Psalm 10:17-18

“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.” Psalm 10:17-18

It is easy to get discouraged in our world today. We look around at the political climate, the crime, the divisions, the discord and a whole lot more. People rally, they march, they may scream and fight, verbal and physical battles can ensue. Just driving a car could end in a battle because of a simple traffic mistake. It seems as if anger and rage have become our native tongue. What we used to consider safe venues are no longer deemed safe anymore because people strike terror.

We cannot look to the world for our answers because the world is part of the problem.

So where do we turn?

We must run, not walk, to the Lord our King. He can and will encourage our hearts because He does and will continue to sit on the throne.

God allows people their choices now, but because God ultimately rules, there is coming a day when man will terrify no more.

Today is the day to choose sides. We can choose the world or we can choose Him. There really are only two choices.

I choose Him!

Father, I choose You. I choose the safety of Your presence and the peace of knowing that even in a world of discord and chaos I can find rest in You.

 

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Psalm 10:16

Psalm10:16 “The Lord is King for ever and ever…”

We elect a president every four years. If popular enough, he may get to stay in that office for two terms. Our congressmen face the poles every two years and our senators every six. Prime Ministers get elected. Dictators rise and fall. Even monarchs can be deposed. Leaders come and go. The political world is constantly in a state of flux. It feels as if we don’t always have solid ground on which to place our feet.

But today’s verse gives us the firm foundation that our God is King for ever and ever. One of these days all of the earthly nations will perish and what will be left is God’s Kingdom rule in the heavens and on the earth. His reign is eternal. The Lord is King for ever and ever and it is the most solid place we can ever walk.

Father, thank You that You are the eternal King and Your reign will never ever end.

 

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Psalm 10:12-14

“Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God. 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.” Psalm 10:12-14

God sees our trouble when we are afflicted. He takes our grief in His loving hands. God is the defender of the afflicted, the helper to the helpless, the father to the fatherless. Whatever our need, He is there to meet it.

But does it always feel that way? No!

In John 11 Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus that their brother Lazarus was very sick. Now the Scripture says that Jesus loved them. He loved them, but when He heard about Lazarus, He stayed where he was for two more days and Lazarus died. Mary and Martha thought He would come right away; He didn’t.

So that leads to this question: Does that seem like God is the defender of the afflicted, the helper of the helpless and the father to the fatherless? And, of course, the answer is “No!” At first glance, it feels cold and heartless for Jesus, who could with a word heal their brother, to wait on purpose.

Why did Jesus let them feel the agony of death, the pain of separation, the tears of feeling abandoned by God?

Mary and Martha already knew and believed with their whole hearts that Jesus could heal. There wasn’t a question in their minds that He could. But here with all the pain and sadness and affliction, they learned and experienced an even greater truth: Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. With tears running down His cheeks, He spoke life and resurrection into their brother.

I’m pretty sure they would have said it was well worth the wait.

So perhaps today if Jesus is waiting with the answer, there is an even bigger reason for the affliction and the pain and the feeling of being abandoned.

Lord, today help me to see and trust that in the end I will be drawn closer even in my affliction.

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Psalm 10:2-11

“In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak, 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.’ His mouth is full of lies and threats; 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.’” Psalm 10:2-11 

And aren’t you glad we started the day with these verses? They were depressing to this psalmist, most likely David, when he wrote them, but they are still depressing today. These same verses could just as easily be applied to our world. It seems as if the unrighteous prosper. It feels like the wicked lie in wait. How many commercials on identity theft do we need to watch to be convinced that the wicked seem to be watching in secret and trying to catch the helpless? And then there are the many phone scams and internet hoaxes, fraud, theft, murder, abuse, well, we could go on.

At times, it seems that our world is very far from God and God is very far from our world. At first glance, it feels as if God doesn’t notice deceit and wickedness, that He has covered His face and never sees. It may look like the wicked are prospering, thriving and that sinful activity pays in a big way. Those far from God can even boast in their arrogance that nothing can harm or destroy their prosperity.

It was that way for the psalmist; it is that way for us today. However, prosperity, riches, wealth, are not eternal. Pride, greed, evil activity lead us far from God.

This life is less than a nanosecond in the scope of eternity. The comfort and riches of this world for the one who doesn’t know the Lord, will not be any kind of comfort in an eternity separated from God.

True prosperity, true riches, true wealth are found in knowing the God who made us and being in a right relationship with Him. Those who know and love God will forever get to experience the real fairy tale ending, “And they lived happily ever after.”

Today, Lord, I cry out to You along with the writer of the Proverbs in chapter 30 that both poverty and great riches may draw my heart away from You, and I don’t want anything to cause me to be far from You.

 

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Psalm 10:1

Psalm 10 begins with a cry from the writer’s heart because God seemed far away. Have you ever cried out to the Lord with these same words found in verse 1? “Why, LORD, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?”

It is a common theme in the Psalms for people to feel that God is far away. He isn’t.

It is a common theme for the writer to feel abandoned in difficult times. He wasn’t.

But I find it very comforting to know that these faith-filled guys who wrote down the Scripture didn’t always feel the nearness of God. They walked closely to the Lord, but their feelings didn’t necessarily always experience it.

