Do you ever wonder, when you’re going through troubled times, and you’re persisting and persevering, “Is God paying attention? Does He see?” Most of these psalms reflect this very thought and provide good encouragement to us who still struggle with the trials, tests, injustices, lies, and insults of persecution — and sometimes of just life itself.
Psalm 10 and verse 11 has the wicked man actually saying, “God has forgotten, He has hidden His face; He will never see it.” And indeed those who live their own way tend to think that very way. We’re so foolish as humans sometimes: we think we can hide in the dark or in some remote spot; we think that if our sin was committed a long time ago and we haven’t been punished for it that it doesn’t count and God has forgotten. But v. 14 gives us the truth and real hope, “You have see it, for You have beheld mischief and vexation to take it into You hand. The unfortunate commits himself to You; You have been the helper of the orphan.” God does see!!
Psalm 11 provides the words of a hymn, “Flee as a bird”, although the hymn is urging something different from the psalm. The hymn is calling upon the one who is weary of sin to fly like a bird from the corruption to the LORD. The psalm, on the other hand, uses the simile “flee as a bird to your mountain” as the urgings of those who want to simply give up and retreat as a response to troubles; but the psalmist advises standing firm, because the LORD in His holy Temple in the Heavens will watch and vindicate the righteous. Righteousness, some will argue, is about avoiding confrontation, being humble, meek, and turning the other cheek. Christianity is, of course, about all those virtues, but it is also about masculine virtues like standing firm in the right. Jesus practiced both of these virtues — in their correct contexts. But because the Lord is seeing what’s going on, He’ll not abandon us in our need.
Psalm 12 likewise deals with the oppressor — this time regarding those who use their words to flatter and deceive in order to gain advantage over the poor and needy. Once again, the Lord sees and will vindicate the righteous!
Psalms 13 and 14 once again ask the questions of the discouraged, “Will God ever help? Does He see? Does He care?” And the answer is a resounding, “Yes!”
The psalm today that doesn’t deal with this question is one that asks a very common question, that people think they have a good answer for “Who may abide in Your tent?” Most folks would answer, “Why, me, of course!” But the psalmist’s inspired answer is a little scary: one who walks with integrity, works righteousness, speaks truth in his heart, doesn’t slander, does no evil to a neighbor, doesn’t reproach or betray a friend, despises evil, honors the good, keeps his word even when it’s hard, doesn’t lend his money at interest, and doesn’t take a bribe against the innocent. Here’s food for thought for more than just a fleeting moment.
See you tomorrow, Lord willing.