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Psalms 11:1

Why Run?

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

1 In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?

I would suppose that there has come a time in everyone's life when the temptation to flee from our troubles has presented itself. In this psalm, David faces that temptation and teaches us that it is not always the best solution. This psalm appears to have been written when David's life was under constant threat by Saul. It was a time when prudent men would have told him to run for his life, but David had a different solution.

The psalm can be divided into two parts. The first three verses describe a man's victory over fear and temptation through his faith. The fourth verse through the end of the psalm describe the righteousness and faithfulness of God to act justly among men.

"In the Lord put I my trust..." This is the theme that runs through the entire book of Psalms from the first, "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,.." until the end, "Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God." (Psalms 146:5) Trust is the foundation of any relationship, whether it is between men or between a man and his God.

Trust is not natural but is learned only by experience. David had learned to trust in the Lord even when he was young and offered his services to Saul in the battle against the Philistine giant named Goliath. While others laughed at him, David touted his trust in God as the only weapon he needed. "David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee." (1 Samuel 17:37)

Now, as he faces another enemy, the very king who was afraid to face Goliath by himself, David is advised by his friends and servants to run. "Flee as a bird to your mountain." And, David asks, "How can you say such a thing to me? Where is the logic behind this advice? Why should anyone who trusts in the LORD run from anything?" To the godly man, such reasoning is beyond comprehension. The Goliaths of this world are weak and easily defeated when the real giant, the One who holds the heavens in the palm of His hand, is on our side.

"Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!" (Isaiah 5:21) They have not experienced the faithfulness of God. Because they have not trusted in His word for even the smallest things, they have not known the blessings that He bestows on those who trust in Him. Therefore, they must rely on their own prudence and, when trouble comes, they shout, "Run for the hills!" The godly man asks, "How can you say that? Have you no faith?"

Our Savior, the Son of David, was mocked for His faith while he was nailed to the cross. "Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God." (Matthew 27:41-43) Yet, by His trust He did more than just come down from the cross. He rose up from the grave, proved the faithfulness of God, and defeated the devil, sin and death for everyone who would trust in Him.

Faith is the answer to sorrows and depression. When David felt depressed, he reminded himself of his relationship with God. "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God." (Psalms 42:11) When you feel depressed, when the circumstances tell you to run, and when there seems to be no hope, walk by faith and not by sight. Look the whole world in the eye and say, "In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?"

Before The Throne:

What is the world burdening you with today? Can you say, "In the Lord put I my trust?" Ask God to increase your faith. Pray for the strength to face your problems and the evils that surround you with the boldness of a young man facing Goliath. Know deep down in your heart that God will answer your prayers, because He is faithful. Thank Him for allowing you to know that He is with you always. Thank Him for proving His faithfulness and His love by what He did on the cross at Calvary.

For Further Study:

** In the. Psa 7:1; 9:10; 16:1; 25:2; 31:14; 56:11; 2Chr 14:11; 16:8; Isa 26:3-4; ** how. 1Sam 19:11; 20:38; 21:10-12; 22:3; 23:14; 27:1; ** Flee. Psa 55:6-7; Prov 6:5; Luke 13:31;

Psalms 10:17-18

Men of the Earth

17 LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear: 18 To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress.

The psalmist is assured by faith that God has heard the prayers of the humble, or of those who have been oppressed. It can be supposed that he includes himself in that category of people. His strong faith was seen in the previous verse where he affirmed that Yahweh is King forever. It is further seen in his use of the Hebrew word shama, which means to hear with interest and to respond.

"Thou wilt prepare their heart..." This is where the LORD does His greatest work... in the hearts of men. In this case, the psalmist is assured that the LORD will do more than just answer the prayers of the oppressed. He will work in their hearts to give them the confidence to wait upon Him. The margin indicates that He will "establish" their heart. The Hebrew word actually means to stand erect. God will make the humble and oppressed to have an upright heart, strong in the faith, established in His law and able to stand firm and wait upon Him.

"Thou wilt cause thine ear to hear..." God broadens His ears, or pricks up His ears, to hear the prayers of the oppressed. Of course this is an anthropomorphism, but it means that He is anxiously awaiting our prayers, waiting to answer, and waiting to avenge the fatherless and the oppressed.

"That the man of the earth may no more oppress." Albert Barnes explained, "...literally, 'the man from the earth;' that is, that man springing from the earth, or created of the dust (Genesis 2:7) - man frail, short-lived, feeble - should no more set up an unjust authority, trample on the rights of his fellow-worms, or suppose that he is superior to his fellow-creatures."

Barnes then goes on to elaborate on the wickedness of men, explaining that we are all the same... made from the dust, yet we think that we are superior to others. Our reasons for this unsubstantiated supposition are always based on very trivial differences such as the color of one's skin or the social circumstances of one's birth. Even our education makes us feel like we should be among the elite. "Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain." (1 Corinthians 3:18-20)

Nevertheless, it is these feelings of superiority that cause men to oppress their fellow men but, in the end, we all return to the dust without hope, except that which is found in the Lord Jesus Christ. We will all be raised again and judged. Some will inherit eternal life and some will suffer eternal damnation. That is where and when God will judge between men and place each in the society to which he belongs. No one will be judged on his merits, no one is better than the other. The only criteria for their salvation will be their relationship with Jesus Christ, which is given solely by the grace of God.

As we complete our study of this psalm, perhaps a good thought to end with is that spoken by the Apostle Paul, "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." (Romans 12:3) We are made of the dirt of the earth, turned against our Creator, appointed once to die and after that the judgment. God is no respecter of persons. Everyone is the same to Him. The only thing that can save us is His grace through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Before The Throne:

Have you ever looked down on a homeless person, a thief, a drug addict, or a homosexual? Now is the time to ask God to forgive you and to confess that you are a sinner just like everyone else. If you have found grace in His eyes, thank Him for the sacrifice that He made to that end. Ask Him to help you see other people the way that He says them and to have compassion on them as Jesus did. Pray for the oppressed, the orphans, the widows and the lost masses of this world. Ask God to send enough laborers into His harvest to make a difference.

