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Psalm 10

Prayer for Deliverance from Enemies

1

Why, O Lord, do you stand far off?

Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

2

In arrogance the wicked persecute the poor—

let them be caught in the schemes they have devised.

 

3

For the wicked boast of the desires of their heart,

those greedy for gain curse and renounce the Lord.

4

In the pride of their countenance the wicked say, “God will not seek it out”;

all their thoughts are, “There is no God.”

 

5

Their ways prosper at all times;

your judgments are on high, out of their sight;

as for their foes, they scoff at them.

6

They think in their heart, “We shall not be moved;

throughout all generations we shall not meet adversity.”

 

7

Their mouths are filled with cursing and deceit and oppression;

under their tongues are mischief and iniquity.

8

They sit in ambush in the villages;

in hiding places they murder the innocent.

 

Their eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;

9

they lurk in secret like a lion in its covert;

they lurk that they may seize the poor;

they seize the poor and drag them off in their net.

 

10

They stoop, they crouch,

and the helpless fall by their might.

11

They think in their heart, “God has forgotten,

he has hidden his face, he will never see it.”

 

12

Rise up, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand;

do not forget the oppressed.

13

Why do the wicked renounce God,

and say in their hearts, “You will not call us to account”?

 

14

But you do see! Indeed you note trouble and grief,

that you may take it into your hands;

the helpless commit themselves to you;

you have been the helper of the orphan.

 

15

Break the arm of the wicked and evildoers;

seek out their wickedness until you find none.

16

The Lord is king forever and ever;

the nations shall perish from his land.

 

17

O Lord, you will hear the desire of the meek;

you will strengthen their heart, you will incline your ear

18

to do justice for the orphan and the oppressed,

so that those from earth may strike terror no more.


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Ps 10:1-18. The Psalmist mourns God's apparent indifference to his troubles, which are aggravated by the successful malice, blasphemy, pride, deceit, and profanity of the wicked. On the just and discriminating providence of God he relies for the destruction of their false security, and the defense of the needy.

1. These are, of course, figurative terms (compare Ps 7:6; 13:1, &c.).

hidest—Supply "thine eyes" or "face."

2. Literally, "In pride of the wicked they (the poor or humble, Ps 10:17; 12:5) shall be taken in the devices they (the proud) have imagined."

3. heart's—or, "soul's."

desire—that is, his success in evil.

and blesseth, &c.—he (the wicked) blesseth the covetous, he despiseth the Lord.

4. The face expresses the self-conceit, whose fruit is practical atheism (Ps 14:1).

5, 6. Such is his confidence in the permanence of his way or course of life, that he disregards God's providential government (out of sight, because he will not look, Isa 26:11), sneers at his enemies, and boasts perpetual freedom from evil.

7-10. The malignity and deceit (Ps 140:3) of such are followed by acts combining cunning, fraud, and violence (compare Pr 1:11, 18), aptly illustrated by the habits of the lion, and of hunters taking their prey. "Poor," in Ps 10:8, 10, 14, represents a word peculiar to this Psalm, meaning the sad or sorrowful; in Ps 10:9, as usual, it means the pious or meek sufferer.

8. eyes … privily—He watches with half-closed eyes, appearing not to see.

10. croucheth—as a lion gathers himself into as small compass as possible to make the greater spring.

fall by his strong ones—The figure of the lion is dropped, and this phrase means the accomplices of the chief or leading wicked man.

11. As before, such conduct implies disbelief or disregard of God's government.

12. (Compare Ps 9:19; 3:7).

the humble—(Compare Ps 10:17, and Margin.)

lift up thine hand—exert thy power.

13, 14. It is in vain to suppose God will overlook sin, however forbearing; for He carefully examines or beholds all wickedness, and will mark it by His providential (Thine hand) punishment.

14. mischief and spite—provocation and trouble of the sufferer (compare Ps 6:7; 7:14).

committeth—or, "leaves (his burden) on Thee."

15. arm—power.

till thou find none—So far from not requiting (Ps 10:11, 13), God will utterly destroy the wicked and his deeds (Ps 9:5, 6; 34:16; 37:36).

16-18. God reigns. The wicked, if for a time successful, shall be cut off. He hears and confirms the hearts of His suffering people (Ps 112:7), executes justice for the feeble, and represses the pride and violence of conceited, though frail, men (compare Ps 9:16).




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