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Weds 10 February - Psalm 10 (and 9)

Psalm 10

Why, Lord, do you stand far off?
    Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak,
    who are caught in the schemes he devises.
He boasts about the cravings of his heart;
    he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord.
In his pride the wicked man does not seek him;
    in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
His ways are always prosperous;
    your laws are rejected by him;
    he sneers at all his enemies.
He says to himself, ‘Nothing will ever shake me.’
    He swears, ‘No one will ever do me harm.’

His mouth is full of lies and threats;
    trouble and evil are under his tongue.
He lies in wait near the villages;
    from ambush he murders the innocent.
His eyes watch in secret for his victims;
    like a lion in cover he lies in wait.
He lies in wait to catch the helpless;
    he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net.
10 His victims are crushed, they collapse;
    they fall under his strength.
11 He says to himself, ‘God will never notice;
    he covers his face and never sees.’

12 Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God.
    Do not forget the helpless.
13 Why does the wicked man revile God?
    Why does he say to himself,
    ‘He won’t call me to account’?
14 But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
    you consider their grief and take it in hand.
The victims commit themselves to you;
    you are the helper of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked man;
    call the evildoer to account for his wickedness
    that would not otherwise be found out.

16 The Lord is King for ever and ever;
    the nations will perish from his land.
17 You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted;
    you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
    so that mere earthly mortals
    will never again strike terror.

- - -

Meditation on Psalm 9 and 10

Psalm 10

When preparing for a teaching trip to a Mission School in Ukraine two years ago, I came across an issue with the numbering of some of the Psalms. I found myself quoting from one Psalm, only to find that the numbering in the Russian Bible was different. No wonder the students looked rather confused!

Psalm 10 is one of those Psalms because Psalms 9 and 10 were, at one time, thought to be one Psalm.
Whether they are or not is not for debate here.

We will take the two Psalms together to bring out the contrasts therein.

Psalm 9:1-12 is all about the LORD and our relationship with Him in…

  • praise
  • proclamation
  • rejoicing
  • singing


There is a recognition of who the LORD is…

  • sovereign
  • ruler
  • righteous
  • judge
  • a refuge
  • trustworthy
  • just

There is mention made of the wicked but only in passing. The Psalmist talks about the state of the wicked and the judgments they face – verses 3, 5-6.

Now come to Psalm 10:1-11. What a contrast. These opening verses are all about the wicked and God hardly gets a mention – only in passing.

The Psalmist cries out from the start – ‘Why, LORD, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?’

That brings us back to Psalm 3 ‘Where are you God?’

In these opening verses the focus is on the wicked. See how the Psalmist describes them. They…

  • hunt down the weak
  • bless the greedy 
  • revile the LORD
  • do not seek the LORD
  • have no room for God
  • seem to prosper
  • think they are untouchable
  • lie
  • threaten
  • speak trouble and evil
  • murder the innocent
  • think that God will never notice!


How up-to-date the Scriptures are. How relevant to the 21st Century. When we read the papers and listen to the global news, isn’t this what we see and hear? How we need to be on our guard from the attacks of our enemy, the devil, who, as Peter says, ‘prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.’ (1 Peter 5:8b-9)

Do we react as the Psalmist – ‘Why, LORD, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?’

The response is to pray as the Psalmist does in both Psalms.

Psalm 9:13-20 has the Psalmist praying with confidence in the LORD and trusting him to rescue him so that he might continue to praise the LORD. He also trusts the LORD for that final victory when all the LORD’s enemies will know that the LORD is God.

Psalm 10:12-18 has the Psalmist praying in the darkness of the situation he has described in the preceding verses. He also prays with confidence and trust as he faces the wickedness of those around him.

  • ‘Arise, LORD…’
  • ‘Do not forget…’
  • ‘You see…’
  • ‘You are the helper…’
  • ‘Destroy the arm that destroys others’
  • ‘Call the evildoer to account’


Where does this confidence and trust come from when he has questioned whether the LORD is going to do anything?

Verses 16-18  

  • The LORD IS King – not, one day He will be. No, He IS King now!
  • You, LORD…
    • hear the desire of the afflicted
    • encourage them
    • listen to them
    • defend the helpless

We can rejoice that ‘the reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.’ (1 John 3:8)

‘Thanks be to God. He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Corinthians 15:57)


(Roger Purdom)

Daily Readings

Thursday 11 February - Psalm 11

Friday 12 February - Psalm 12

Saturday 13 February - Psalm 13

Sunday 14 February - Psalm 14

Monday 15 February - Psalm 15

Tuesday 16 February - Psalm 16


New International Version - UK (NIVUK)
Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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