1 Why, O LORD, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
2 In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises.
3 He boasts of the cravings of his heart; he blesses the greedy and reviles the LORD.
4 In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
5 His ways are always prosperous; he is haughty and your laws are far from him; he sneers at all his enemies.
6 He says to himself, “Nothing will shake me; I’ll always be happy and never have trouble.”
7 His mouth is full of curses and lies and threats; trouble and evil are under his tongue.
8 He lies in wait near the villages; from ambush he murders the innocent, watching in secret for his victims.
9 He lies in wait like a lion in cover; 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 has forgotten; 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, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand. The victim commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked and evil man; call him to account for his wickedness that would not be found out.
16 The LORD is King for ever and ever; the nations will perish from his land.
17 You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.
Today is one of those days that is special to me. It is my mother’s birthday and today she would have been 100 years old. In II Timothy 1:5 I am reminded of your sincere faith which first lived in your grandmother Lois and on your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” I am so thankful for both my grandmother and my mother for the faith that they instilled in my life. They help prepare the good soil in my live so that when the seed of the gospel was sown in my life it was able to grow and not wither.
This psalm starts out as a prayer to God asking why God does not take action against the wicked. The psalmist asks God why he hides himself in times of trouble. The psalmist then describes what he sees as the characteristics of the wicked.
Characteristics of the Wicked:
- full of pride
- they hunt down the weak
- devises evil schemes
- boastful against God
- seeks the cravings of his heart
- bless the greedy
- reviles God and does not seek him
- his ways seem prosperous
- he sneers at his enemies
- in his pride he is above God’s law
- in his pride nothing can shake him
- his mouth is full of cursing
- he tells lies and uses threats
- trouble and evil surround him
- he waits to ambush and destroy the innocent
- he waits to catch the helpless and drags them off.
- he believes God does not care and that he does not see
- God will not hold him accountable for his actions
This psalm ends with a plea for God to arise and take action against the wicked and evil man and call him into account for what he has done. Then this happens man who is on the earth will no longer live in terror. This day will come when the Lord returns. Why the delay? Peter answers this in II Peter chapter three “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness; but is longsuffering to you-ward, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance”. How should we live “Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for these things, give diligence that ye may be found in peace, without spot and blameless in his sight. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given to him, wrote unto you”.
The way of the Lord is a mystery to the world. The world places itself above God. God really does not exist to them; their hearts are even callous to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. They have no need of God, since they have set themselves up as God. However, the one fact of life faces them as it does all man and that is death awaits us all. For the ungodly this is the end, but for the Christian death is the door for our new life. In I Corinthians 13:13 states “Three things will last forever Faith, Hope, and Love, but the greatest of these is Love. Faith will become sight, hope becomes the fulfillment of all God’s promises, and love is the wonderful relationship we have now but will only grow greater the more we know our Lord in the future after we pass from this life to the next.