Is God far away from us when we need Him most? If we are faithful, no, He is not. It might be how we perceive it, but if that is the way we think, it is proof we do not understand how God works anyway. The first nine Psalms have adequately shown us how to approach the Lord, so why do we still insist God is not near us? Think about it and apply the answers found in scripture. God always hears… but does not always listen!
Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?
The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.
For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.
The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
A legitimate question from the ‘apple’ of God’s eye, David. And a legitimate question from every one of God’s children. Though legitimate, it is also semi-rhetorical, because David often asks such questions when he already knows the answer. ‘Why, Lord, when I am in trouble, do you seem to be distant, not answering my pleas?’
I believe this question has already been answered in the first nine Psalms. Let us stick to the Psalm in question…
The implication is not that God does not hear us, or that He is unaware of our problems. Rather, the words suggest that God is watching from a distance, hears what we say, but does not come to our aid.
As He stays aloof (or that is how it seems), the wicked arrogantly do what they like against the poor – those who are weak and have no power. Not just once, but continually. Like a dog who will always attack another dog that seems weaker than itself, sensing its powerlessness, so our enemies attack us if they think we are spiritually and morally weak, unable to stand against them. As a long-standing Christian I must comment on what I see – the majority of Christians are either duped by current godless Christian views (and their own ignorance of scripture) of giving in to evil, or they are too afraid of the consequences to stand up and be counted. In many, many issues, they are gutless and fruitless, as they hide behind their church walls, allowing enemies to rule their lives. As I have said many times, this is not a sign of their spiritual strength, but a sign of their cowardice. In no way would David have tolerated such a mean-spirited low-view in his own day!
Note that our enemies do not always (just 99% of the time) seek to hurt us because we are Christians, but because we do not stand up for ourselves, and so are easy targets for violence and hatred. (It has been said on many occasions by the unsaved that they treat us with contempt for not standing up for our own beliefs). However, both seem to go side-by-side most of the time. There is no Biblical warrant for us to turn onto our backs at the first sign of attack, bearing our necks to be torn open by wicked mad dogs!
How many Christians talk about allowing attacks under the guise of “turning the other cheek”, when the instruction has nothing to do with general hatred and attacks by the wicked? This instruction is applied when others attack our spiritual position of faith, not when they come at us with a machete or flailing fists for the sheer violent fun of it!
David asks God to let the means of attack used by the enemy to turn in on the enemy and destroy him. This is yet another request for the enemy to be destroyed and removed; imprecatory prayer. Not acceptable to modern ignorant Christians who think it is somehow pagan or uncouth to make such a request! Instead, they switch allegiance from all of scripture, to the New Testament alone, pretending it is better or ‘more spiritual and loving’. Yet, in doing so, they also ignore such texts as Romans 1, which condemns certain people outright and says they will enter hell!
Not only do our enemies do whatever they like to us, with violence or harshness, but they boast of what they want to do to us. The enemies of God encircle us today, openly saying what they want to do. They may not attack us frontally, but they use law and media to do so, to change public opinion. They can do so because Christians ‘roll-over and die’ and do not protest the abuse.
So, attacks on us become routine and are accepted by the public, only because no-one bothers to make a stand. Do not believe those who say it is ‘unchristian’ to oppose – they have no real Bible warrant for saying so. I see no virtue at all in being battered to death*, or being openly derided in public, for no good reason other than hatred against us.
(*When I worked as a nurse in psychiatry, I initially had a stupid view of myself as a Christian. I never fought back when attacked physically, so received many injuries. In fact the cumulative effect lost me my job when I was crippled for a full year. Then, after being strangled to within an inch of my death, I suddenly realised that I was struggling under a Christian delusion. From that time on I decided that I would not die or be injured willingly for no good reason, at the hands of wicked men! I saw no virtue in laying dead at the feet of evil patients just because they felt like killing me. I was then settled in myself and thereafter was able to take appropriate actions without being made to feel ‘unchristian’. Cowardice is not a virtue, but a disgrace, whether it is physical or spiritual).
The enemy loves the covetous, even though God hates them. The covetous are those who are greedy, and who make gains by attacking others. To ‘bless’ includes the idea of kneeling before the thing being blessed. Are not homosexuals doing exactly this today, demanding not our avoidance of them, but also our obedience, thus making us complicit in their wicked ways and ungodly beliefs? God abhors them – He looks upon them with contempt and despises them, turning away from them in rejection. Yet another indication of what God really thinks about our enemies, though modern Christians look upon it with horror.
These wicked enemies (enemies of us because they are first enemies of God) look only at their own selves, with narcissistic pride, preening themselves and boasting of their own love and actions. They do not want God, nor do they seek after Him – something God confirms elsewhere. No sinful man will ever seek after God. They might seek after their own version of Him, but there is no reality behind it, only a self-seeking activity for their own ends.
