From Chuck Lane
Questions for The Book of Psalms
Calvary Christian Fellowship
Questions (w/ some answers) for Psalm 10
1. Who is the Psalmist?
- Credited to David. Again, the Masoretic (Hebrew) text of the Tanakh (24 books or pretty much the Old Testament as passed down to us) combines both Psalms 9 & 10. The acrostic that organizes Psalm 9 runs through Psalm 10 of the Christian Bible, with Psalm 9 directed to the Chief Musician upon Muth-labben; Muth-labben is not a musical instrument such as a Nehiloth or Neginoth or Gittith of earlier Psalms, but means “death for the son, the firstborn.” If Muth-labben is in reference to Egypt, signified by the tenth and final plague that Pharoah’s hardened heart brought onto the land where the first institutionalized anti-Semitism can be traced, then we have a type for anti-Christ. Both Psalms fall under an umbrella theme of Satan’s Man; or The Man of Sin, with Psalm 9 sometimes given the theme “Praise for Victory Over Enemies” and Psalm 10 “A Plea for God’s Judgment (Scofield, AKJV).
2. Who is/are the speaker(s)?
- David, second King of Israel, who unified the 12 tribes into one of the most prosperous, powerful and influential nation in the known world at that time . . . with many enemies on all sides, temporal and spiritual. Not unlike US, or our President, today.
3. Who is the audience?
- David, again, is calling on God, sometimes with imprecatory requests, to intervene on behalf of the just. He is also speaking to and on behalf of his people Israel, as well as us today, particularly the oppressed and humble. We ended our study of Psalm 9 reminded that there is only one on the throne, whose humility surpasses all having been made “a little lower than angels” Psalm 8:5-6 , by the most High who showed even Nebuchadnezzar that “. . . he ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.” (v.6) Daniel 4:29-37 . Indeed, humility can only come from the LORD, and David seems to know this, even before Nebuchadnezzar, when he writes at the close of Psalm 9:
20 Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah.
- There is only One truly humble. Humility is more than attitude, it is about one’s condition, and finding contentment in whatever condition you find yourself in through you trust in God’s justice, as we will continue to see in Psalm 10. If there is no God there is no justice.
4. List those described in the Psalm? How are they described (adjectives used, actions given, consequences prescribed)? Examples from the Bible? Do you know people like this?
1 Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?
2 The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.
3 For the wicked boasted of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.
- Here David has described the wicked one some 250 years before Isaiah gave us a little more detail of the wicked one Isaiah 14:12-17 . Pride. Original sin even Adam’s fall. Indeed, before the LORD’s recreation in the opening verses of Genesis, before man was even created. Pride. Satan’s sin. But part of our nature as well. These verses tell us that we know the wicked by their pride and boasting . . . Are there those today who parade their pride and make outlandish boasts? Be they the greatest among us, world leaders, politicians, the rich/powerful/famous, or even the pathetically confused, who would save the world or rescue us from ourselves, they are” a wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest”: 2 Peter 2:17-22 . It is indeed a picture of the false Messiah to come, the anti-Christs among us even now . . . and we can know them by their Pride.
4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
- I’m told a better translation is “All his thoughts are: there is no God.” Once again, as we learn from Psalm 1, the righteous share the world: with the ungodly, who leave God out; and sinners, who miss the mark / fall short; and “the scornful” or atheists, who not only “deny” God, but ironically, or in contradiction to His nonexistence, hate God and are antagonistic towards His Word (the oxymoron of hating something that does not exist). As we have mentioned before, atheism was on the rise during David’s time, having apparently not existed when Moses gave the Ten Commandments, which admonishes against worship of other gods (polytheism) and not against godlessness (atheism). David mentions atheism several times.
5 His ways are always grievous; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them.
6 He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity.
- I’m reminded of the claim of superiority, or perfection, made by Julius Caesar in Shakespeare, “I am as constant as the northern star,” when approach with the suggestion/advice that he change is mind regarding the judgment of banishment of a fellow Roman. Even the LORD, throughout his Word, shows, through His compassion, His ability to “repent.” Of course, the evil one is not the only one being characterized here, but also man in our day, boasting of his prosperity, his self-sufficiency, his rugged individualism and self reliance. He feels no need of God.