For Further Study:

** Lord. Psa 9:12, 18; 37:4; 145:19; Prov 10:24; ** humble. 2Chr 33:12-13; 34:27; Prov 15:8; Matt 5:3; Luke 18:13-14; Jas 4:6, 10; 1Pe 5:5; ** thou wilt prepare. Psa 112:7-8; 1Chr 29:18; 2Chr 29:36; 30:12; Prov 16:1; Rom 8:26; Eph 2:18; 3:12; Jas 1:16-17; ** cause. Psa 102:17; Isa 65:24; Acts 4:24-31; 12:5-19; 1Pet 3:12;

(v.18) ** judge. Psa 10:14; 72:4; 82:3; 94:1-6; Isa 11:4; Luke 18:7-8; ** the man. Psa 17:14; Luke 16:25; 1Cor 15:47-48; Phil 3:18-19;

Psalms 10:16

King Forever!

16 The LORD is King for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land.

The power of prayer can never be fully realized until we pray without a sliver of doubt that it shall be answered. Jesus said, "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." (Matthew 21:22) The key word is "believing" (Greek: πιστευοντες). The word is set as a present participle, which literally means that the prayer is offered with the continuous and unwavering faith that the prayer will be answered.

With that in mind, we can see the faith that David had as he wrote this prayer to the LORD. He finishes these last three verses with a song of faithful praise, acknowledging in advance that his prayer is as good as answered. "Yahweh is King for all eternity!" Yes! The heathen rage and oppress the poor. They have no belief in God nor any fear of His authority and power, but Yahweh is still King for ever and ever.

Our modern world seems like it is coming apart at the seams. Terrorists threaten peace in nearly every country of the world. Riots and revolutions rage. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer as we watch the world's economy teetering on the brink of total collapse. Even the United States, once the harbinger of freedom, is rapidly becoming an oppressive out of control socialist state. Life looks bleak but, if we have prayed with faithful hearts, we should be able to say, "Yahweh is King for ever and ever!"

You may have prayed for some of the lost people groups around the world. Perhaps you have prayed for the safe passage of missionaries who are trying to reach them or for the breaking of the dictatorial power that prevents them from openly accepting Christ. Did you pray with the confidence of knowing that Yahweh is King? Did you pray with the knowledge that those dictators and oppressive regimes will be brought down?

That is how David finishes this psalm. He ends this passage with the declaration that the heathen were already perished out of his land. David knew that Yahweh is King and that He has the authority and the power to destroy the heathen nations and remove them from the face of His earth. There was no doubt in that statement. That is why he had the boldness to write it down for all future generations to read.

Let us, dear readers, follow the instructions that Paul gave to Timothy when he wrote, "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen." (1 Timothy 6:12-16)

Before The Throne:

Can you praise God today for answering all the prayers you have made but have not yet seen the answers? Will you worship Him for being the King of kings and Lord of lords? Bring your requests to Him, but always thank Him for answering them. Pray for the LORD to break the arm of the oppressors in this world so that the gospel can spread to every nation and tongue. Thank Him again for answering.

For Further Study:

** The Lord. Psa 29:10; 93:1; 145:13; 146:10; Isa 33:22; Jer 10:10; Lam 5:19; Dan 4:34; 6:26; 1Tim 1:17; 6:15-16; ** heathen. Psa 9:5, 15; 18:43-45; 44:2-3; 78:55;

Psalms 10:15

Breaking the Power of Evil

15 Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man: seek out his wickedness till thou find none."

The arm of a man symbolizes his power and strength. Power over the lives of others comes in many forms such as political influence, financial power, the power of persuasion, familial authority and authority in the work place. Strength is the ability to enforce that power. It is usually expressed in physical prowess, military strength, or police power.

What we have here, then, is a prayer that might have been offered by billions of people in every century since the beginning of time. The powerful have always taken advantage of the weak. Cain killed his brother, Able, simply out of a jealous desire to be number one in God's eyes. The wicked do not seem to need much of a motive to persecute their weaker brothers and sisters, and Cain was just the first of many more to come.

How many have sought relief from the bonds of the wicked but have not sought it from the only One capable of giving it? As I write this study, there are political revolutions occurring in countries all around the world by people who want to be free of the arm of their wicked rulers. Yet, most of those revolutionaries are not Christians and are not calling on God to break the arm of the wicked. Instead, they are relying on their own strengths to overcome the enemy or they call out to false gods or idols for relief. The end result is that their governments will be overthrown and most of them will simply be replaced by new oppressors, perhaps worse than their predecessors.

Only God can overthrow wicked governments and replace them with righteous rulers. Only God can break the will of the dictators in the middle east. He alone can change the hearts of presidents and senators. It is He who turns the greedy employer into a generous friend. All of the world's oppression is due to the world's lack of faith in the one true God and His Son Jesus Christ. The wicked mock at God, because He presents no threat to them. He presents no threat, because there is no one calling out to Him for relief from their tyranny.

David, however, was different from most men. He relied on his God for everything. So he cried out, "Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man: seek out his wickedness till thou find none." Not only does he seek the breaking of their power, but for the abolition of all wickedness and evil. This is a prayer that will be answered. It is offered up according to the will of God. David was a man after God's heart, because his desires and prayers mirrored the will of God.

Zephaniah 1:12 prophesied, "And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The LORD will not do good, neither will he do evil." God would search the city with candles, with minute detail, until he found every wicked person in it. And,in the final days after Jesus returns to judge the earth, there will be no wickedness left.

"He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." (Revelation 21:7-8) God will have sought out man's wickedness and there would be none left to find.

Those who are feeling oppressed, enslaved, cheated, or persecuted in any way, have a wonderful promise in the word of God. It is His will that all evil be destroyed. So, why should we not go to Him for relief right now? Why do we always try to do things by our own power? If we do not go to Him for relief, aren't we going to be numbered among the wicked?

Before The Throne:

First, let's praise God for having the will, the sovereign authority, and the power to rid the earth of everything evil. Thank Him for giving you this example from the psalms of how we should pray when we are under attack. Do not pray for the destruction of anyone, but for their power over you to be broken. Pray that God will wipe evil from the face of the earth. Ask Him to send more laborers to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ so that love and peace can reign on earth.

For Further Study:

** Break. Psa 3:7; 37:17; Job 38:15; Ezek 30:21-22; Zech 11:17; ** seek. Psa 7:9; 2Kgs 21:12-15; Jer 2:34; Ezek 23:48; Zeph 1:12;

Psalms 10:14

You Have Seen It

14 Thou hast seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to requite it with thy hand: the poor committeth himself unto thee; thou art the helper of the fatherless.