Indeed, wicked men do not even think about God, preferring to cast His name aside as ‘irrelevant’. If they use His name at all, it is in derision and blasphemy. This is because, as sinners who must obey their father the devil, God is not part of their aim in life, or part of their evil plots against Him and us.
And, let us be frank here – few Christians bother to think of God, or on His word, in everyday life. They will call passionately to Him in times of crisis, but do not bother otherwise. Do you begin the day with the aim of routing everything through the Lord? Do you refer everything to Him as a matter of routine, because He IS your life and love? If not, why should you ever expect Him to come to your side at times of peril, at your convenience?
His ways are always grievous; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them.
He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity.
His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity.
He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor.
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.
He croucheth, and humbleth himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones.
He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten: he hideth his face; he will never see it.
The kind of information in this psalm is not what Christians today wish to hear. It gives the bald truth about people, particularly enemies of God, the wicked. Today, many like to ‘love’ their enemies no matter what happens, which is not the true meaning of ‘love your enemies’. They see it as super-spiritual to do so. All I can say is that they cannot have known many real enemies, or had tough times at the hands of wicked people – they speak from desire rather than from experience!
I know Christians who treat wicked people, the unsaved, as naughty little children, to be cuddled and loved even when they do the most awful things! These Christians are as far away from genuine beliefs as one can get. Verse 5 (and on) spells it out – what the wicked do is “always grievous”. Not ‘sometimes’, but ‘always’… always in travail, always writhing to their own tune, always found in a state of fear and trouble. This is because everything they say and do is off the mark, sinful, never good or honest or true. Do not expect good from the unsaved – expect sin.
Enemies of God cannot understand God’s judgments, and do not want to acknowledge them. God’s dealings and requirements are “far above out of his sight”. The unsaved have no idea at all about God or what He says and does.
There is an Arminian (and thus heretical) view that if we just keep on talking and explaining things in a ’better’ way, the unsaved will understand and finally turn to God. This is a fallacy based on heresy.
To put it in modern parlance, the unsaved “haven’t got a clue”! They might use the same words, but they have no idea what they mean, and they do not want to know anyway. It is all ‘far above’ them, because their spirits are dead and so cannot comprehend spiritual things.
While the godless carry on as normal, thinking all is fine, “he puffeth at them”. The idea is that God snorts at them, as one would with something insignificant. People are creatures, beings made by God. He owes them nothing, not even breath in their bodies.
So, when they ignore and reject Him, He merely snorts at them with complete disdain. They are as nothing, and when they think they get away with their own desires, they are actually falling into their own trap (as puwach implies). Never forget what the unsaved are – God’s (and our) enemies. There can be no sympathy with those who deliberately oppose God.
Like so many people today, the enemies of God think they are above all troubles. They have money, power, position, and perhaps even good health. They see no reason to acknowledge the existence of God, let alone a need to follow what He says. “He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for (I shall) never (be) in adversity.” When all seems to be going well, the unsaved think they are invincible. Curiously, so do many Christians. They think they will never know adversity! What fools we can all be. Then, when something goes dramatically wrong, we cry out for help from the same God we studiously avoid at other times.
Many are ‘fair-weather friends’ of God, even when they claim to be saved. We see this when they hit a hard time. It is when all semblance of faith disappears and human answers step in, sending the person off at a sinful tangent. I have seen many who call themselves ‘Christian’ walk away from God at these times of hard decisions and awful situations. They give-in to sin, because it is easier. It is the true measure of their faith, which, after all, proves to be either an illusion, or extremely weak. Then comes living sinfully.
Another measure of this is the outpouring of what the person is really like inside. “His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue (is) mischief and vanity.” Think this only applies to the most evil of people? Then think again – I have heard and seen this kind of thing coming from ‘Christians’.
Once the veneer of godliness disappears, we see the real person, the man or woman who did not have true faith anyway, and who now returns to the black heart they have always had. They could not keep up the pretence of faith for long, and so a poor situation is used as an excuse for them to leave the fold.
Do not think this only goes for fake Christians who eventually fall away because they were never saved in the first place. It also goes for weak Christians who were saved, but who have since lowered their sights and allowed themselves to be ruled by sin, doubt and fears. They will often become as sinful as their unsaved counterparts. Most Christians cannot believe this can happen, but I have seen it time and again. Do not fall into this trap of self! Desire after holiness at all times; practice truth and godliness. Not only will you be joyful and happier, but you will also be holy and true, and live as you ought, enjoying the companionship of God.
The man or woman without God is always ready to do wrong, to lie, to cheat, to deceive. And Christians can do the same if they reject the voice of their conscience. Such is a fearful state to be in, but they are so full of themselves they refuse to face the reality of their lives. (God, however, will not be mocked).
