Daily Reflections August 9, 2017
Psalm 10 is a lament that also affirms great confidence in God’s judgments. It can be broken down into the following 4 divisions:
1. The Great Questions (10:1)
The heavily burdened Psalmist presents his complaint to the Lord:
Why, O Lord, do you stand far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? (Psalm 10:1 ESV)
Humanity has long been disturbed by the problem of evil. Instinctively we know that this world is not as it should be. We ask: if God exists and he is good why doesn’t he deal with evil? Why is he silent? Why is he seemingly disinterested in our plight?
The lament Psalms repeatedly ask these same questions. We can and should bring our questions to God and then search his Word for answers. This Psalm works through deep pain and affirms the hope that is found in God alone.
2. The Great Wickedness (10:2-11)
This Psalm is not theoretical. It is about real life difficulties. We read these verses and no doubt can relate them to our own experiences. Sin destroys. Sin attempts to eradicate God from existence in order to clear the way for a consequence free life of wickedness.
Here we have a full treatment of the ways and fate of the proud. They hate what is good and love what is evil. They are children of their father the devil.
In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, “There is no God.” (Psalm 10:4 ESV)
David describes the wicked: In his pride the wicked man attacks the weak. The defenseless are his prey (10:2). In his pride, the wicked boasts of his appetites, satisfying them at any cost (10:3). In his pride he sneers, thinking himself invincible (10:6). His tongue is a world of poison (10:7). He is violent to the point of murder (10:8-10). Full of arrogance, he thinks that no justice will ever come to him (10:11)
3. The Great Plea (10:12-15)
In spite of the apparent prosperity of the wicked, and hopelessness of the situation, the godly person continues to call upon the Lord. God sees and helps the oppressed. God calls the wicked to account.
Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand; forget not the afflicted…Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer; call his wickedness to account till you find none. (Psalm 10:12,15 ESV)
4. The Great Affirmation (10:16-18)
The Lord is king forever and ever (Psalm 10:16 ESV)
While it appears injustice is rampant and that wickedness goes unchecked, God the King acts in justice. There is no such thing as a consequence free life; God’s faithful receive blessings and life eternal and the unfaithful receive judgment and death.
Believer, are you suffering? Do you live with the ongoing effects of injustice? Satan's strategy is to create doubt in you that God can be trusted. Don't listen. Satan is defeated. Psalm 10 began with a sense of despair and ends with confidence in God's victory. Have this calm assurance - Christ is King. He is with you and for you! Therefore,
1. Be patient and take the long view; the Lord is King forever. He is not inactive. He is not slow in keeping his promises. He will repay.
2. We need not fear those who oppress; we need only to fear the Lord and trust him. He will deliver. Continue to set your hope on him and pray, “Lord, take action!”
…to you the helpless commits himself; you have been the helper of the fatherless. (Psalm 10:13b ESV)
Associate Pastor Jody Cross
Jeremiah’s mission must have felt incredibly hopeless at times. The false prophets had convinced the nation that they would overcome the Chaldeans – a message that was received with much rejoicing. Jeremiah stood alone as the only dissenting voice.
Consider for a moment the political heat that Jeremiah would have been experiencing. The false prophecies would have certainly inspired a sort of national pride. “We will conquer the mighty Chaldeans! God will deliver us!” But Jeremiah stood alone and cautioned, “It is not true. We will be taken away into Babylon.”
Jeremiah would have been thought a coward. Many would have had doubts about his true allegiance. Consider the events of today’s text.
The Chaldeans were besieging Jerusalem. At this time King Zedekiah was eager to hear from God. He sent a delegation to discover what God had spoken to Jeremiah but, as they sought him out, the Egyptian army came forth and fought back the Chaldeans. Suddenly the false prophesies had the overwhelming appearance of truth. “God really is going to rescue us from the Chaldeans! Jeremiah was wrong!”
But God’s plan for His people had not changed. He ordered Jeremiah to warn the people:
For even if you should defeat the whole army of Chaldeans who are fighting against you, and there remained of them only wounded men, every man in his tent, they would rise up and burn this city with fire.’” (Jeremiah 37:10 ESV)
This most recent victory further blinded the people to Jeremiah’s message. They felt secure and confident, and they believed that the Egyptian army would continue to keep them safe.
This was the state of the political climate when a man named Irijah accused Jeremiah of wanting to defect to the Chaldeans. The accusation was easy to believe thanks to Jeremiah’s repeated prophecies calling the people to surrender. The charge stuck and Jeremiah wound up in prison.
Interestingly, King Zedekiah still came to Jeremiah to hear from the Lord. While he wasn’t prepared to listen to the message, he still understood that God spoke through Jeremiah and he went back, likely hoping that the message would change to a more favorable word. In the meantime, the King moved Jeremiah to the court of the guard where he was given healthy rations of food.
One obvious implication for us to consider is this: Temporary victories are not a guarantee of God’s favor. You can have a thriving business even while you commit adultery with your secretary. Wicked and godless nations can attain seasons of political and economic strength. Earthly victories must not be used to judge God’s will. In fact, these brief successes often serve as a kind of judgement as they push people further into their rebellion.
God’s will is discerned by His Word. King Zedekiah had just experienced a great victory and yet he was living in disobedience to God’ will. Jeremiah was in prison, labelled as a coward and a traitor and yet he was living in complete obedience to God’s will. Don’t read too much into your current circumstances. Listen to the Word of God. And don’t listen like King Zedekiah. He listened only to hear what he wanted. Listen so as to obey. That is where God’s blessing is found.
Assistant Pastor Levi denBok