David begins in this verse by drawing a contrast between wickedness and truth. The wicked believe that God cannot see what they are doing (v.13). In fact, they deny His very existence, mock the idea that He knows their evil intentions, and certainly do not believe that He is watching them. People hate to think that they are being observed all of the time and that even their thoughts are secretly known by others. It is one of man's most basic instincts, which keeps governments from becoming "Big Brother." Their citizens will not stand for it. But, God is our Big Father who is watching us out of love and concern, a Father who can do no wrong. "The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good." (Proverbs 15:3)

David says, "God, You have seen it!" That is the truth of the matter. He has seen the mischief and the anger; He has seen the misery and the grief that they have caused; and He has seen who has committed those things. It grieves God to see some of the things that men do, but He never looks away. "Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD." (Jeremiah 23:24) He is everywhere and nothing escapes His observation.

David also knew the truth that God would take the matter into His own hands and see that justice is done. In the Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on this verse, it says, “To give anything into any one's hand” is equivalent to, into his power (1Ki 20:28, and frequently); but here God gives (lays) the things which are not to be administered, but requited, into His own hand. The expression is meant to be understood according to Psa 56:9, cf. Isa 49:16: He is observant of the afflictions of His saints, laying them up in His hand and preserving them there in order, in His own time, to restore them to His saints in joy, and to their enemies in punishment."

What a shock it will be to so many people when they are brought before the throne of God for judgment! They will not only see that there is a God but they will also be forced to confess that He is Lord over heaven and earth. Then they will be judged for every wicked thought they had ever entertained, every wicked word their tongues had flicked from their mouths, and every wicked deed they had committed against God or His people.

Praise God for having brought this warning through the psalms of David and our salvation through the Son of David. Each of us had had the invitation to receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and to be spared the eternal punishment of the wicked. Through Jesus Christ and Him alone everyone can be free from all condemnation.

Thus, the poor commits himself into the hands of the Almighty. Those who lack the financial ability to defend themselves against the wicked of the world have nowhere else to go but to God. Likewise, the poor in spirit can find no relief except in the arms of the Father who sees their misery and grief. They who mourn for their own sins and the sins of others are comforted by the knowledge that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has died for their sins and will judge the earth in righteousness upon His return.

Has your father passed away or abandoned you? God wants you to know that you have a Father in heaven. He is a helper, a defender, of the fatherless. He sees your loneliness, fills the empty spot in your heart, knows your enemies, and takes the matter into His own hand to bring you comfort and joy.

Even in the worst of all situations, the Christian can feel secure, "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." (1 Peter 5:7) What more do we need?

Before The Throne:

Take a moment to rejoice and to thank God for the fact that He has seen it. Thank Him for taking all of your troubles, pain, and grief into His hand to deal with it. Thank Him for being the Father of the poor and for accepting you with your broken heart and contrite spirit. Praise Him for making a way, through His Son, for you to be forgiven and reunited in fellowship with Him. Then, pour out your heart's desires before Him with the confidence that you are being heard.

For Further Study:

** Thou hast. Psa 35:22; Prov 15:3; Jer 16:17; 23:24; Heb 4:13; ** for thou. Hab 1:13; ** to requite. Judg 1:7; 2Kgs 9:26; 2Chr 6:23; Jer 51:56; Joel 3:4; ** the poor. Psa 55:22; 2Tim 1:12; 1Pet 4:19; 5:7; ** committeth. Isa 10:3; Jer 49:11; ** helper. Psa 68:5; 146:9; Deut 10:18; Hos 14:3;

Psalms 10:12-13

Lift Up Thine Hand

12 Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up thine hand: forget not the humble. 13 Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? he hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it. "

Wickedness reigns throughout the land or at least it appears that way. There seems to be nothing left of the innocent, the pure, and the wholesome life. Children are growing up without any notion of God and are taught to believe in the achievements of man and in the power of government to save them from their own stupidity and laziness. Anything that pleases them is good... sex, drugs, alcohol, violence, self-indulgence etc.

But, the psalmist, David, knows the truth. He knows that God reigns over all things. In this passage, he calls upon God to rise up against the surge of evil that was going through the land. Many would have asked God to forgive the sins of the wicked, but that is not going to happen unless they repent. And, how can they who do not believe in the existence of God repent from sinning against Him? The correct prayer is to call for God to rise up, to take a stand, and to bring His judgment upon them.

David used three different names for God in this plea for relief. "O LORD" is a cry to Yahweh, the self-existing, eternal, omnipresent God who revealed His name to Moses. The name itself combats the doubts and unbelief of the wicked. There is a God who has always existed and always will exist. He is a God in whom David trusts and can call upon in times of need.

"O God" uses the Hebrew name El, which represents one of strength and might. When He lifts His hand, it is with all the power of the universe. There is nothing that can resist His force or escape His anger. To call upon such power is a dangerous thing for any man, because we are all sinners. David must have realized this and, knowing that he had no righteousness of his own to present to God, he begs for Him to remember the humble. Remember, mighty El, those sinners who have confessed and submitted themselves to You and begged for Your mercy.

Then, he asks, "Why do the wicked despise God?" Here the name used is Elohym, the ruler, and judge of all the earth. Is there anything that the wicked hate more than for someone to judge them? They do not believe in God, because they cannot even entertain the thought of someone judging them. They will say things like, "If your God is a God of love, why does He allow suffering or how can He throw people into hell? I cannot believe in a God like that." So they reject the whole idea of God. They hate those who preach about Him. They refuse to believe that He exists.

"He has said in his heart, Thou will not require it." God will not pursue His promise of judgment, because He does not exist. You, the witness, will be the guilty party for judging the sins of others, for wanting to change them, and for "hating" them. The wicked are misguided by their own desires. They are unable to understand the things of God. Your passion for their eternal security looks like hate to them.

Is it right to pray for their judgment? Is it right to ask God to lift up His hand against them? The answer is, "Yes!" although not in the sense of eternal damnation. It is very often necessary for God to bring a temporal judgment against people to make them realize that they need Him. Nothing drives people into the church faster than a disaster in their life from which they have no one to turn for relief, except to God.

I believe that God is ready to lift up His hand against the United States and that Christians should be prepared to embrace it as an opportunity to save many through the preaching of His word. It will not be easy, because there will be strong resistance and persecution. However, that is almost always the formula for spiritual revival.

Before The Throne:

Are you frustrated by the evil that surrounds you? Call upon God to rise up and lift up His hand. Ask Him to give you the wisdom, when He does it, to see the opportunities to bring more people into the kingdom. Ask Him for the faith that will be required of you during that time. Pray for the leaders of our nation to recognize the hand of God upon everything that they do. Thank the LORD for giving His Son to save the humble, the meek, the poor in spirit, and those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.