The unsaved can do anything the most wicked of men can do, sometimes beyond imagination. So do not think that ‘nice’ unsaved are any different. It is true, by God’s providence, that most men live at peace and try to live humanly good lives. But, their nature is of Satan, and if the right ‘button’ is pressed they can do the worst things possible. And without living righteously, so can Christians. David is just one example from scripture.
The wicked are amongst us, “lurking” in the villages. That is, doing secret things against us whilst in our midst, hiding their true intentions and then pouncing. Some will hide in the dark to murder others, such is their evil heart. Many think secretly against Christians, making plans to destroy us. (I have experienced this many times). The wicked think nothing of the poor and look down upon them, scoffing at their misfortune and even saying it is their own fault they are poor. Shockingly, Christians can also say these things, and so do not help those in need, even in their own circle of acquaintances.
Lions crouch down in the long grass waiting for potential victims to roam nearby. Then, when close enough, they stalk and then run to bring down the animal. This is how the wicked act against men. Thieves and thugs do this every day. And, sometimes, using fraud and deceit, they catch them out and rob them of their legitimate income and goods.
They will pretend to be lowly, so as to deceive and avert suspicion. Then, when he thinks the unwary are ready, he will unleash his wicked actions, sometimes using others (gangs) to bring the victim down, often violently and sometimes to murder, without a trace of conscience.
Then, the same wicked men will say that God does not watch, nor does He remember what is done. He will say God does not exist, because God does not immediately strike him down. Like small children, he will think that something done in the dark will hide what he does! But, God sees all, in light and in dark. God WILL act against the wicked, and against His enemies.
Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up thine hand: forget not the humble.
Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? he hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it.
Thou hast seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to requite it with thy hand: the poor committeth himself unto thee; thou art the helper of the fatherless.
Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man: seek out his wickedness till thou find none.
The LORD is King for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land.
Once again, David uses imprecatory pleas, asking God to destroy his enemies. Modern Christians, in their ignorance and false-piety, hate such prayers, saying we must ‘love our enemies’. Yes, but this is not what David is talking about, nor does it fit the actuality of how to treat enemies.
It does NOT mean rolling-over and letting them stamp all over our faces! In fact, even those who say we must love our enemies would not let that happen to themselves. Nor does it mean taking revenge. We can love our enemies as individuals and yet request their removal – even through death – from our lives. The Father allowed Jesus His Son to be put to death, because He cannot abide sin in His presence. But, this did not mean He hated His Son!
David calls on God to act, to “lift up thine hand” against the wicked. He calls on God to sweep away his enemies, so as to save the humble (believers). The wicked think they can literally do anything they please, without justice being done to them. David says ‘Lord, you have seen all this for yourself! You have seen the evil acts and the spite.’ Therefore, says David, God will “requite it with (his) hand”. The hand in this text is symbolic for God’s power.
To requite in this text is to inflict the enemy. Genuine believers, trusting in God’s ownership of revenge, and knowing He WILL act, have faith that God will indeed help them; they and the orphans (symbolic of all in need) trust Him implicitly.
In his faith, David bluntly asks God to “break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man: seek out his wickedness till thou find none.” This is imprecatory prayer! David is saying: ‘Bring down my enemy, Lord! Do not let him win, when I have the supreme and only God on my side!’ Do YOU pray for this kind of all-powerful action from God? Or, do you cave-in to ‘gay’ propaganda and Islamic terror and speak only of ‘love’, when God Himself says something totally opposite?
If you decide to follow the hyper-spiritual (fake) crowd and Satan, then verse 16 warns you: “The LORD (is) King for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land.” Note that He is not just a king, but THE King. He is absolute ruler of everything, both within the universe and outside it. Whatever He says is the law, not what enemies of truth and decency say.
Because of this, all enemies are already defeated in His eyes and plan. Call upon God to cast down the enemy and He will. Call upon Him to help in a situation, and He will. But, first, He demands that you live righteously, as we have seen in other Psalms.
LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:
To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress.
Note what David says here: that God hears the pleading of His people, and guides their hearts to be godly, so that He will listen. God hears everything we say and sees everything we do, but He only responds when we live in obedience, holy and true. And when He answers, He judges or acknowledges the needy, the orphans, and those who are attacked by enemies and circumstances. When we live as we ought, He makes sure that “the man of the earth may no more oppress.” In this is a clue as to why the earth now suffers at the hands of the wicked.
So, we see plainly that if we want to see our enemies and poor circumstances to go away, we can ask God for that to happen. First, we must make very sure we are righteous before Him. Many Christians think they are doing just that, but still God does not answer.
But, if there is no answer, it can only be that God has a higher purpose for continuing the way things are, or, those who ask are not as righteous as they think they are. Or, it could be that they desire after righteousness, but their hearts, minds and acts are not consistent with their desires, and they look for human answers before they look for God’s answers.
© October 2010
Published on www.christiandoctrine.com
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