Daily Archives: November 7, 2009

Arise O Lord

Psalm 10:1-12 (ESV)

Why, O Lord, do you stand afar off?

Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

[2] In arrogance the wicked hotly pursue the poor;

let them be caught in the schemes that they have devised.

[3] For the wicked boasts of the desires of his soul,

and the one greedy for gain curses and renounces the Lord.

[4] In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, “There is no God.”

[5] His ways prosper at all times;

your judgments are on high, out of his sight;

as for all his foes, he puffs at them.

[6] He says in his heart, “I shall not be moved;

throughout all generations I shall not meet adversity.”

[7] His mouth is filled with cursing and deceit and oppression;

under his tongue are mischief and iniquity.

[8] He sits in ambush in the villages;

in hiding places he murders the innocent.

His eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;

[9] he lurks in ambush like a lion in his thicket;

he lurks that he may seize the poor;

he seizes the poor when he draws him into his net.

[10] The helpless are crushed, sink down,

and fall by his might.

[11] He says in his heart, “God has forgotten,

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

[12] Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand;

forget not the afflicted.

The wicked prosper and the poor are abused by them. They live as if God is asleep or doesn’t care or cannot do anything to change his ways. They are arrogant and self righteous and confident of their future. They thrive in their evil ways and the more evil they do the more they thrive and prosper. The Psalmist sees this and questions God about it. “Why do you stand afar off? Why do you hide yourself?”(verse 1).

This was written about 1000 years before the birth of Christ. People are still asking the same questions today. At least part of the answer to such dilemmas is that God put such things in the Scriptures for us to read and know that the Bible was not written with rose coloured glasses. Life stunk and God put it there for us to see.

Life still stinks. The poor are still abused; the rich still accumulate riches on the backs of the poor; there is still self righteous arrogance and self confidence and the temerity to challenge the Almighty.

When we look around us and see all the horrors that make up life on this planet we should not conclude that the Bible is somehow wrong. The Bible talks about these very things! The Bible has the writings of men who complained to God about the way things were heading.

If the message of the Bible is “come to Jesus and be prosperous, or trouble free” then people might have a complaint to make against God for the way their lives turn out. But the Bible is abundantly clear that sin has messed up life royally and God has a plan to eradicate sin from off the planet. But until then sin will continue to wreak it horrible consequences.

The point is that none of the troubles of life mean that God does not know, is not there, does not care, or is powerless to do something about it. He has. It is called the Gospel of Jesus Christ. People need to hide their lives in Christ and know that the hope the Gospel gives them is not some pipe dream. It is a truth that gives strength and hope and help and meaning and purpose. It forgives the sin that causes the world to be such a horrifying place, and in forgiveness causes people to stop being horrible. And it promises that one day God is going to judge the wicked who oppress and kill and lie and live for themselves.

There is coming a day when no one will be able to look around and ask why evil seems to prosper – because God will have judged the evil and rewarded all those who are hidden in Christ. Until then, let’s do all we can to make sure that no one ever has to look at us and wonder why God doesn’t do something about the wickedness they encounter.