In general, this Psalm asks why God doesn't do something about the prosperity of the wicked and misery or suffering of others. It seems like God is not paying attention or that He has somehow looked away. Are the wicked getting away with their sins? Are those afflicted without hope in the Lord?
The belief of the wicked and the answers:
The belief of the wicked and the answers:
Why do You hide in times of trouble?
2 The wicked in his pride persecutes the poor;
Let them be caught in the plots which they have devised.
It does seem that God stands far off at times. However, we know the Lord is the same yesterday, today and forever. When there is distance between us and the Lord, we should look where we are standing. Have we moved away from the Lord?
God does not hide. Yet, we know His ways are not the same as our ways. Our judgments of other men are much harsher than we would judge ourselves. As followers of God, we sometimes are ready to call down fire in righteous indignation against someone who has wronged or persecuted a believer. Yet, when we were pagans, we were the ones persecuting and acting in a wicked way. God was patient and long suffering with us and we should be thankful He didn't honor the prayer of the self righteous believer trying to call down fire on us.
These wicked men David speaks of persecute the poor. David asks that they be caught in their own trap.
3 For the wicked boasts of his heart's desire;
He blesses the greedy and renounces the LORD.
4 The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God;
God is in none of his thoughts.
These wicked are boastful and arrogant. They deny the Lord and feel they can do anything they please. These men are proud and do not seek after God nor do they give any thought to God. See Phil 3:18-21.
5 His ways are always prospering;
Your judgments are far above, out of his sight;
As for all his enemies, he sneers at them.
6 He has said in his heart, "I shall not be moved;
I shall never be in adversity."
7 His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and oppression;
Under his tongue is trouble and iniquity.
In spite of what these evil men think or feel, God's ways are always prospering. In spite of what we see, His ways are prospering. It's hard to remember at times that all things work for the good of those called according to His purpose. Even though we think God is slow to act or that others are getting the wrong judgments, His judgments are 'out of sight'. They are beyond our comprehension.
The rich, proud and arrogant can deceive themselves into thinking they are untouchable. They believe that they can't be moved from their high place. They can't imagine a situation where they would ever be in adversity. These men also speak with cursing and deceit. They oppress those around them and they bring trouble to others. We might use the word haughty or high and mighty. They have become the self appointed leaders of anyone around them and the self appointed controller of anything within their reach. See 1 Cor 2:10-16.
8 He sits in the lurking places of the villages;
In the secret places he murders the innocent;
His eyes are secretly fixed on the helpless.
9 He lies in wait secretly, as a lion in his den;
He lies in wait to catch the poor;
He catches the poor when he draws him into his net.
10 So he crouches, he lies low,
That the helpless may fall by his strength.
11 He has said in his heart,
"God has forgotten;
He hides His face;
He will never see."
Has God hidden his face? This wicked man has become like a lion, feeding on the helpless and the poor. They wait secretly and quietly for someone to wander along. Then, they draw them into the net and pounce on them. This evil man is lurking everywhere. What do you picture here? A vampire in one of these vampire movies? A rapists or child molester?
Whatever form this person takes in our society, the attitude is the same. He believes there is no God or that God is not paying attention. God will not see and if He does, He will do nothing.
12 Arise, O LORD!
O God, lift up Your hand!
Do not forget the humble.
13 Why do the wicked renounce God?
He has said in his heart,
"You will not require an account."
This "Arise, O Lord!" has shown up many times. It is a call to action or a battle cry. It is asking the Lord to rise up and fight this battle on his behalf. David asks God to address this situation directly with His hand and not to forget the humble man. These arrogant men seem to have the upper hand and they ignore God and get away with it. They believe that God will not require an accounting for their actions.
14 But You have seen, for You observe trouble and grief,
To repay it by Your hand.
The helpless commits himself to You;
You are the helper of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked and the evil man;
Seek out his wickedness until You find none.
God has indeed seen regardless of what it seems like to us. He sees the trouble and grief and there will be a day of judgment. Everything will be made right one day. God knows the commitment of some and we know he takes care of the orphans. David calls for God's judgment again on these wicked and wants Him to continue seeking the wicked until none can be found.
Can we commit ourselves into the hand of the Lord? See Psalm 55:22 and 1 Peter 5:7.
16 The LORD is King forever and ever;
The nations have perished out of His land.
17 LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble;
You will prepare their heart;
You will cause Your ear to hear,
18 To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
That the man of the earth may oppress no more.
The eternal Lord is King and the nations will be nothing before Him. A time is coming for judgment and God's patience will end. He will remember all that has happened and the cry of the humble in the face of the arrogant. He will hear the cries of those oppressed and there will be justice and this arrogant and wicked man will not be able to oppress any longer.
Verse 18 talks about the 'man of the earth' or another version may say earth dwellers. These are men who have put their trust and faith in this world. We are sojourners; heaven dwellers just passing through. (Rev 3:10; 6:10; 8:13; 11:10; 12:12; 13:8; 14:6; 17:2)