Sin Sneaks, YHWH Reigns
By Lee Jones
.: Psalm 10:.
David gets blunt with YHWH yet again in this psalm, as is the privilege of a covenant child, when facing trials. But there is an important theme running through this psalm that draws an important distinction between sinners and The Holy God.
This psalm is technically a lament, as may of the previous psalms have been. Psalm 10 catalogs the wrongdoings of sinners, and has a common thread through the catalog: lurking.
The enemies of YHWH’s people can lurk, sneak, deceive, and hurt them all they like, but the Good Hand of YHWH, the same hand that holds the wickedness and vexation of evildoers, deals out grace to His adopted children, the believers He’s grafted into the one tree.
Verses 8-10 use the following descriptions of the wicked: “sits in the lurking places,” “lurks in a hiding place,” “lurks to catch the afflicted,” “crouches, he bows down.” Sin forces the sinner into craftiness, so not to be prevent being found out, but also to be able to take victims by surprise (especially regarding sins that directly harm other people, such as David is talking about).
Proverbs 23:28 says the harlot “...lurks as a robber.” Sin has always been creeping around, just as described by YHWH in Genesis 4:7, “If you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door.” Sin is insidious; it can be hidden for a while, covered up due to shame or craftiness, and eventually it comes to light.
That’s why this sinful lurker opens up his mouth to blaspheme against God. It’s not enough for him to harm himself and others with his predatory sins, but he must publicize his wicked heart by mocking God. Verse 3 says the “greedy man curses and spurns the LORD,” and v. 13 says “He has said to himself, ‘He will not require it.’” (meaning that God will not call this man to account for his misdeeds. He is sorely mistaken).
Instead, God sees the wickedness and He has “beheld mischief and vexation to take it into (His) hand” (v. 14). He has helped the orphan and heard the desire of the humble (v. 17). When David begins his psalm telling God He’s too far off, by the end he’s praising YHWH as the sovereign King who defends the defenseless.
Even when the wicked think “there is no God,” the faithful like David still have faith in Him, even when they feel disconnected from Him.
YHWH is the eternal king. He is omnibenevolent. So, while David asks Him to literally disarm the wicked, he knows that God is most pleased to strengthen the hearts of the humble, and incline His ear to their cries.
God does not sneak like the evildoer; God works in the open and makes His goodness known. Even when we lament to Him, we know that He listens. The enemies of YHWH’s people can lurk, sneak, deceive, and hurt them all they like, but the Good Hand of YHWH, the same hand that holds the wickedness and vexation of evildoers, deals out grace to His adopted children, the believers He’s grafted into the one tree.
Christ put all the powers of darkness to shame on the cross, and every believer lives in its shadow, cloaked in the righteousness and grace of God. No matter how dark life might seem, or how much the crafty sinners might appear to win, we know YHWH does as He pleases and that He will magnify His name for the benefit of his saints and for the spread of the Gospel.
Glory to God alone.