For Further Study:

** Arise. Psa 3:7; 7:6; 9:19; ** lift. Psa 94:2; Isa 26:11; 33:10; Mic 5:9; ** forget. Psa 9:12; 13:1; 77:9;

(v.13) ** contemn. Psa 74:10, 18; Num 11:20; 2Sam 12:9-10; Luke 10:16; 1Thess 4:8; ** Thou. Gen 9:5; 42:22; 2Chr 24:22; Luke 11:50-51;

Psalms 10:8-11

He Lies in Wait

8 He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor. 9 He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net. 10 He croucheth, and humbleth himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones. 11 He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten: he hideth his face; he will never see it.

One might wonder why a man would lie in wait to rob and murder the poor. Perhaps, it is because they do not have the defenses around them that the wealthy person might have. In those days a wealthy man would travel with a host of servants and armed guards. He was not so easily attacked. The poor, however, often walked alone, carrying their goods to market or to their homes, along very dangerous roads. The Arabs liked to hide among the rocks and take the lonely traveler by surprise.

The situation is not much different today. The rich and famous travel with their entourage and body guards and are not easily attacked. They have their money invested in secure places, are knowledgeable concerning the markets and are not easily duped. The poor, on the other hand, are not securely invested, do not have financial advisers and are eager for an opportunity to get rich quickly and easily. This makes them easy targets for con-artists and others who would rob them and even kill them for their small savings.

I do not need to discuss all of the ways that the wicked have of catching the poor in their traps. They are like lions secretly waiting, stalking and striking when the time is right.

Paul wrote about his encounter with Alexander the copper smith who had apparently professed to be a Christian but refused the apostles doctrine. "Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion." (2 Timothy 4:17)

Calvin wrote, "From Paul’s words,.. we may infer that he had committed no greater offense than an attack on sound doctrine; for if Alexander had wounded his person, or committed an assault on him, he would have endured it patiently; but when the truth of God is assailed, his holy breast burns with indignation, because, in all the members of Christ that saying must hold good, 'The zeal of thy house hath eaten me up.' (Psa 69:9.)"

Thus, history teaches us that the poor in spirit are also prey to the lions of this world. We are taught to, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" (1 Peter 5:8)

But, the key to the heart of all evil persons is described in the eleventh verse of our psalm. "He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten: he hideth his face; he will never see it." When there is no fear of being discovered and no fear of being punished, the lion is emboldened. Lions can be frightened like any other animal but, when they do not fear the lambs or the shepherds caring for them, they will attack. They will take as many from the flock as they want. The poor lambs have no defense.

However, the LORD is our shepherd and, while the wicked neither see nor fear Him, He is our defender and will punish those who attack His sheep. "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven... Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." (Matthew 5:3, 5) So, be wise as serpents, dear reader, and harmless as doves, but fear not because Christ shall never leave you.

Before the Throne:

Ask God to help you recognize the traps that are laid by wicked men, especially those that are laid for the meek and poor in spirit. Ask Him to show you how you can generously help the poor to understand His word and to improve their circumstances. Pray for those whom you know are under attack by the satanic lions. Pray for those in public office who want to return our nation to one nation under God. They are all under attack right now. Give praise to God for being your defender against the traps of the devil.

For Further Study:

(v.8 )
** sitteth. 1Sam 22:18; 23:23; 2Kgs 21:16; Prov 1:11-12; Hab 3:14; Luke 8:1; 10:1; ** his eyes. Psa 17:11; Prov 6:12-13; Jer 22:17;

(v.9) ** He lieth. Psa 17:12; 59:3; Mic 7:2; Acts 23:21; ** secretly. Lam 3:10; Amos 3:4; Nah 2:11-12; Zech 11:3; ** to catch. Jer 5:26; Ezek 19:3-6; Hab 1:15; John 10:12; ** poor, when. Psa 12:5; 35:10; 37:14; 109:31; Job 5:15-16; Prov 14:31; 22:16; 28:15; Isa 3:15; 32:7; Ezek 22:29; Amos 2:6-7; 5:11-12; Hab 3:14;

(v.10) ** croucheth. 1Sa 2:36; ** humbleth. 1Sam 18:21-26; 23:21-22; 2Sam 15:5;

(v.11) ** said. Psa 10:6; Mark 2:6; Luke 7:39; ** God. Psa 64:5; 73:11; 94:7; Job 22:13-14; Eccl 8:11; Ezek 8:12; 9:9;

Psalms 10:7

His Tongue Destroys

7 His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity."

This verse has come to me at just the right time in my life. This past weekend, a friend of mine witnessed a large group of Satanists disrupting a funeral service by chanting satanic chants and cursing God in and around the church. Just a few days ago, another friend of mine had his testimony attacked by someone who also cursed God, blaming all the evils of the world upon Him. Another person said that God and Satan are equals. None of these wicked people were the least bit receptive to what the word of God has to say.

William S. Plumer wrote about this psalm, saying, "There is a consanguinity between all sins. Compare v.6 with several preceding and succeeding verses. Pride, cruelty, cunning, boasting, lust, covetousness, false peace, want of docility, practical atheism, spiritual blindness, contempt, cursing, deceit, fraud, mischief and vanity are a frightful sisterhood."

All of a man's sinful thoughts, desires and actions are revealed through His tongue. It is a deadly instrument that can do more damage than any weapon invented by man. Evangelist Rick Coram has recently pointed out that the tongue is the only muscle in the body that never has to rest, never gets tired, never gets flabby, never needs to work out, never begins to sag and is not weakened by old age. Furthermore, I believe that, when the tongue begins to curse God, the soul of that person is either in danger of being lost forever or has been possessed by very powerful and wicked spirits.

He will not only curse God, but will attack anyone who loves God and/or opposes evil. The sinner cannot stand to hear the name of Jesus or the truth from God's word and will, therefore, curse the person and his God with false accusations and half-truths.

He uses his tongue to deceive many people for profit. Someone whose mouth is full of deceit can bilk people out of their life savings without the slightest bit of guilt. A recent case of a highly respected financial broker revealed that all of his businesses were built upon a Ponzi scheme that had stolen billions of dollars from his clients. Our government's social security system is a ponzi scheme, yet crooked politicians continue to defend it in order to buy the votes of their constituents.

