Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Disturbing questions are not necessarily faithlessness.

Why does the wicked renounce God and say in his heart, "You will not call to account"? 

Psalm 10:13

Life is filled with perplexing questions. We are often troubled by our experiences. The facts we face trying to live a God-honoring life, worshiping Him in the world of men, are often challenged and even contradicted by our experiences. Our expectations for God may not always match our experiences of Him.

There are two sets of questions that mark transitions in this song. And they are blunt and difficult questions. But they ring with authentic experience. The Psalm begins with an explosion: "Why, O LORD, do you stand far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?" (Psalm 10:1) These two questions ask God to deal with the distance felt when evil men prosper and abuse the righteous. At times our perspective is that God is not moving. And it can frustrate our faith. That is what is happening here. The hope is that God would act to judge the wrong in the world and stop injustice. The facts are that injustices seem to keep increasing.

The bulk of the psalm then describes the actions of wicked men that God seems to not care about (10:2-11). But then in faith the prayer is for God to arise in the defense and love of His people (10:12). That lends to the second, more pressing question in verse 13... basically, why do wicked people renounce God anyway?

From there faith's perspective changes things. The answer to the first set of questions emerges: "You do see... you have been the helper..." (10:14). The conclusion is that though God seems unfazed by injustice,  He really is not. There is a clear past of God's work that guides the sufferer to know He will act to help now.

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