287 – Psalm 10 – Half Full?
It seems it is much more natural for us to focus on the negative and slight the positive in our lives. Sure, there are glass-half-full type people, but there are significantly more glass-half-empty people by far. As an example, I remember quite a few years ago hearing about a News Agency that felt there were enough negative events being reported on in the News World. They decided they would focus solely on the positive news items of the day. Sounded like a good idea to me, but It didn’t last. It turned out most people weren’t interested in such a concentrated dose of positive news!
Applying the negative versus positive concept to modern-day Christianity we notice some interesting things. There is one camp that believes unless you are living miserable lives fraught with one bad situation after another you are simply not “sanctified” and must not be living for God. Persecution and hardship are sure signs of godliness to these people. There are people in the opposite camp that believe if you are bombarded with trials and tribulations it’s obvious you are walking outside of the will of God. You need to repent and get back into the euphoria God promises in His Word!
One problem with these two camps is they often like to throw rocks at each other. They want to use their Scriptural Swords (Eph. 6) against one another. So which one is right? Eh, I believe they are both wrong. Our outward situations are not accurate measures of our relationship with the living God one way or the other. Let Scripture be your guide. Pray and ask God to be intimately involved in your life. Give Him free rein over your situations and walk in His peace (Phil. 4:6-8).
We’ve been spending some time in Psalm 10. We’ve spent quite a bit of time considering the actions and motivations of the wicked individual as laid out for us by the Psalmist. We’d be remiss if we were to move on without considering Yahweh’s actions and motivations.
It might seem like we are going backward to consider the first verse again, but stick with me and I promise we won’t revisit every verse. Like always, it would be best if you were to read the entire Psalm, but here’s verse one.
Psalm 10:1 (NKJV)
10:1 Why do You stand afar off, O [Yahweh]? Why do You hide in times of trouble?
The Psalmist’s two questions created questions in my mind. Is the author correct? Does Yahweh stand far away and hide in times of trouble? If He does, does He do it in every case or just sometimes? Maybe this is just the perception of a man currently suffering the oppression of a wicked man. Are we justified in crying out along with the Psalmist, “God where are you”?
If you are expecting me to answer definitively any of those questions, I’m sorry to disappoint. If Yahweh does stand far away and hide Himself in times of trouble I am confident He has every right to do so. Yahweh is a loving God, but let’s not forget He is also a righteous judge. It’s His business, not ours which of His attributes He extends to us and when. Look at Verse 14.
Psalm 10:14 (NKJV)
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.
If we knew nothing else about God verse fourteen would be reason enough to worship Him. God is always watching whether we believe He is “standing afar off” or not. We may believe He is in hiding but He “observes trouble and grief”. Why? The verse tells us why, “to repay it by Your hand”. When we execute revenge we sin. When God pays the sinner back for his wickedness it is Yahweh executing His righteous judgment.
I was raised to always stand up for myself. Don’t let anyone take advantage of me or do me wrong. That advice is clearly not biblical. Don’t get me wrong, I have no desire to be oppressed by the wicked, but I want to be counted among those helpless who commit themselves to Yahweh as expressed in this verse. Look at the last part of the verse, “You [Yahweh] are the helper of the fatherless”. This sentence reminds me of James chapter one.
James 1:27 (NKJV)
27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
So what is your perception of God? Where have you gotten your ideas about Him? Are you allowing the Holy Bible to inform your perspective? Or have you allowed your upbringing, popular cultural thought, or a particular people group to define who Yahweh is and what He does in your life?
Worship Yahweh. Commit your life to Him. He is the only rock solid unmoveable person in the universe who will never fail you.