Why, Lord, do you stand far off?Psalm 10:1
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
I like this Psalm because it seems to be working through a problem. It starts out with this question. Sometimes it feels like God is so far away. In my darkest times, my lowest points, my prayer is always that God draws near. The feeling of being forsaken is, in my opinion, one of the worst.
The psalm goes on to describe the wicked who seem to get away with everything:
In his arrogance, the wicked man hunts down the weak,Psalm 10:2-13
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.”
Even though I don’t consider myself wicked (I mean, who does?), this is also convicting me. No, I’m not catching people in nets, but do I reject the laws of God at times? Do I lean towards prosperity and security instead of dependence on God? Are there thoughts or actions I do in secret thinking no one will know so what is the harm? I may not be actively oppressing anyone, but am I trying to help them? If I’m not part of the solution, doesn’t that make me complicit as part of the problem?
But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;Psalm 10:14-18
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.
1The 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.
By the end of the Psalm, the writer acknowledges the truth. That God is forever and “nations will perish.” God will redeem the broken and the hurt of the world. Terror will end. Oppression will end. The wrong will be made right.
And if you are hurting and you feel isolated and ignored, here is the truth. You are seen. You are heard. You are not forgotten. And you are not alone.