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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.

18. That thou mayest judge. Here the Psalmist applies the last sentence of the preceding verse to a special purpose, namely, to prevent the faithful, when they are unjustly oppressed, from doubting that God will at length take vengeance on their enemies, and grant them deliverance. By these words he teaches us, that we ought to bear with patience and fortitude the crosses and afflictions which are laid upon us, since God often withholds assistance from his servants until they are reduced to extremity. This is, indeed, a duty of difficult performance, for we would all desire to be entirely exempted from trouble; and, therefore, if God does not quickly come to our relief, we think him remiss and inactive. But if we are anxiously desirous of obtaining his assistance, we must subdue our passion, restrain our impatience, and keep our sorrows within due bounds, waiting until our afflictions call forth the exercise of his compassion, and excite him to manifest his grace in succouring us.

That the man who is of earth may no more terrify them. David again commends the power of God in destroying the ungodly; and he does it for this purpose, - that in the midst of their tumultuous assaults we may have this principle deeply fixed in our minds, that God, whenever he pleases, can bring all their attempts to nothing. Some understand the verb ארף, arots, which we have translated to terrify, as neuter, and read the words thus, — that mortal man may be no more afraid. But it agrees better with the scope of the passage to render it transitively, as we have done. And although the wicked prosper in their wicked course, and lift up their heads above the clouds, there is much truth in describing them as mortal, or men liable to many calamities. The design of the Psalmist is indirectly to condemn their infatuated presumption, in that, forgetful of their condition, they breathe out cruel and terrible threatenings, as if it were beyond the power of even God himself to repress the violence of their rage. The phrase, of earth, contains a tacit contrast between the low abode of this world and the height of heaven. For whence do they go forth to assault the children of God? Doubtless, from the earth, just as if so many worms should creep out of the crevices of the ground; but in so doing, they attack God himself, who promises help to his servants from heaven.

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