These people are all around us. They run the businesses and governments of the world. Christians are a small minority in an ever increasingly wicked world. It is often difficult for us to discern the truth from the lies when we see, listen to, or read the news. Lies and empty theories are paraded past us daily as scientific truths in an attempt to damage our biblical world view. "For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief." (Proverbs 24:2 )

Of course, these things were not exclusive to David's time nor are they new or exclusive to our day and age. Since sin entered the world man has not changed, will not change, and cannot change except the grace of God fall upon him. Even then, we still have the flesh with which to contend. Our struggles with sin are a daily battle, and our tongues are the worst offenders. If Christians are honest, we will have to admit that we constantly use our tongues to deceive, gossip, backbite, manipulate, cause mischief, or to just argue about vain and meaningless things.

If we would get control of our tongue, we could contribute much more toward the purpose for which God has saved us. Paul pleaded with the church at Rome to be united in Christ, "That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ... And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name." (Romans 15:6, 9) It is a marvelously powerful way to use the tongue without any fraud, mischief or vanity. When we glorify God and His Son Jesus Christ, we speak the pure and undeniable truth.

Before The Throne:

Ask God to wipe the sin of lies, deceit, fraud, mischief and vanity from your lips. These are the tools of antichrist. Ask God to give you a never ending string of words that bring glory to His name. Pray for those Christians around you to also be in control of their words, but those who do not know Christ cannot control their tongues. Pray for them to receive God's grace and come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus.

For Further Study:

** full. Psa 59:12; 62:4; Rom 3:14; ** and deceit. Psa 5:9; 7:14; 36:3; 52:4; 55:21; Psa 58:3; 64:3; Isa 59:4; Jer 9:3, 6; Rom 3:13; ** under. Job 20:12; ** mischief. Psa 7:14; 140:9; Job 15:35; Matt 12:34; Jas 3:6-8; ** vanity. Psa 12:2; 41:6; 144:8, 11; Prov 21:6; 30:8;

Psalms 10:6

He Is Arrogant

6 He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity.

The sinner and the believer often make the same statements of faith, but the first has lies for his foundation while the other has absolute truth. David wrote, "I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved." (Psalms 16:8) The faith that he should not be moved was not based on anything good within himself but on the fact that God was always present with him. David went through plenty of adversity in his life but his faith was never shaken, God was always with him, and he was always able to surmount whatever difficulties he faced.

The sinner, on the other hand, has built his faith on his own vain accomplishments. He has successfully persecuted the poor and has been rewarded with substantial wealth because of his own covetous lifestyle. Power and wealth are his to use as he wishes and serve as the security for his future. He has puffed at his enemies and easily defeated them. No one has punished him for his wrong doings. In fact, the world admires him for his success.

He has put God completely out of his thoughts. God has not punished him. He is like the Pharaoh whom Moses and Aaron confronted. "And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go." (Exodus 5:2) He does not know God and, therefore, has no reason to submit to Him. Like the Pharaoh, he is his own God.

Albert Barnes wrote concerning this verse, saying, "The phrase, “he hath said,” means that this was his deliberate and settled character. What is here described was no sudden thing. It was not the freak of passion; it was a deliberately-formed purpose. The phrase, “in his heart,” means that he had purposed this; he had said this to himself in a spirit of self-gratulation and confidence."

This self-gratulation and confidence is common among all wicked people, including the heathen nations of the world. Babylon was told, "And thou saidst, I shall be a lady for ever: so that thou didst not lay these things to thy heart, neither didst remember the latter end of it." (Isaiah 47:7) And, again, she has the same attitude in the last days, "How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow." (Revelation 18:7)

Today, we are witnessing one of the most amazing periods in modern history, as people all over the globe are rising up in a wave of revolutions against the tyrants who have been enslaving them for decades. Men who have boasted to the whole world about their power, wealth, ruthlessness and infallibility are falling from power in violent revolutions. These men thought that they would never see adversity. Spurgeon wrote, "Every proud thought is twin brother to a cruel thought. He who exalts himself will despise others, and one step further will make him a tyrant."

Brothers and sisters in Christ, pride is the cancer that will destroy everyone who entertains it. It grows rapidly giving a false sense of confidence to its owner. It will cause you to think you are infallible and to reject criticism or correction. It will turn your thoughts away from God. You will think that you are good, strong, smart, clever, safe and immune to adversity. Without knowing it, you will become your own God. Do not give the sin of pride any room to reside in your heart, for God will discipline those who are His children in Christ and destroy all who continue to reject His grace.

Before The Throne:

Ask the Holy Spirit to examine every fiber of your being and to cast out any trace of pride that is found there. Humble yourself in the presence of the Lord. Confess Him as the one and only true God. Ask Him to forgive you for every time that you have been self-dependent. Pray for the poor people of the world who suffer under the tyranny of a dictator or under a political system that persecutes them. Pray for for the safety of the missionaries who have been sent to those countries with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

For Further Study:

** said. Psa 11:1; 14:1; Matt 24:48; ** not. Psa 15:5; 30:6; Eccl 8:11; Isa 47:7; 56:12; Nah 1:10; Matt 24:48; 1Thess 5:3;

Psalms 10:5

He Harms Others

5 His ways are always grievous; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them.

The character of the proud and wicked person continues to be the subject of our psalm. This time the psalmist focuses on his lifestyle in general. "His ways" are not the ways of the godly person nor are they favored by God. His lifestyle is structured so as to give himself pleasure, comfort, fame, wealth and power.

Such is the lifestyle of many who consider themselves to be followers of Christ. They want to be blessed with His gift of eternal life but have never been born again as a slave in the household of God. Instead they have remained slaves to sin, bound by the desires of their own flesh, chasing after the imaginations of their own hearts, which are always wicked. Paul, even after his conversion struggled with the will of the flesh, "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not." (Romans 7:18) The wicked man, however does not struggle as Paul did. No, he embraces the desires of the flesh without any thought toward the will of God. His entire lifestyle is lived to please the flesh.

What happens to the people who surround this wicked person? Our scripture verse tells us that his ways are "always grievous." The Hebrew word chuwl comes from a root that means, "to bore a hole," and then by extension, "to twist in such a way as to cause pain." We might say that, "His ways are always twisted, causing pain to everyone around him."

The wicked person is addicted to his own pleasure. The passage makes me think about some of the alcoholics or drug addicts to whom I minister. When they go off on their drugs, they never think about their families or their employers. When the flesh calls, they go. They do not call or give notice and they have no sense of the hurt they are causing or the financial catastrophe that the family will suffer through. They just leave, and their only concern is the fulfillment of their own pleasure. One man told me that he will go for months, high on his crack cocaine, without even thinking about taking a bath. His wife and children have no idea where he is or when he will return.