First of all, that tells me that my feelings aren’t always correct. Maybe my emotions sometimes get in the way of what the truth really is.

Secondly, it reminds me to trust God and not necessarily what I am feeling.

The solid ground is God’s Word; the shaky ground is what I feel.

Lord, You are God and my emotions can get in the way of my trusting You. I choose to walk in faith and not by sight or by my emotions.

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Psalm 9:15-20

“The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug; their feet are caught in the net they have hidden. The LORD is known by his acts of justice; the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands. The wicked go down to the realm of the dead, all the nations that forget God. But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish. Arise, LORD, do not let mortals triumph; let the nations be judged in your presence. Strike them with terror, LORD; let the nations know they are only mortal.” Psalm 9:15-20

We forget sometimes that all the people around us are just like us, mortal. We all have flaws, weaknesses, talents, abilities, failings, successes, triumphs. Sometimes we look at the world around us and think that other people have it better together than we do. But the truth is that none of us really have it together. The only way to be rescued from that is a relationship with the Lord.

We are all sinners and our destiny is the realm of the dead, separated from God forever. We have to make a choice to accept Christ. When we do that, we move from the world of the wicked to the world of the saved.

It is something to shout about.

Lord, please give me eyes of compassion and love. Help me to remember that You never forget the needy and the greatest need all of us have is to know You.

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Psalm 9:11-14

“Sing the praises of the LORD, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done. For he who avenges blood remembers; he does not ignore the cries of the afflicted. LORD, see how my enemies persecute me! Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death, that I may declare your praises in the gates of Daughter Zion, and there rejoice in your salvation.” Psalm 9:11-14

It doesn’t matter in the ears of the Lord if your voice is one of the most beautiful on the planet or if you have trouble carrying a tune in a bucket. It is not about the sound. It’s about the heart. Our praises are the real music. Speaking our words of love and commitment to Him, blesses Him beyond our understanding. He loves to hear us sing.

Why not take a few moments and simply sing a few verses of your favorite worship song and express your love and devotion to Him. But keep in mind, praises don’t have to be sung. They can be spoken, written, whispered, shouted, even painted in a picture, and He gladly receives them.

It is not about the sound. It’s about the heart.

Lord, help me to have eyes to see what You are doing all around me and respond with a heart of praise.

 

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Psalm 9:7-10

“The LORD reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment. He rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity. The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.” Psalm 9:7-10

Just recently it was reported that a tornado may have touched down in our area. It has not yet been confirmed but the damage left in the wake of the storm speaks to that possibility.

I love storms. I love the way the sky darkens and the wind picks up. I love the lightning flashes and even the thunder cracking the sky. I love to watch God’s power in the heavens.

But I am also very respectful of the fact that finding shelter in the midst of a storm is wise counsel. If the sirens are announcing that I am in the path of a tornado, I want to pay attention. I want to find a safe place.

But one of the things I love from the Scripture is that I am told that I always have a refuge, a safe place in the Lord. I can run to Him no matter what the circumstances. He always welcomes me.

And I don’t have very far to go to find that shelter. It is as close as the name, Jesus.

I want to thank You, Jesus, that You are only a prayer away. I only have to speak Your name and I can find rest, comfort, and shelter.

 

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Psalm 9:3-6

“My enemies turn back; they stumble and perish before you. For you have upheld my right and my cause, sitting enthroned as the righteous judge. You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked; you have blotted out their name for ever and ever. Endless ruin has overtaken my enemies, you have uprooted their cities; even the memory of them has perished.” Psalm 9:3-6

David says this about the Lord:

“They stumble and perish before you.”

“You have upheld my right and my cause.”

“You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked.”

“You have blotted out their name for ever and ever.”

“You have uprooted their cities.”

In just a few short verses he gives the Lord credit over and over again. He knows exactly who is in charge and who is accomplishing all that is good in his life.

This is a challenge to me to open my eyes and recognize all that God is doing, trust Him, and thank Him.

Lord, thank You that You are upholding me and taking care of me at all times.

 

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Psalm 9:1-2

“I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.” Psalm 9:1-2

Some of the first words we try to teach our children are please and thank you. I’ve watched as parents teach the sign language forms of the words long before their children have the ability to verbalize the terms. Why? They want their children to have grateful hearts. They want them to see that there is much for which we can give thanks.

But as I am studying the beginning of this Psalm, I have to ask myself how often I begin my day and continue throughout my day with this kind of heart.

Let’s backtrack a moment though. The heading for this Psalm tells us who wrote it and identifies the tune that the words were set to. David wrote the words and set them to music that had already been written. The name of the tune is, “The Death of the Son.”

This Psalm begins with praises but the tune was written about a death. It doesn’t tell us the name but notice that it is the death of the Son.

I have to be honest, I’m not sure who it was written about but I know that when I consider the death of the Son of God, it causes me to praise.

His death paid for my sins so that I can have eternal life. I join with David and say, “I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.”

Father, thank You for sending Your Son to die in my place. I will sing the praises of Your name.

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