“The LORD is king forever and ever; the nations perish from his land. O LORD, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.”
~ Psalm 10:16-18
September 11th is a solemn day for our nation in remembering the events from 2001. It is right to honor the memory of those who died that day and in the days following during rescue efforts. From a human perspective, what took place that day (and similar events both before and since) could be seen in like manner to how the psalmist views his day and age. In the first 13 verses of psalm 10, a limited/biased/mortal perspective his presented.
This perspective leaves the psalmist tempted to believe that God is standing far off and hiding himself in the times of trouble (v.1). He is tempted to resign himself to the belief that the arrogant (v.2) and wicked (v.2,3,4,13) and greedy (v.3) and prideful (v.4) “prosper at all times” (v.5), “shall not meet adversity” (v.6) and “will not [be] call[ed] to account” (v.13).
I can relate. When I limit myself to my own limited and flawed perspective of my experience, I too am tempted (and sometimes beyond tempted) to believe that evil has won the day. As in verse 11, when I am helpless and crushed, having fallen and sunk down, my heart may say (and believe) that God “has forgotten”, “has hidden his face” and “will not see”.
Then in verse 14, the full/pure/divine perspective is presented. This is the reality…the now and eternal reality. God has and will take all matters into his own hands. He is the helper of the fatherless and oppressed. Because of Christ, our hearts can and must not have the statement/belief of verse 1 or 11. Praise God he has forgiven me in Christ when my heart falls into doubt and unbelief!
Our experience (or perception of) may lead us to conclude that God is far away and hidden in times of trouble (v.1,11), but the reality is that God sees, hears and knows all (v.14,17), never leaving nor forsaking (Gen. 28:15; Deut. 4:31, 31:6,8; Josh. 1:5; 1 Kings 8:57; 1 Chron. 28:20; Matt. 28:20; Heb.13:5).
He is the King forever (v.16) who will do justice (v.18) for both the helpless and the arrogant.