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July 2 | Psalm 10


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


Waiting For the World to Change

by Elaine Pierce


This is a challenging psalm. How can both verses 1 and 14 be true? Or verses 11 and 17? The psalmist accuses God of hiding himself in times of trouble (v. 1 and 11), and turns around in verses 17, and 17 and says that God does see trouble and grief, and that he listens to the cry of the afflicted. He can't do both, can he?


Perhaps it is our perspective that changes. In the midst of trying times, in crisis, in trouble, we turn to our own devices and God seems far away. It is easy to think that those who don't follow God - the wicked man in this psalm - are getting away with murder, while we are crushed and forgotten. We can all think of times in our own lives, and times in world events - the Holocaust comes to mind - that it seems like evil is winning, and God is silent.


The psalmist cries out to God. He doesn't couch his prayers in sentimentality. His emotions are raw and honest:


"Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless." (v. 12)


Verse 15 is especially passionate:


"Break the arm of the wicked and evil man; call him to account for his wickedness that would not be found out."


I don't know that I have ever prayed that someone who hurt me would break their arm. I have probably wished for something awful to happen, but I wouldn't have dared ask God to hurt them. That's not because I'm more spiritual than the writer of this psalm. It's probably because I don't want to admit to God my true feelings. He knows them already...and notice that the psalmist has reconciled his frustrations, his doubts, by the end of this psalm. He reminds himself - and us - that "The Lord is King for ever and ever.....You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more." (v. 16-18)


This psalm is a reminder to me to be honest with God, and to spend time with him. Thanks be to God that he is always delighted to spend time with me, with you. He may not always give us what we think we want - a broken arm for our enemies - but he will always give us what we need.


PRAYER

Thank you, Lord, that I can be honest with you. Help me to meet with you daily, to draw near to you, and to sit at your feet. Amen.


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