The Lord may not explain to us why some people seem to get away with their evil deeds, but He does assure us that He will judge sinners and ultimately defend His own.
God Sees What Is Going On
But you see the trouble and grief they cause.
You take note of it and punish them.
The helpless put their trust in you.
You defend the orphans.
Psalm 10:14 (NLT)
This answers the claim in verses 8-11 that the Lord pays no attention to what the wicked is doing. Even more, God sees the trouble (outward circumstances) and grief (inward feelings) caused by the wicked as they persecute the helpless, and He will take the matter in hand. The poor and needy can safely commit themselves into the hands of the Lord (Psalm 55:22; 1 Peter 5:7).
God sees and takes note of each evil deed, encourages us, and listens to our cries (Ps. 10:17). He is always with us. We can face the wicked because we do not face them alone. God is by our side.
God Judges Sin
Break the arms of these wicked, evil people!
Go after them until the last one is destroyed.
Psalm 10:15 (NLT)
This answers the false claim of verses 12-13. The psalmist prays that the Lord will carefully investigate each sinner’s life and works, until every evil deed is exposed and judged. But he asks that the sinners be judged in this life and their power removed (“break the arm”).
”Break…the arm of the wicked” was David requesting that the Lord stop the wicked from doing any more damage, just as a man with a broken arm is severely limited in what he can do. This prayer isn’t always answered. (See Rev. 6:9-11.)
God Is King
The LORD is king forever and ever!
The godless nations will vanish from the land.
Psalm 10:16 (NLT)
This psalm started with David asking why the Lord was standing by and not intervening when the wicked oppressed the poor (Psalms 10:1-3). At the end of this psalm, David was reasserting his faith that God is King and will bring every injustice to the light. That doesn’t always happen in this life; there are many examples of the wicked oppressing the poor where it looks like they got away with it. But a day of judgment is coming, and every wrong will be set right (Matthew 25:31-46).
The wicked claim that there is no God, but the truth is that God is and He rules over all! (See Ps. 2:6; 5:2; 24:7-10; 29:10; 1 Sam. 8:6-7.) After their deliverance from Egypt, the Israelites sang praises to their King: “The Lord shall reign forever and ever” (Ex. 15:18).
God Defends His Own People
LORD, you know the hopes of the helpless.
Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them.
You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed,
so mere people can no longer terrify them.
Psalm 10:17-18 (NLT)
The wicked boast that they will not be moved, but God has other plans for them. He hears the prayers of the persecuted, He sees their plight, He strengthens their hearts for whatever trials He permits (Rom. 8:28), and He eventually judges those who abuse them.
Christians have their citizenship in heaven (Phil. 3:20), and their names are written down in heaven (Luke 10:20). They don’t belong to this world, although their ministry is in this world. God’s people have been “redeemed from the earth” (Rev. 14:3) and have heaven as their home.
The phrase “who belong to this world” is found often in the book of Revelation (3:10; 6:10; 8:13; 11:10; 12:12; 13:8, 12, 14; 14:6; 17:2, 8) and describes not only where these unbelievers live but what they live for—the things of the earth. The “the people who belong to this world” may seem to have the upper hand today, but wait until the Lord reveals His hand!
Even though unrighteous people arrogantly turn their backs on God and yet seem to prosper, we should not yield to the temptation to follow in their footsteps.
- What is the New Testament’s answer to the Old Testament’s problem: Why does God tolerate wickedness so long? Why does he not do something about it? (See 2 Pet. 3:8-9.)
- In what ways would you say non-Christians correspond to those about whom David complains here? Does this include the way they treat Christians? (See Rom. 3:9-20.)
- Have there been times when you have been frustrated because you thought God was doing nothing, when in fact it was you who hadn’t been praying, or not praying rightly? (See James 4:2-3.) Do you pray in the light of God’s universal sovereignty? (See Jer. 32:16-25.)
DECLARATION OF FAITH
I seek the Lord with all of my heart. He is my refuge and stronghold in times of trouble. He is my trusted friend who will never leave me nor forsake me.
I pray this declaration of faith in Jesus’ name!