While we pray for our protection and blessings, we often forget to pray for the oppressed in our society. While we are ignorant of other’s sufferings, our suffering appears as a big mountain. We might be thinking that people who do not have any problem can only address the issues found in another’s life. For most of his life, David lived a life of a fugitive, yet he was able to visualize the plight of the fatherless and the oppressed. The servant girl of Naaman who was in captivity did not wait for her liberty to tell about the healing power of her God. We are the people liberated from the bondage of the darkness. The problems we face in this world should not lead us to bondage again but we ought to bring His light to the people who are still going towards the valley of death. It was while hanging on the cross that Jesus announced forgiveness to all of us and not while sitting on His throne.
Why do you hide yourself?
Why, LORD, do you stand far off?Psalms 10:1
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
David cried out to the Lord, enumerating the wicked people’s deeds against the helpless people. One should have the grace of God to discern the works of the wicked and if the love of God fills our hearts then we can see the sufferings of the oppressed as well. Most people do not want to hear from them about their sufferings to avoid sympathizing with them (Proverbs 21:13). But David had experienced the love of God in his life and was able to see the agony of the oppressed and helpless people. He wondered why God had hidden His face from the cry of the oppressed. The Bible says God’s hands are not short to lend a helping hand, but their sins stood between them and God as an obstacle (Isaiah 59:1-2). David did not conclude that their sins are preventing God from coming to their rescue. Instead, he was pleading to God to stretch out His hands towards them because of His mercy. There is an old idiom that says, “kill two birds with one stone”. Here, “Poverty” is a stone that affects three, the poor, the one who manipulates their helpless situation, and the sympathizer, who even though is capable of helping them, chooses not to.
The Ways of the Wicked
In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak,Psalms 10:2-6
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.”
The wicked desire to be rich and so they accumulate wealth in the wrong ways (1 Timothy 6:9). God allows them to flourish so that they may become proud. For them, their pride itself will become their trap, as they are confident in their wickedness and never seek God. David knew that how they reject God and regard their own prosperity more than Him. Pride blinds their eyes, and they think that nothing will ever shake them. The Scriptures say that pride goes before the fall. The wicked one does not know this truth and is confident of his unworthy ways.
While the wicked hunt down the wealth and the rights of the poor, the devil haunts their souls. The devil makes the poor lament over the injustice done to them and torments their hearts. Psalmist was very clear in his mind that these wicked people help the greedy ones and not the needy ones. Wicked accumulate money by not giving the poor what they deserve, and they levy high interest for their loans to confiscate their belongings. In all these, they forsake the poor and cater to the greedy. With the deceptive deeds of the wicked, the devil torments the hearts of the poor and makes them curse their creator.
His mouth is full of lies and threats;Psalms 10:7-11
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.
His victims are crushed, they collapse;
they fall under his strength.
He says to himself, “God will never notice;
he covers his face and never sees.”
David exposed this strategy of the wicked people and their ignorance about the constant surveillance of God. This Psalm educates the innocent of all the plots that the wicked syndicate for them and cautions the innocent about sweet coated words and false promises of the evildoers in their unceasing endeavour to trap their victims (1 Peter 5:8). Wicked people drag the innocent off in his net when they start doubting the integrity of God by believing their false stories. This Psalm recalls the warning Jesus gave to the wicked people. “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44).” John recorded these words of Jesus, as he watched Him saying these to the wicked, while He lived on this earth. The psalmist could have gained the same wisdom from God while He was still in heaven. Are we able to discern the warnings of God, let us examine that who is the one staying in our hearts?
God Is Our Helper
Arise, LORD! Lift up your hand, O God.Psalms 10:12-15
Do not forget the helpless.
Why does the wicked man revile God?
Why does he say to himself,
“He won’t call me to account”?
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.
Break the arm of the wicked man;
call the evildoer to account for his wickedness
that would not otherwise be found out.
David prayed for justice for the victims and believed that God will come to their help. He was disturbed by the adamant behaviour of the wicked, and their ignorance. David assumed that the prolonged patience of God made them arrogant, and he urged God to intervene to bring justice to the oppressed and the fatherless. He believed that unless and until God intervened, and opened the eyes of the oppressed to see His plans, they will remain prey to the wicked and the wicked will keep on hurting the fatherless and poor. Though it appears like the poor ones are oppressed, the oppressors are the real prey destined for eternal death. God is the helper for the poor and lets these wicked accumulate their wealth to give it to a person who is kind to the poor (Proverbs 28:8). God hardens the hearts of the wicked and prepares them to receive their reward on the day of judgment (1 Timothy 6:9). Despite the hardship we face, if we learn to walk with God, we will be able to understand God’s plan and the present hardships will not affect us.
The Lord is King for Ever and Ever
The LORD is King for ever and ever;Psalms 10:16-18
the nations will perish from his land.
You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that mere earthly mortals
will never again strike terror.
David asked God to encourage the oppressed and the fatherless, and save them from the hands of the wicked as well as the devil. David understood that the wicked would be perished along with their deeds and the devil would be crushed as all his tricks would be revealed on the cross. This prayer for the oppressed ends with a note that all the devices of the wicked and the devil are temporary while the love of God defends us forever. As the problems are temporary, they cannot persistently strike us again and again, but the love of God will constantly sustain us from all the calamities till the day we meet our Redeemer face to face.
God, help us to not be discouraged by the deceptions of the mortals, but to cherish in your unconditional love for ever and ever.