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December 21, 2019

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
Christian Standard Bible for 2019

Text: James 1-5
Audio: James 1-5

Psalm 10 (ESV)

Why, O Lord, do you stand far away?
    Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

In arrogance the wicked hotly pursue the poor;
    let them be caught in the schemes that they have devised.
For the wicked boasts of the desires of his soul,
    and the one greedy for gain curses and renounces the Lord.
In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him;
    all his thoughts are, “There is no God.”
His ways prosper at all times;
    your judgments are on high, out of his sight;
    as for all his foes, he puffs at them.
He says in his heart, “I shall not be moved;
    throughout all generations I shall not meet adversity.”
His mouth is filled with cursing and deceit and oppression;
    under his tongue are mischief and iniquity.
He sits in ambush in the villages;
    in hiding places he murders the innocent.
His eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;
    he lurks in ambush like a lion in his thicket;
he lurks that he may seize the poor;
    he seizes the poor when he draws him into his net.
10 The helpless are crushed, sink down,
    and fall by his might.
11 He says in his heart, “God has forgotten,
    he has hidden his face, he will never see it.”

12 Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand;
    forget not the afflicted.
13 Why does the wicked renounce God
    and say in his heart, “You will not call to account”?
14 But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation,
    that you may take it into your hands;
to you the helpless commits himself;
    you have been the helper of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer;
    call his wickedness to account till you find none.

16 The Lord is king forever and ever;
    the nations perish from his land.
17 Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted;
    you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear
18 to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
    so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.

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Next: Psalm 11

Back: Psalm 9

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Why, O Lord, Do You Stand Far Away?

    Do you ever feel like God is far away? 

    Does it seem like evil people get away with doing evil things? 

    Do you ever wonder why God does not stop evil in its tracks before it can do any damage?

    Does the lack of response from God ever frustrate us?

    Today's psalm speaks to this frustration – that evil appears to continue unimpeded while righteous people suffer. Isn't it interesting that the focus of this psalm is not on the presence of enemies but on the apparent absence of God?
     

  2. This psalm begins with the writer wondering why God seems absent when the righteous suffer, and why it seems the wicked prosper.

    But as he writes, his perspective changes.

    At the end he notes:

     "But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation,
        that you may take it into your hands;
    to you the helpless commits himself;
        you have been the helper of the fatherless."

    And

    "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."

    THIS is one of the reasons we pray, even though God already knows our hearts and understands what we are going through.

    We pray so the Holy Spirit may speak to us and teach us, reminding us Who it is we're praying to — the sovereign almighty all-powerful Creator who is not hindered or hampered or prevented from doing anything we ask. As we pray, the Spirit gives us wisdom, faith, peace, joy, hope, strength, insight, perspective and whatever else we need for the cares of the moment.

    We can trust that God will always give His children what we need, even when we don't get what we initially asked for, and prayer gives the Holy Spirit freedom to speak to us and remind us of that in the midst of all the noise and worry. Some may even receive visions, prophecy or knowledge about what they’re praying about.

    Sadly, a prayerless Christian has only his own feeble mind, "wisdom" and "knowledge" to rely on — he knows nothing of the infinite and eternal mind, wisdom and knowledge of God. 

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