Hi. I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray with Me”.
Psalm 10 starts with the question, “O God, why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” What a great question! Is this the God you pray to? A God who runs from trouble? Who retreats to his private hideout when things go wrong? A God who can’t face the evil we experience? Let’s call him the gopher god — hiding in his hole.
Where do you think the poet got this unflattering view of God? He got it by looking at the success of evil in the world. He tells us what he sees:
– Arrogant gangsters prey on the weak
– They boast about sex and drugs and money
– They get filthy rich from the income of violence
– They are so strong and successful they never give a thought for God
– Their language grows more and more arrogant, the F-word is always at hand
– They murder, kidnap, and crush the innocent
– They say, “God has forgotten, he covers his face and doesn’t see.”
Did you get that? The violent say, “God covers his face and doesn’t see.” This is exactly where the poet started, “Why are you hiding, God?” The psalm has come full circle. Neither the righteous nor the wicked believe that God is watching.
Perhaps. But the poet does not stop at cynicism and unbelief. He speaks to God who is hiding, he moves beyond the sour note of unbelief. He calls God to action, “Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand” (v. 12). He reminds God of his responsibility to help the fatherless, to encourage the afflicted, to defend the oppressed (vv. 15-17). He urges God to bring the wicked to justice: to expose their deeds, to break their arms, to stop them terrorizing the earth.
The psalmist has asked the classic question, “If God is loving, why does he let evil run loose in the world? Can’t he fix something?” Unbelievers say, “God, if there is a God, doesn’t see or care.” The poet responds by asking God to do something, and by affirming that God is active in the world, even when we don’t see evidence of what he is doing.
Our father, perhaps it is good that we don’t have your job. The things we try to fix end up more broken than when we started. We look with pain at our broken homes, broken marriages, broken society, broken churches, broken courts, our broken and violent world. Sometimes we see even our own brokenness. What happened to the people you created? What went wrong in the world you made? Why can’t you fix it, God? Are you hiding from us instead of answering our questions?
To you, the God in hiding, we speak our statement of faith:
- We aren’t hiding our head in the sand, pretending everything is ok.
- We speak to you, citing the evidence of rampant evil that makes unbelief so reasonable.
- But despite the mountains of evidence, we refuse to believe that everything has gone wrong. We see the goodness when you answer our prayers, when you punish the wicked and reward the righteous. Your actions are not consistent and predictable, God, but we feel your spirit calling our world to salvation.
- We refuse to believe that you have abandoned your creation. As sure as the sun shines and the stars come out, surely you will implement your program of love and justice. Surely you will set the world right.
I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”.