Not all proud and wicked people are drug addicts or alcoholics, but their lifestyles are just as harmful to others. Some are addicted to success, to expensive things, to partying, to shopping networks on T.V. or to simply building up their own ego. They think nothing of other people, especially when doing so would hinder the achievement of their own desires.

Since he does not seek after God or even retain Him in his thoughts, God's judgments are so high that the wicked person cannot see them. "For my thoughts (are) not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9) And, for the wicked man, they will remain that way unless, by the grace of God, he comes to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

God's judgments are often carried out far in the future and, without an understanding of His ways and His thoughts, are completely hidden from the sinner's eyes. "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Corinthians 2:14) So the sinner has no fear of God, no fear of ever having to stand before the judgment seat of heaven, and no thought for what eternity might hold for him.

It is only natural that such a person will have many enemies, and those enemies will fare no better than his family or friends. He will not take them seriously. He puffs at them, as though they were so inferior to himself that he could easily just blow them away with a single breath. He trusts in his own cunning and evil schemes to handle anyone who would be bold enough to resist him.

The problem is that such a person resides within you and I. Yes, we have put on the new man, old things are past and all things have become new, but we still have to contend with the flesh in which we live. Each of us must keep in mind what Paul wrote concerning his own struggles. "For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin." (Romans 7:14) Yet, we are the redeemed of God. His ways are not hidden from us. His judgments are not too high for us to see. We have been given the Holy Spirit of promise and we have the power to be free from the bondage that sin has on the rest of the world. Our lifestyles should always reflect the heart of Christ.

Before The Throne:

Confess every occasion when you have served your own desires without any consideration for the people around you. If you are honest with yourself and God, there will be many of those times. Accept the goodness of His forgiveness and grace. Pray for those poor souls whom you know are being hurt by someone close to them... a child with abusive parents, a mother whose husband has abandoned her, a drug addict's family, a successful person who has no time for his children, etc. Pray for the words and the boldness to share the gospel with every lost soul with whom you come into contact.

For Further Study:

** His. Gen 6:12; Prov 1:19; 2:13, 15; Isa 10:1; Hos 9:9; Rom 3:16; ** thy judgments. Psa 92:5-6; Prov 15:24; 24:1; Isa 5:12; 26:11; 28:15; 42:25; Hos 14:9; ** he puffeth. Psa 12:5; Judg 9:27, 38; 2Sam 5:6; 1Kgs 20:10-11, 13;

Psalms 10:4

They Ignore God

4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts."

The wicked persecutes the poor and blesses others like himself, he boasts of his sins, and his wickedness is revealed in his face. There was a recent T.V. program that my wife enjoyed called (ie To Me. It was about a man whose agency's business was to read facial expressions and body language in order to get to the truth of a matter. The face is like a living lie detector that is always telling the truth whether we want it to or not, and he was an expert at reading it.

So the countenance or face of a person reveals his pride and sinfulness. You and I may not be able to read the signs displayed there, but God can. Yet, if anyone is around a prideful person for very long, they will get a quick sense of the pride that resides in his heart. Much of it comes to us through his facial expressions, even though we may not realize it.

Man's pride and God do not mix very well. "The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day." (Isaiah 2:11)

But, why does pride keep man from thinking about God? "In the first place, it renders God a disagreeable object of contemplation to the wicked, and a knowledge of him as undesirable. Pride consists in an unduly exalted opinion of one's self. It is, therefore, impatient of a rival, hates a superior, and cannot endure a master. In proportion as it prevails in the heart, it makes us wish to see nothing above us, to acknowledge no law but our own will, to follow no rule but our own inclinations. Thus it led Satan to rebel against his Creator, and our first parents to desire to be as gods. Since such are the effects of pride, it is evident that nothing can be more painful to a proud heart than the thoughts of such a being as God; one who is infinitely powerful, just, and holy; who can neither be resisted, deceived, nor deluded; who disposes, according to his own sovereign pleasure, of all creatures and events; and who, in an especial manner, hates pride, and is determined to abase and punish it. Such a prideful being can contemplate God only with feelings of dread, aversion, and abhorrence. It must look upon him as its natural enemy, the great enemy, whom it has to fear." (Edward Payson, D.D., 1783-1827 as quoted in The Treasury of David)

The proud man thinks he does not need a God and that God is just an imaginary concept that the weak use as a crutch to get them through life. His problem is that he is so weak himself that he is unable to see and admit his own weaknesses, his own needs.

The proud man will admit to no mistakes. To admit to having done anything wrong is to admit that there is someone else with the authority to make the rules. The proud person makes his own rules and breaks them whenever he wants. He expects others to see everything his way, because he can never be wrong. The idea of sin is a foreign idea, which he is never allowed to contemplate.

If he could admit to having committed even one sin, he would be too stubborn to accept forgiveness through God's grace. He would insist on saving himself from the penalty of sin by doing some works that would make up for it. Accepting a free gift would obligate him to the One who gives it. He would never do that.

All this pride results in the need to block out any thought of God. Some scholars have translated the last part of our verse to read, "All his thoughts are, there is no God;" This actually makes more sense to me, because the atheists I know spend more time thinking about God than many Christians do. They are obsessed with a need to formulate arguments against the evidence that He exists. "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good." (Psalms 14:1) Yet, there is no man who can truly believe that there is no God. Every culture on earth has recognized that there is something greater than man or greater than life. Every culture has its deities. They may not believe in the right God, but there is a general, natural inborn need for God and a belief that He exists. It takes an effort to put Him out of one's thoughts and that is what makes pride such an evil sin.

Won't you set aside your pride today and admit that there is a God, that you have sinned against Him, and that only He can save you? Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; No man comes to the Father but by me." He paid for your sins when He died on the cross. Now, He expects you to put away your pride, humble yourself before Him and receive the free gift of salvation. Your pride tells you that you must earn His love, but the only way to be forgiven and saved is by His grace. There is no other way.

Before The Throne:

Put aside your pride and humble yourself in the presence of your Lord. Confess your sins and be assured that He will forgive you. Praise Him for being a sovereign God who has control over all things, for being the One to whom you can turn for the solutions to any problems. Thank Him for the honor of being His servant. Ask Him to help you be more serious about serving Him. Spend some time meditating on His word and acknowledging all of His supernatural attributes. Bow down and worship Him, for there is no other like Him.

