Psalm 10: The Last Minute Psalm

Psalm 10 begins with a cry for help:

Why, Lord, do you stand afar
    and pay no heed in times of trouble?
Arrogant scoundrels pursue the poor;
    they trap them by their cunning schemes.

The next sixteen verses describe the wicked’s oppression of the poor and the vulnerable.  Their schemes are as dark as their interior thoughts.  They are not only greedy, they boast about their greed (v3).  They believe in God, but they believe God does not care what they do.  They ignore God’s judgments, they sneer at those who oppose them, and they are successful.  They say to themselves “we will never fall, we will never see misfortune.” 

By the end of this Psalm we might begin to wonder if the wicked are unstoppable, and whether the poor, the humble and the meek have any hope.  But then we come to those last three verses

16 The Lord is king forever;
    the nations have vanished from his land.
17 You listen, Lord, to the needs of the poor;
    you strengthen their heart and incline your ear.
18 You win justice for the orphaned and oppressed;
    no one on earth will cause terror again.

We can equate blessing with success.  We can claim that might makes right.  We can claim the evil we do is overlooked by the LORD.  When we do, we ignore the fact that the LORD inclines His ear to the need of the poor (v17), that entire nations have risen and fallen before His judgement (v16), and finally, that ultimate justice is future, but it is coming. (v18)

Though this “last minute Psalm” seems like deliverance delayed, there is great comfort here.  In difficulty and trouble, God has not forgotten the hurting.  In the noise of lies and boasting, God has not forgotten the humble.  In the face of success for the liars, cheaters, and boasters, justice is coming.  Take hope, you who trust God for the day is coming when there will be justice for the orphaned and oppressed and no one on earth will cause terror again.

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