Psalm 10: KING for ever and ever
(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! Life 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.
Can't you just hear the psalmist screaming, "Do something Lord! The evil will overtake me!"
Psalm 10 has no heading. It could possibly be just a continuation of the previous psalm. Who knows. But because this unnamed psalm is nestled between a number of psalms attributed to king David, this one is too.
That is where we will leave that because I feel there is SO much encouragement within this psalm which at first glance seems like one long complaint! Or one long demand that the Lord is not doing enough. Or that He has somehow been hoodwinked by evil!
Hear the encouragement, my friends.
Why, LORD, do you stand far off?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? (V1)
The Words of the Lord are timely and meaningful. Do you feel like God is absent right now? Some people do.
Or do you feel His presence even more in times of worry and trials?
For me, it’s a daily (maybe moment by moment) battle or choice. Right? Do you, like me, wake up in the middle of night and as the mind re-engages in the dark all those things that seemed so manageable during the day threatened to suffocate you?
Is it in those moments that you call for God… “Why, LORD, why do you stand so far away? Why do you hide your face from me? Why, when I need you most it feels you have abandoned me?”
Charles Spurgeon says this in his commentary of this particular psalm,
“The presence of God is the joy of his people,
but any suspicion of his absence is distracting beyond measure….
It is not the trouble, but the hiding of our Father’s face,
which cuts us to the quick.”
Friends, this is a human response. This is fear. And we know who plays on this human weakness, don’t we? Especially when it’s dark…and quiet…and that voice whispers, “you are alone now.”
So...in those moments, think on God's promises.
Let us talk now about God’s promises.
God very clearly states His desire for us. Here are just a few of His powerful promises:
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love,
he will exult over you with loud singing.
...And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me
I will never drive away.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
...Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name;
You are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
Isaiah 43: 1-2
If you feel alone and as if God has hid his face from you during this trial know this by these promises...
...that He walks through the fire with you and me
...there is no trial that He has not seen before
...no worry that He has not faced
...no problem that is too big for Him.
"The refiner is never far from the mouth of the furnace when his gold is in the fire, and the Son of God is always walking in the midst of the flames when his holy children are cast into them" –Charles Spurgeon
This reminds me of the widely circulated poem of the 20th century: Footprints in the Sand (author unknown).
I will link the poem below, but it is the story of going through trials and suffering feeling all alone and looking back, later, and seeing two footprints in the sand, then only one. Then asking of the Lord, “did you leave me in my saddest hour?” And His reply, “no, I carried you. Those are only my footprints in the sand.”
It’s a beautiful description of God’s love and the above verses, right?
But did you know that there have been battles and controversies over who wrote it? Sadly that is how people are.
But here's a little gem...
As I love to read about and learn from the 19th century preacher, Charles Spurgeon, I also like to quote him! He is funny…and also very smart and blessed by the Lord with wisdom and understanding of God’s Word.
Anyway, Spurgeon gave a sermon on June 10, 1880 in a tabernacle in Newington, CT, titled “The Education of the Sons of God.”
These words MAY be where the idea of “footprints in the sand” came from… maybe? Who knows.
But I love this.
My friends, may you hear the reminder from our Lord; that He walks with you and has not nor will He ever leave you. In fact, He has gone before you...
"Were you ever in a new trouble, one which was so strange that you felt that a similar trial had never happened to you, and, moreover, you dreamed that such a temptation had never assailed anyone else? I should not wonder if that was the thought of your troubled heart.
And did you ever walk out on that lonely desert island on which you were wrecked, and say, “I am alone, — , — ALONE, — no one was ever here before me?”
And did you suddenly pull up short as you noticed, in the sand, the footprints of a man?
I remember very well passing through that experience; and when I looked, lo! it was not merely the footprints of a man that I saw, but I thought I knew whose feet had left those imprints; they were the marks of One who had been crucified, for there was the print of the nails.
So I thought to myself, “If he has been here, it is a desert island no longer. Since his blessed feet once trod this wilderness way, it blossoms now like the rose, and it becomes to my troubled spirit as a very garden of the Lord.”
Our God walks beside us in good times and bad, in trials and in triumphs, in sickness and good health, in financial ups and downs…
You walk through a desert no more, but in the very garden of the Lord.
The LORD is King for ever and ever.
Father in heaven, you know our hearts; you know our needs. You know our worries. You know them before we can even express them. Father, when it feels that evil will overtake us, that we cannot see a way out, that the darkness and stillness of the night becomes unbearable, let us remember Your promises. You will never leave us. You are walking through the fire with us. Heal our land, in Jesus mighty Name. Until then, let us lean on You. Amen.