist, likely David, keeps on trusting!

He just continues believing!

Leaning on the Lord!

The Chapter ends like this: "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 10:16-18

There is not a single request in this whole Text, in this three Verse span!

Instead of asking God for anything now, the writer just states God's Character.

Who God is!

What God does because of Who He is!

God's "Essence," God's very Nature, literally, God's "being."

1. The Lord is King!

2. The Lord hears the humble!

3. The Lord judges, vindicates, protects, the fatherless and the oppressed!

Then, by implication, "Case solved!"

The wicked have lost the battle!

They have perished out of the land!

The bullies are gone!

Wow!

This is faith at its best!

Without one ounce of victory, yet anyway, this man is trusting his God without reservation!

Nothing much has happened yet!

But it will!

Look at Verse 16. ""The Lord is King for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land." Yet when he writes these words, there are as many oppressors as there have ever been! It's just that David is looking into the future and ... God has won the victory!

Notice Verse 17 too. "Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear." The King James translators have expressed "wilt prepare" and "wilt cause to hear" as future tense verbs. Not done yet, but as sure as can be, as sure as the sunrise! God is always true to His own Person, to His own Nature!

God can do no wrong!

That noun "desire" is very strong too, "taavah" in Hebrew. The "longings" of a person's heart, once in Scripture "lust!" Negatively it's the idea of "covetousness!"

"A godly man's desire is God's command," this nearly says! In other words, "Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." Wow, Psalm 37:4.

That verb "prepare" is "kun," just "to make firm, to make stable, to establish, to fix." And "to cause to hear" is "qashab," literally, God "inclining His ear" to hear a matter, God being "attentive" to a plea.

So, lastly, Verse 18, it's all over!

Not on earth, problems still abound.

But in the Psalmist's heart!

His faith has been to the "mountain top," looked over to the "other side" and has already seen how things are going to be some day! "To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress."

This is one of the greatest examples of trust in all the Bible, I think.

For eighteen verses the Psalmist has presented his case to God, offering every reason he can muster why the poor and afflicted and miserable and downtrodden people of Israel should be defended and protected by Almighty God!

Why the oppressors, the rich manipulators, the political and financial bullies should be judged!

And, apparently, David feels his case is so strong, so Biblical ... that God can do nothing but answer!

Answer some day!

And that's the end of the story!

Victory is on the horizon!

Goodness!

Using this line of reasoning, a born-again Christian can confront any kind of problem on earth, any worry of his or her heart, any speck of rebellion against God ... and simply remember that some day Jesus is coming again!

Just like John wrote! "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords." Revelation 19:11-16

This being so, what on earth can be wrong?

For long?

The issues of Psalm 10 are solved by faith!

Trust that some day God will make everything all right!

That there is indeed a Land somewhere that will fulfill this prophecy. "Where there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Revelation 21:4

Really 1st John 5:4 may say it best of all. "And this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."

I know God.

All will be well.

In fact, in my heart, all is well.

Even now.

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 


What a wonderful ending to a little-known Psalm!

 

 

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