Key Scripture: Psalm 10:17 O LORD, You hear the desire of the afflicted.
Read Psalm 10. This Psalm is a lament Psalm. Laments can be thought of painful prayers that lead to trust. Many times laments ask two questions: Where are You, God? and If You love me, why is this happening to me? (Mark Vroegop). Laments are often a path to praise that meanders through brokenness and disappointment. They often follow a repetitive pattern: turn to God, complain, ask and trust.
Verse 1 begins by turning to God and asking questions. The New Living Translation renders these questions as "O Lord, why do you stand so far away? Why do you hide when I am in trouble?" The questions presume God is, in fact, far away, hidden, and detached from the affairs of man. But is He? Scripture tells us, "I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!" (Psalm 139:7). Perhaps the Psalmist feels God is "far away" because he sees the injustice of verses 2-11.
Verses 2-11 complain about the life and times of the wicked. These people are boastful, prideful, prosperous, deceitful, oppressive, and premeditatively evil.
The Psalmist then moves to asking for justice. "Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand; forget not the afflicted" (v. 12). The Psalmist implores God to hold the wicked accountable.
Sometimes what you see and feel makes you a poor theologian (Harris). Thus, the Psalmist rehearses truth. He practices the discipline of speaking truth to himself so that it might lead him to trust the One who is "king" (v. 16). Let us be diligent to know the truth of God's Word and then intentionally choose to trust it. We must navigate the brokenness of this world by what we know, not by what we see or feel.
What do we know? We know Jesus has conquered sin and death and stands ready to offer eternal life to all those who will receive it (1 John 5:12). While we still live amidst a broken and sinful world now, one day, this world will give way to total and complete worship of the one true God (Phil 2:10-11).
Questions to Consider: Do you feel as if God is far away? Are there complaints you need to bring before God humbly? Do you "rehearse truth" to yourself to lead you into trust and obedience to God?
- Father, I come to you with difficult and painful circumstances—ones I don't always understand. Yet, I have hope in Jesus that one day all things will be made right again. Strengthen me now and help me trust You in every trial.