The psalmist complains to God of the oppressions which the poor suffer from the wicked man, whom he describes as the hater of the poor, Psalm 10:1, Psalm 10:2; proud, Psalm 10:3; one who will not seek God, Psalm 10:4; and is regardless of his judgments, Psalm 10:5; self-confident, Psalm 10:6; blasphemous and deceitful, Psalm 10:7; strives by subtlety and treachery to destroy the poor, Psalm 10:8-10; and supposes that God is regardless of his conduct, Psalm 10:11. The psalmist calls earnestly on God to preserve the poor and humble, and cast down the oppressor, Psalm 10:12-15. He foresees that his prayer is heard; that judgment will be executed, and the poor delivered, Psalm 10:16-18.Adam Clarke Commentary
A Prayer for the Overthrow of the Wicked
Why doth the Lord stand off so far?
And why conceal his face,
When great calamities appear,
And times of deep distress?
Lord, shall the wicked still deride
Thy justice and thy power?
Shall they advance their heads in pride,
And still thy saints devour?
They put thy judgments from their sight,
And then insult the poor;
They boast in their exalted height,
That they shall fall no more.
Arise, O God, lift up thine hand,
Attend our humble cry;
No enemy shall dare to stand
When God ascends on high.
Why do the men of malice rage,
And say, with foolish pride,
“The God of heav’n will ne’er engage
To fight on Zion’s side?”
But thou for ever art our Lord;
And powerful is thine hand,
As when the heathens felt thy sword,
And perished from thy land.
Thou wilt prepare our hearts to pray,
And cause thine ear to hear;
He hearkens what his children say,
And puts the world in fear.
Proud tyrants shall no more oppress,
No more despise the just;
And mighty sinners shall confess
They are but earth and dust.
Today’s Psalm deals with the oppression of the poor and the haughtiness of the wicked. At times these themes seem so far from our everyday life and at other times it seems too close for comfort.
Take theft for example, we are constantly trying to outmaneuver thieves. We have locks on our homes, cars, place of work, churches and phones. We need passwords for our email accounts, social media accounts, online banking, security features on our passports, identification cards and even a lowly parking pass. Why? Because there is always someone ready to take advantage of an opportunity to steal something from us. That someone may be a common thief, a hacker, an unscrupulous lawyer, a price gouging merchant, a corrupt church or government official.
It is impossible to keep tabs on everything, sometimes the wicked will get the better of us. Whether you realise it or not, we become worn out living under layers and layers of ‘security measures’. The humble battles against the wicked who say, by their actions, ‘there is no God’; they are not afraid to make plans to afflict the innocent.
Our daily prayer for protection says “Arise, O God, lift your hand, attend our humble cry, no enemy shall dare to stand when God ascends on high”, “thou forever art our Lord; and powerful is thine hand.”