March 17: Psalm 10

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March 17: Psalm 10

The wickedness of the wicked and vindication of the righteous

10.10.10.10             Penitentia (Here, O my Lord, I see Thee Face to Face), p. 199
Morecambre (Spirit of God, Descend Upon my Heart), p. 190

Why do You stand so far away, O Lord? Why do You hide Yourself in troublous times?

In arrogance the wicked trap the poor; let them be caught in schemes they have devised.

The wicked boasts about his heart’s desires; the covetous renounces, spurns the Lord.

In pride the wicked see no need to seek; in all his thoughts he says, “There is no God.”

He’s self-assured, Your judgments far from him. At all his foes he only puffs in scorn.

In heart he thinks, “I never shall be moved; through ages all no evil shall I meet.”

His mouth is filled with oaths and lies and threats: beneath his tongue are evil thoughts and deeds.

He sits in ambush ‘mid the village homes; the innocent he murders secretly.

In stealth he watches for some hapless one. He like a lion crouches in his den.

He hides himself that he may seize the poor; to seize the poor he traps him in his net.

The hapless one he crushes, tramples down, when he has made him fall beneath his might.

In heart he thinks, “God has forgotten this; He hid His face, so He will never see.”

Arise, O Lord! O God, lift up Your hand! Forget not those who have afflicted been.

Why does the wicked proudly scoff at God, and say in heart, “He’ll never take account”?

You see! You note disorder and distress, that You may take it all into Your hands.

The hapless may commit himself to You; You are the helper of the fatherless.

O break the wicked evildoer’s arm! Seek out his wickedness till You find none.

The Lord is King through all eternity; the heathen nations perish from His land.

You hear, O Lord, the longing of the meek; their heart You strengthen; You incline Your ear.

Do justice to oppressed and fatherless; That men of earth may terrify no more.

Psalm 10 is dominated by the image of the divine throne. In this psalm, the judgment throne of God is the real and final arbiter before which all events in this world, especially the great moral and spiritual conflicts of human history, are summoned with a view to their final assessment. Obviously a psalm about struggling with enemies, Psalm 10 has no doubts about the resolution of this struggle. (Reardon, p. 18)

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