For Further Study:

** the pride. Psa 18:27; 101:5; Prov 6:17; 21:4; 30:13; Isa 2:11; 3:9; ** will not. Psa 14:2; 27:8; Exod 5:2; Deut 8:14; Job 22:17; Prov 30:9; Jer 2:31; Dan 5:22-23; Zeph 2:3; ** God. Psa 14:1; 53:1; Eph 2:12; ** thoughts. Gen 6:5; Isa 59:7; 65:2; Jer 4:14; Mark 7:21; Acts 8:22; Rom 1:21, 28;

Psalms 10:3

The Pride of the Wicked

3 For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.

In his pride, the unrepentant sinner boasts about the evils that his heart desires. Jesus said that whoever commits sin is a slave to sin. Passages like the one before us highlight that truth. The sinner's bondage to sin prevents him from seeing any truth that would be of value to him. Sin changes his worldview and causes that which is evil to look like it is good. Since he is evil through and through, he begins to feel superior to others, thinking that his sins are what make him better.

Albert Barnes wrote that the sinner takes "... pride in himself, in his own passions, desires, lusts, tastes, and made a boastful display of them, as if he regarded them as something honorable, or as something fitted to excite admiration in others." The reason is his bondage and subsequent inability to tell the difference between right and wrong.

The reader can do a simple experiment to prove the veracity of this statement by using any social networking internet site, such as Facebook. Make friends with as many people who are not Christians as you can. Then, sit back and watch what they talk about between themselves. You will see literal bragging contests over who got the drunkest, homosexuals and lesbians bragging about their sexual preferences and partners, teenagers trying to be the one to use the most vulgar language, satanic youths cursing God, and many other forms of boasting. Out of disgust, you will probably want to quickly break your friendships with them.

These are they, "Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them." (Romans 1:32) They love those who are committing the same sins. It is the old principle, "Birds of a feather flock together," or "Misery loves company." So, they bless the covetous and everyone else whom the LORD abhors.

The wicked will praise the abortionists who are nothing but paid murderers. They want us to believe, however that they perform valuable medical services. It seems that the crooked politician is always the most heralded by those who do not want to work or who want to take advantage of the people through taxation, which then becomes legalized theft. Anyone who has watched any of the current talk shows on T.V. has seen celebrities mocking God, the church, or Christian morality. The audiences laugh and the covetous make more money.

Even those covetous bankers who enrich themselves by lending money for interest are revered and have recently been given billions of dollars to bail them out of their self-made crisis. "LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?.. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved." (Psalms 15:1, 5)

"For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God." (Ephesians 5:5) Covetousness can be expressed in many different ways... theft, abortion, usury, deceit, extortion etc. No matter how it comes forth from a person it is idolatry. It seems to be equated with the sin of whoremongering but it is much more serious than any other sin. Idolatry violates the first commandment. It represents hatred toward a holy God. The epistle of James says it best, "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." (James 4:4)

Before The Throne:

Pray for the braggarts in your life, but also ask God to help you to also refrain from any form of boasting. Instead, ask Him to help you brag about Jesus and the wonderful things that He has done for you. Ask the Lord to keep you from being a covetous person. Ask to be granted a spirit of generosity.

For Further Study:

** boasteth. Psa 35:21; 49:6; 52:1; 73:8-9; 94:4; Exod 15:9; Isa 10:7-11; 37:23; Jas 4:13, 16; ** heart. Psa 49:11-13, 18; Deut 29:19; 1Sam 23:21; Job 31:24; Prov 28:4; Hos 12:7-8; Zech 11:5-8; Luke 12:19; Rom 1:29, 32; 2Tim 3:2-4; 1John 2:15; ** whom. Isa 57:17; Jer 22:17; Mic 6:10-12; Hab 2:9; Matt 26:15-16; Luke 12:15; 16:14-15; 1Cor 6:10; Eph 5:5; Col 3:5; 1Tim 6:9-10; ** abhorreth. Psa 5:6; Lev 26:30; Deut 32:19;

Psalms 10:2

The Sinner's Pride

2 The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.

The first thing that we learn about the wicked person is the fact that he is very proud. And, "These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look,.. (Proverbs 6:16-17a) Pride is not only the first thing that God hates but is also the first and most difficult sin for each of us to deal with.

Pride is self-aggrandizement and feeds on power, which in turn leads to the persecution of those who are weaker. C.H. Spurgeon wrote, "That famous persecutor, Domitian, like others of the Roman emperors, assumed divine honours, and heated the furnace seven times hotter against Christians because they refused to worship his image. In like manner, when the popes of Rome became decorated with the blasphemous titles of Masters of the World, and, Universal Fathers, they let loose their blood hounds upon the faithful. Pride is the egg of persecution."

Saul persecuted David when his pride was hurt by the people singing that Saul had slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. John the Baptist was beheaded because he injured the pride of Herod's wife, Herodias, when he said that it was not lawful for Herod to marry her. Christ was crucified, because of the jealous religious leaders of His day.

Pride craves power and absolute power is said to corrupt absolutely. Therefore, the wicked in their pride persecute the poor and they have the uncanny ability to devise scheme after scheme to take advantage of them. I can remember as a young man being tempted by a variety of get rich quick schemes, ponzi schemes, and a variety of gambling schemes. The wicked are very skilled in offering attractive looking very high interest loans against collateral like car titles, future paychecks or tax returns.

When the Jews returned from their Babylonian captivity, Nehemiah wrote, "And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews. For there were that said, We, our sons, and our daughters, are many: therefore we take up corn for them, that we may eat, and live. Some also there were that said, We have mortgaged our lands, vineyards, and houses, that we might buy corn, because of the dearth. There were also that said, We have borrowed money for the king's tribute, and that upon our lands and vineyards. Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children: and, lo, we bring into bondage our sons and our daughters to be servants, and some of our daughters are brought unto bondage already: neither is it in our power to redeem them; for other men have our lands and vineyards. And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words." (Nehemiah 5:1-6) Nothing was beyond the the conscience of the greedy money lenders, not even taking the sons and daughters of their fellow Jews into slavery as a means for collecting on their loans.

The psalmist, thus, states that the wicked will fall into their own traps. God's justice may seem to be far away or even completely absent, but it is just as certain to come as the sun is to rise in the morning. We are blessed with the constant reminders in the scriptures of God's faithfulness to execute justice on the wicked. When it seems like He is hiding from us, we have this assurance.

