“The wicked boasts of the desires of his soul,
and the one greedy for gain curses and renounces the Lord.
In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him;
all his thoughts are, ‘There is no God…’
As for all his foes, he puffs at them.
He says in his heart, ‘I shall not be moved;
throughout all generations I shall not meet adversity.’
His mouth is filled with cursing and deceit and oppression;
under his tongue are mischief and iniquity.
He sits in ambush in the villages;
in hiding places he murders the innocent.
His eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;
he lurks in ambush like a lion in his thicket;
he lurks that he may seize the poor;
he seizes the poor when he draws him into his net.
The helpless are crushed, sink down,
and fall by his might.
He says in his heart, ‘God has forgotten,
he has hidden his face, he will never see it.’
Arise, O Lord…
Why does the wicked renounce God
and say in his heart, ‘You will not call to account’?
But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation,
that you may take it into your hands;
to you the helpless commits himself…
Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer;
call his wickedness to account till you find none.
The Lord is king forever and ever.” Psalm 10:3-16a
The disheartened psalmist cries for help, strength, and justice from poignant experience. His afflictions at the plans and hands of the wicked have carved deep pain. Their ubiquitous contempt has given keen insight and a vantage point not desired but well-honed. Arise, O Lord! (Psalm 12:8)
The desires of the wicked are fodder for greed that gnarls with flesh and curses the Lord. Want for more to satisfy ever-escalating lusts repudiates thoughts of God, shutting out any conviction or accountability. Do away with God = do away with judgment. If he struts and puffs enough, he belittles and discounts foes who would stand against his boasts of autonomy.
The ways of the wicked are vile, deceitful, oppressive. He is a vicious predator of the innocent, vile and conniving, seeking his own advantage at all costs and with willful destruction. He undermines, fools, crushes the unsuspecting, caring for naught but personal gain and power.
How horrid are these wretches! How can God tolerate this pomposity, this flippant rejection of His supremacy and caustic cruelty to His own? Here below we struggle to comprehend, yet must remember the cross. It was there the Prince of glory took the heinous punishment we all deserve, to free us from chains of everlasting servitude to sin. But for God’s grace applied to us we would be the arrogant, selfish tyrants.
How quickly do I condemn the wicked without taking thought for my own avarice and self-willed ways? When have I lusted or hoarded or indulged to the diminishment or detriment of another? When have I proffered advantage or accolades but dishonored my King? Guilty are we all except for His gracious salvation.
He hears our anguish, He knows the mischief and vexation of the wicked. And He reigns as just, benevolent Regent. One day every tear will be gone, along with every urge to sin. Alleluia. (Psalm 11:4-5; Revelation 21:3-4)
Lord, until that day, guard me from falling in with the wicked by keeping me in Your word and grace. May I in thought and deed honor You alone. (Psalm 1)