Psalm 10: Nature of the Wicked

Why does God seem distant during troubling times? Why might he not seem distant?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 10:1 Why are you so distant, Lord? Why do you hide yourself in troubling times?
King James
Psalm 10:1 Why standest thou afar off, O Lord? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?

What justice is served by the wicked being victims of their own schemes?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 10:2 Why are you so distant, Lord? Why do you hide yourself in troubling times?
King James
Psalm 10:2 The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.

How does “prosperity and pleasure” differ between saint and sinner?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 10:3–6 They boast about their plans for prosperity and pleasure, encouraging envy and greed, which God hates. So proud of themselves, they won’t entertain any thought of God, let alone seek after him.
They are always seeking to satisfy their greed, caring nothing about others. God’s judgments aren’t even a slight consideration. The wicked will sneer at adversaries like they are nothing, thinking, Nothing can shake me. I cannot fail.
King James
Psalm 10:3–6 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. 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.

What motivates people to lie, cheat, and steal?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 10:7 They lie, cheat, and steal, cursing and speaking evil.
King James
Psalm 10:7 His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity.

How are the wicked able to crush the unsuspecting? Why can’t the unsuspecting see the danger coming?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 10:8–10 In public places, the wicked hide among the people, watching for an opportunity to prey upon the innocent and helpless. Like a lion crouched in the tall grass, they patiently wait to pounce upon the weak and drag them away.
The unsuspecting are crushed, victims of the lion’s strong jaws.
King James
Psalm 10:8–10 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.

If God is present everywhere and can be recognized in his creation, how can people say he isn’t present or doesn’t exist?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 10:11 The wicked think, God isn’t looking my way. He doesn’t see what I’m doing.
Romans 1:20–25 They have no excuse for not believing and doing the good they know to do, since the power and nature of our invisible God can be clearly observed in his creation. No matter what they say, they actually have an awareness of God. They just refuse to acknowledge what they know. They give themselves to false imaginations, plunging themselves into darkness to escape the light of truth. While earning their masters degrees and doctoral credentials, making themselves appear wise, they become fools, replacing the glory of our eternal God with natural, corruptible things to admire, elevating mortal men and animals to god-like status. God has given them free will to go their own way so they can enjoy their sinful pleasures, so they can do shameful acts with one another. In this process, they exchange the truth of God for the lies they want to believe, worshiping the creature instead of the Creator, who alone is worthy of eternal adoration. Yes, this is true.
King James
Psalm 10:11 He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten: he hideth his face; he will never see it.
Romans 1:20–25 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

When will God stand and say, “That’s enough”?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 10:12 Stand up, O Lord. Lift your hand, saying, “That’s enough.” Don’t forget the weak and afflicted.
King James
Psalm 10:12 Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up thine hand: forget not the humble.

What reasoning can people use that allows them to think God won’t punish them?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 10:13–15 How can wicked people despise God, saying in their hearts, I don’t have to account for my actions. God won’t punish me.
You’ve seen the offenses and injustices and will intervene. The weak and afflicted won’t be left in the streets to fend for themselves, for you are there to help them, like a father of orphans.
Break the arms of the evildoers. Make it impossible for them to do their wickedness anymore.
King James
Psalm 10:13–15 Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? he hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it. 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. Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man: seek out his wickedness till thou find none.

If the Lord is King, why don’t more people recognize his position and power?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 10:16 The Lord is King from now through all eternity. The godless nations will be gone.
King James
Psalm 10:16 The Lord is King for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land.

In the midst of pain and suffering and being crushed, how can people have hope?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 10:17–18 Lord, you know the desires of the poor and afflicted and give them hope because you listen to their prayers. You stand for the orphans and those who have been crushed, so they don’t have to fear people on Earth.
King James
Psalm 10:17–18 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.