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Psalm 10

Prayer for Deliverance from Enemies


Why, O L ord, do you stand far off?

Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?


In arrogance the wicked persecute the poor—

let them be caught in the schemes they have devised.



For the wicked boast of the desires of their heart,

those greedy for gain curse and renounce the L ord.


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

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



Their ways prosper at all times;

your judgments are on high, out of their sight;

as for their foes, they scoff at them.


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

throughout all generations we shall not meet adversity.”



Their mouths are filled with cursing and deceit and oppression;

under their tongues are mischief and iniquity.


They sit in ambush in the villages;

in hiding places they murder the innocent.


Their eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;


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.



They stoop, they crouch,

and the helpless fall by their might.


They think in their heart, “God has forgotten,

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



Rise up, O L ord; O God, lift up your hand;

do not forget the oppressed.


Why do the wicked renounce God,

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



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.



Break the arm of the wicked and evildoers;

seek out their wickedness until you find none.


The L ord is king forever and ever;

the nations shall perish from his land.



O L ord, you will hear the desire of the meek;

you will strengthen their heart, you will incline your ear


to do justice for the orphan and the oppressed,

so that those from earth may strike terror no more.

15. Break thou the arm. This form of expression just means breaking the power of the wicked. And it is not simply a prayer; it may also be regarded as a prophecy. As the ungovernable fury of our enemies very often makes us lose courage, as if there were no means by which it could be restrained, David, in order to support his faith, and preserve it from failing through the fears which presented themselves, sets before himself the consideration, that whenever it shall please God to break the power of the ungodly, he will bring to nothing both themselves and all their schemes. To make the meaning the more evident, the sentence may be explained in this way, — Lord, as soon as it shall seem good to thee to break the arm of the wicked, thou wilt destroy him in a moment, and bring to nought his powerful and violent efforts in the work of doing mischief. David, indeed, beseeches God to hasten his assistance and his vengeance; but, in the meantime, while these are withheld, he sustains himself by the consolatory reflection, that the ungodly cannot break forth into violence and mischief except in so far as God permits them; since it is in his power, whenever he ascends into the judgment-seat, to destroy them even with his look alone. And certainly, as the rising sun dissipates the clouds and vapours by his heat, and clears up the dark air, so God, when he stretches forth his hand to execute the office of a Judge, restores to tranquillity and order all the troubles and confusions of the world. The Psalmist calls the person of whom he speaks not only wicked, but the wicked and the evil man, and he does so, in my judgment, for the purpose of setting forth in a stronger light the greatness of the wickedness of the character which he describes. His words are as if he had said, Wicked men may even be frantic in their malice and impiety; but God can promptly and effectually remedy this evil whenever he pleases.

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