1 Why, Lord, do you stand far off?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
2 In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak,
who are caught in the schemes he devises.
3 He boasts about the cravings of his heart;
he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord.
4 In his pride the wicked man does not seek him;
in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
5 His ways are always prosperous;
your laws are rejected by him;
he sneers at all his enemies.
6 He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.”
He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.”
7 His mouth is full of lies and threats;
trouble and evil are under his tongue.
8 He lies in wait near the villages;
from ambush he murders the innocent.
His eyes watch in secret for his victims;
9 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.
10 His victims are crushed, they collapse;
they fall under his strength.
11 He says to himself, “God will never notice;
he covers his face and never sees.”
12 Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God.
Do not forget the helpless.
13 Why does the wicked man revile God?
Why does he say to himself,
“He won’t call me to account”?
14 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.
15 Break the arm of the wicked man;
call the evildoer to account for his wickedness
that would not otherwise be found out.
16 The Lord is King for ever and ever;
the nations will perish from his land.
17 You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that mere earthly mortals
will never again strike terror.
Vs 1: Is this verse relatable to you? Have you ever felt this? Have you ever called this out to God? Have you been in the depths of despair and looked for God and felt like he wasn’t there? The Psalmist has, too. You are not alone.
The rest of this Psalm shows us the answer to the question in verse 1. (Spoiler alert – look at verse 14).
Vs 2-13: These verses paint the picture of the wicked man. One one hand, it’s easy to look at this picture and say, “How horrible – what an evil person!” – and rightly so!
The wicked man is painted in such a way to make us feel his evil. He hunts down the weak (2), boasts about his sin (3), reviles God (3), has no thoughts for God at all (4), yet he seems to prosper in all he does (5) – in clear contradiction to verses like Psalm 1:6 “The way of the wicked will perish”.
There is no guarantee that the wicked will not prosper in this life.
Before we move on to what will happen to the wicked man when he meets God, let’s stop for a second – as we point at others, do we also point out something in ourselves?
As Paul reminds the Corinthians: “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor 6:1-11).
If God had not called us, we would be living lives just as this wicked man does. What is more frightening is when we see an attitude to sin that we ourselves may have: “God will never notice; he covers his face and never sees.” (Vs 11).
Vs 16-18:This Psalm ends with words of great comfort: God is King forever, he does hear the cries of the oppressed, and he will avenge them.
What will you pray as a result of this Psalm today?
What will do you as a result of this Psalm today?