1 Why, Lord, do you stand far off?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
2 In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak,
who are caught in the schemes he devises.
3 He boasts about the cravings of his heart;
he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord.
4 In his pride the wicked man does not seek him;
in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
5 His ways are always prosperous;
your laws are rejected by him;
he sneers at all his enemies.
6 He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.”
He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.”
7 His mouth is full of lies and threats;
trouble and evil are under his tongue.
8 He lies in wait near the villages;
from ambush he murders the innocent.
His eyes watch in secret for his victims;
9 like a lion in cover he lies in wait.
He lies in wait to catch the helpless;
he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net.
10 His victims are crushed, they collapse;
they fall under his strength.
11 He says to himself, “God will never notice;
he covers his face and never sees.”
12 Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God.
Do not forget the helpless.
13 Why does the wicked man revile God?
Why does he say to himself,
“He won’t call me to account”?
14 But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
you consider their grief and take it in hand.
The victims commit themselves to you;
you are the helper of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked man;
call the evildoer to account for his wickedness
that would not otherwise be found out.
16 The Lord is King for ever and ever;
the nations will perish from his land.
17 You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that mere earthly mortals
will never again strike terror.
On the surface this psalm seems to speak about evil men, but today this psalm spoke directly to me. I have been that evil person, even now as I am saved I have done things that place me in that category. Verse 1 is a question that has been on my mind for weeks now. Why does He stand so far away and watch as I writhe in agony? I am that wicked person, devising schemes, not so easily seen from the outside. I blatantly ask questions that trap my listener into bending in the direction I want. They are helpless, and my ears receive the answer they are searching for, even if my heart is not in it.
I boast about what I want, and what I cannot have. I eagerly search for and share my desires with those who are seeking fulfillment in worldly treasures. As I await the world’s applause, the Lord is far from my mind. I have abandoned Him in those moments of covetousness. I hear that still small voice telling me to turn to Him, to stop this foolishness of wasting my time, and I blot it out with more daydreams of the things I cannot have.
To the world I show strength. My walls are built up, and I prosper… at least on the outside. I tell them I have faith, and that all will be well. I hide behind this mask that I have created, saying one thing and doing another. I hide my true feelings of uselessness and self pity, but God knows the truth. I pretend that I have it all together and that I am a model Christian, rejecting others for their pride while inside I am shunning the One who says, “come to me”. “Nothing can shake me” I say. But do I really believe that? I say I have given myself over to my God, but where does my heart truly lie?
There are things, evil as they are, that come to my lips and sometimes are spewed forth. I have those moments when what comes out is of no use to the hearer. I give out confusion to those in my path, creating a weakness in them of my own doing. I take what they have done or said to me and I secretly ponder on how to retaliate. Only evil can come from this, but I allow it, and my victims feel the sting of my tongue towards them. I hurt them, and I hurt myself. I wonder if God is watching, and when I will be called to account. I feel like this is taking too long, why is He not chastening me?
But He is watching, and He does see. He knows my struggle, and waits patiently for the moment of greatest weakness. It is then that He lifts my head to Himself. God has brought me to this place of surrender. Will I allow it? Will I give myself over? Is it possible to be free from the desires of the flesh, and the evil of the tongue?
Break me Lord! Call me to account! Bring me to your feet and I will surrender! All I have is yours, you are all I need. I confess my sins before you and I lower my head for rebuke. You are my King, my Redeemer, and my Savior. All I am is because of you. Take this life and make it yours, useful for what you have intended. I cannot do this on my own, I need you to take the reins and drive me through this life. Please guard my heart and my mind, and my tongue. Make it a thing of worship alone, for your glory. Amen.