Before The Throne:

If you have persecuted the poor by taking advantage of their desperate needs, confess it to God right now. Pray that He will make you aware of things that you do that might harm someone less fortunate than you. Give God praise and thanks for the blessings that He has given you and ask Him how you can use your blessings to help the poor. Pray for the less fortunate and for ways to share the gospel with them.

For Further Study:

** The wicked, Psa 31:18; 36:11; 59:12; 119:5, 69, 85, 122; 140:5; Exod 9:17; 18:11; Isa 10:12-13; 14:13, 16; 43:2; ** let. Psa 7:16; 9:15-16; Prov 5:22;

Psalms 10:1

Lord, where are You?

1 Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?

The heart and mind of a wicked person are such a fascinating subject that producers have created a very popular television program, entitled "Criminal Minds," built on the study of the worst imaginable cases. Yet, the heart and mind of the wicked dwell within each and every person who has ever lived. This psalm, which has no title, is an accurate study of the sinner's constitution. Some scholars believe it to be a sequel to Psalms 9, while others think it was originally part of it. Some authors have seen in it the description of the Antichrist.

This first verse stands alone from the verses that immediately follow. It questions the perceived absence of God during times of trouble. Charles Haddon Spurgeon wrote, "The answer to this is not far to seek, for if the Lord did not hide himself it would not be a time of trouble at all. As well ask why the sun does not shine at night, when for certain there could be no night if he did."

Nevertheless, a person of faith would expect God to respond quickly to his or her prayers during times of trouble and, during such times, hours may seem like days and days like eternity. He might well ask why God seemed to be so far off. We have all experienced the feeling that God has abandoned us, although we know that He never would do that.

Since we all have the heart of a sinner dwelling within us, the question should cause us to consider why God is indeed temporarily absent from the troubled waters in which we feel like we are drowning. Is it not because of our own sins? Should we not consider that he may be disciplining us as a good father would chastise his son? Then this would not be a time for concern, because He has not abandoned us but is lovingly correcting us.

Instead, God's delay in responding to our prayers should be a time for repentance and a time to draw closer to Him. We should rejoice in the knowledge that we are His children, blessed by the opportunity to correct ourselves and to draw closer to Him.

Although our troubles may seem to last for an eternity, it is good for us to remember 1 Corinthians 10;13, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." God will not allow us to suffer more than we are able to stand. He will not allow our faith to be broken, because it is His purpose to strengthen it.

Why does He hide Himself? He hides because He knows what is best for us; He hides because He knows when the time is right to manifest Himself; and He hides because He loves us and wants us to seek Him.

Before the Throne:

Thank the Lord Jesus for promising to never leave you. If you are troubled, remember that He is with you, even if you can not see the evidence. Thank Him for the opportunity to grow in your faith. Thank Him for His discipline and love. Ask Him to show you your sins so you can repent and restore your fellowship with Him.

For Further Study:

** standest. Psa 22:1; 46:1; Jer 14:8; ** hidest. Psa 13:1-3; 27:9; 30:7; 44:24; 88:14; Job 13:24; 23:9; 34:29;

Psalms 9:19-20

Arise, O LORD!

19 Arise, O LORD; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight. 20 Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah.

The great tragedy of atheism and humanism is that their adherents become their own gods. After all, the word "God," or "Elohim" in the Hebrew, simply means magistrate or ruler. When men believe that there is no God and then make their own laws, they replace God with themselves. Imagine having no one to call on, no one to trust, no one to save you, no one to protect you, and no one to love you unconditionally except yourself.

Men who hold such beliefs are deluded, believing themselves to be something more than human. Occasionally, there will be those who are so self-centered and proud that they become conquerors of other people. Alexander the Great was one example, and he drank himself to death. Hitler is another well-known example of a man who tried to be his own god, and he caused the whole world to suffer because of it.

"Arise, O LORD!" This is the prayer of a humble king who trusts not in himself but in an omnipotent God. "Arise, O LORD, and demonstrate to the world that you are the only true God!" It is the prayer of someone who seeks the will of God and knows that his enemies are also God's enemies. He prays that man should not be allowed to make himself into a god, while rejecting the true God and despising everything that is godly.

There must be judgment for the good of mankind. Those nations who refused to repent of their sins should be punished before the presence of God for the sake of all of the other nations. Righteous judgment produces fear among those who would be tempted to commit the same offenses. It demonstrates the weaknesses and frailties of humanity and destroys their delusions of greatness.

David does not seem to be praying for the destruction of the nations in this passage. He is praying for their salvation. "Put them in fear..." is a prayer of mercy, because those who fear the LORD and worship Him will not experience eternal damnation.

He prays for them to realize that they are only men and that their lives are like a puff of smoke that quickly fades away. David wants the nations to lay aside their pride, arrogance, self-reliance, and rebellion and to live with a healthy fear of an Almighty and merciful God. He wants God to be glorified among men everywhere.

You may want to ask yourself, "Who rules over my life? Do I do what I want to do or do I fear God enough to do what He wants me to do? Can I truly say that those who are opposing my work are also opposing God's work?" The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, because it is the first step to understanding that you are only human and that you need an omnipotent and merciful God. Take the time to evaluate your life according to His standards. "For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged." (1 Corinthians 11:31)

Before The Throne:

Humble yourself before God today. Confess to Him the many times that you did what you wanted to do, instead of what you knew He wanted you to do. Pray for His forgiveness and mercy. Repent of this sin and submit yourself to His control. Pray for your enemies. Ask God to strike fear into their hearts, to shatter their pride, and to save them from the condemnation of their own sins. Sing praises to Him for being our merciful and gracious King of kings.

For Further Study:

** Arise. Psa 3:7; 7:6; 10:12; 44:23,26; 68:1,2; 74:22,23; 76:8,9; 80:2; Isa 42:13,14; 51:9; Zep 3:8; ** let not. Gen 32:28; 1Sam 2:9; 2Chron 14:11; Isa 42:13; ** let the. Psa 2:1-3; 79:6; 149:7; Jer 10:25; Joel 3:12; Mic 5:15; Zec 14:18; Rev 19:15;

(v.20) ** Put. Psa 76:12; Exod 15:16; 23:27; Deut 2:25; Jer 32:40; Ezek 30:13; ** may. Psa 82:6,7; Isa 31:3; Ezek 28:2,9; Act 12:22,23;