Thursday, January 27, 2022

Trusting God Amid Evil (Psalm 10)

"Break the arm of the wicked and evil man; seek out his wickedness until You find none" (Psalm 10:15).

Psalm 10 accurately captures the distress of the righteous man continually facing the atrocities of a wicked society. The ungodliness that abounds around him even causes him to despair that God is not involved in executing justice.

The psalmist seems to lose heart at the beginning of this psalm, but he quickly recovers his faith in God’s providence: “But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand.” He regains confidence when he dwells not on the evil of society but on his sovereign God. As long as we dwell on the unrighteousness around us, whether it be in our family, school, workplace, or even our church, we will find only despair. Instead of failing under the weight of this ungodliness, we must turn our thoughts to God’s providence and present our petitions to Him.

The psalmist describes in a very poignant manner the ways of the wicked. They abuse the weak, glory in their hedonism, seek instant gratification, indulge themselves in all manner of depravity, and delude themselves that there is no God. The wicked consider themselves innocent, suppressing their guilt by hardening their hearts. They revile God, saying, “He won’t call me to account.”

As we look at the world around us, each of us can relate to the psalmist’s words. It is easy to lose heart, thinking that God has deserted His people. Yet just as the psalmist regains his confidence by praying to God, so should we ask God to hasten His assistance and His vengeance. Instead of trusting only human means to battle ungodliness, first give these concerns to God that He might direct and give strength. Calvin said, “God does not allow the faith of His servants to faint or fail, nor does He allow them to desist from praying; but He keeps them near Him by faith and prayer until it actually appears that their hope has been neither vain nor ineffectual.”

Even though God seems delayed in taking vengeance, we must be patient and bear the afflictions laid upon us in His providence. This is difficult for all of us, for we would prefer to have no troubles. But if we truly desire to obtain God’s assistance, we must restrain our impatience, keep our sorrows within due bounds, and wait on the Lord to manifest His grace.

Make a list of situations in which you see wickedness abounding (abortion, homosexuality, and the like) List things that cause you to despair and to become impatient. Tell God about these, describing the wickedness you see. Ask Him to give you patience in facing these situations and hope that He will overcome all ungodliness.