7 His mouth is full of cursing and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity.
8 He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set agains the poor.
9 He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net.
10 He croucheth, and humbleth himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones.
11 He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten: he hideth his face; he will never see it.
- “He will never see it.” Deism, the product of the Age of Enlightenment, is a philosophy of religion, a form of Gnosticism, brought to America to shape the theology of many of our founding fathers ( https://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/stories/what-is-deism ), which viewed the creator as an “absentee watchmaker.” Today deism has morphed into “progressive deism,” where God is now viewed as an “absent landlord”: https://studycentersonline.org/resource/the-absent-watchmaker/ . God does not forget. Vernon McGee says, “Secret sin on earth is open scandal in heaven.” https://biblereasons.com/secret-sins/ . Lest we forget the accuser is everywhere, “. . . going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” Job 1:6-12
Then David calls on the LORD to remember the humble . . . to make His presence known.
12 Arise, O LORD, O God, lift up thine hand, forget not the humble.
- David reminds us of what he told us regarding the Lord in Psalm 9:12: When, He maketh inquisition for blood, he remembereth them; he forgetteth not the cry of the humble. If there is no God, there is no justice. He inquires and requires: Genesis 4:9-11 ;
- He continues and goes on to refocus on what will characterize the Antichrist, and appeals for justice.
13 Wherefore doth the wicked contemn (despise) God? he hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it.
14 Thou has seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to requite it with thy hand: the poor committeth himself unto thee; thou are the helper of the fatherless.
15 Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man: seek out his wickedness till thou find none.
- This is one who believes, or claims to believe (keeping in mind the oxymoron of hating something that does not exist) that when it’s all been said and done we all wind up going to the same place, regardless of how we have lived. Such a one believes there is no judgment, there is no justice, there is no god, man is the measure of all things. That there is no common good, because good and evil are relative to the individual, adapted and reinvented through the change of time and the interpretation of conditions; all the while maintaining that it is immoral to disagree with their “morality” . . . or amorality . . . which claims to tolerate everything, except intolerance, as though there is something wrong with having boundaries, morals, sanctions about what should not be tolerated, which is something they will not tolerate. This is not a paradox, this in not contradiction of an oxymoron, it is hypocrisy, and condemns their logic to the ash heap of fallacy, for how can everyone be right if I believe they are wrong for saying I am wrong for believing I am right.
These are those whom Jesus warned us about after telling us about being judged by those whom we must judge in His discourse on the golden rule: Give not that which is holy unto dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet and turn again and rend you. [Matthew 7:6]
(I reminded of the parable of the precious pearl and how inferior my judgment is to His: Matthew 13:45-46 ; Commentary of Matthew 13:45-6 .). Have you encountered such a one? So hostile to the LORD and His Anointed, part of the world wide social movement to take Him down? John called them antichrists? Have you encountered one? I have. Vile . . . best not to even talk to them about salvation.
We learn from scripture the LORD God not only gives us our thoughts, but also hardens hearts . . . as in the case of Pharaoh. We may not choose to be part of His plan, but he will use us to advance it. And we may not know what the LORD’s plan is for others, but that’s not really any of our business: John 21:22 . We are admonished to live as peacefully as possible: Romans 12:18.
There will be judgment, however, and though these are the very ones who rail against “Christian hypocrisy” when it comes to their notions of how we may oppose abortion, but support capital punishment, they leave out of their argument for the reforming of capitol criminals, imputing the consequence of punishment with ceaseless forgiveness through perpetual discipline, not discerning that punishment and discipline are two entirely different things. That punishment has nothing to do with reform. That punishment has to do with deterrence of crime, rather than leaving the way open for the humble, the vulnerable, the innocent to be victimize again and again. And that the unborn and innocent are not the equivalent to the likes of Baghdadi when it comes to the taking of life because the bible says “Thou shalt not kill,” but because it actually means “Thou shalt not murder,” and there are consequences when and if you do.
The preaching we get from many pulpits today is not about our need for the Gospel, but about the populism of a re-created, revised, all loving, all accepting god, incapable of saying “no,” designed by ”they” who offer a different Jesus than the one the Apostles knew.
- I like what Vernon J. McGee says: “. . . the sin of man will lead to the ‘man of sin.’” Kind of like the old fatalistic saying, if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em. We need always keep in mind, “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” [Galatians 5:9]
14 The LORD is King for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land.
15 LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:
16 To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress.
Vernon McGee closes out his lesson on Psalms 9 & 10 with this:
“‘The man of the earth’ is Antichrist.
These are remarkable psalms, my friend, because they amplify a great many truths which we get historically and prophetically in other portions of the Word of God.”
5. What do you think the speaker is feeling and how do you relate?
6. How is this Psalm quoted in the New Testament? http://www.jesuswalk.com/psalms/psalms-NT-quotations.htm
7. What other scriptures are brought to mind through the content, and how might that enlighten or expand the subject of the Psalm. (Column notes, chain references, commentaries, etc.?).