The following blog post was originally posted here: The Poor…Psalm 10 pt 3
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. 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.(Psalm 10:1-11)
The tenth Psalm is eschatological, as is the ninth, the two go together as we stated earlier. The Psalmist wonders why God seems distant and unconcerned in “the time of trouble”, which is a technical term for the time we call “the great Tribulation”.
The problem is that the “wicked One” is reigning, and it seems that all earthly power is put to the disposal of this evil ruler. He boasts of his invincibility, and uses this power to persecute the poor.It is given to him, to make war on the poor, and to catch them in his net and to overcome them.
Who are these whom the Psalmist designates as “the poor”?
When the Psalms make reference to “the poor and needy”it is not a reference limited to the financially destitute. It may or may not include those in poverty, but it is a mistake to limit it to that definition.
The Poor in the Psalms are literally “the meek”, Anav in the Hebrew. They are those who know they desperately need God, and that without God they have nothing going for them in this world. The poor are are those who look to God and who are utterly dependent upon the promises and grace of God. They are not worldly, they do not rely upon nor usually do they have access to worldly power (Political, military).
Often, because of their dependance upon God ‘the poor’ are oppressed by the world. Therefore the idea of ‘the afflicted’ also comes into play in this Word.
There is a recurring motif within the Psalms, the picture of the upright, pious sufferer, persecuted for his reliance upon God, marginalized and hated for his faith.
Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God. They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away.(Psalm 69:1-4)
The ultimate righteous sufferer, is King Messiah. Psalm 22 recounts the sufferings of this God-Fearing sufferer enduring persecution because of his faith in God;
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.(Psalm 22:1-3)
He hopes in God though he is hated and even tortured for his faithfulness, and has no earthly help or recourse,
Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help. Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.(Psalm 22:11-14)
The “poor and needy”of the Psalms also refer to the persecuted “Seed of the woman”,the object of the hatred of the Devil, and those who serve Him, particularly Jews and Christians.
Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child…And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.(Revelation 12:12-13, 18)
The Wicked One in this Psalm,(Anti-Christ) hates God, his thoughts are “No God!”,(Literally vs 4). In his arrogance and sense of invincibility he lies against the “saints of the Most High” and against God and those who dwell in heaven.
This tyrant also sets traps, and lurks, waiting to catch the poor, through laws, intrigues, propaganda, demonization, and stirring up populist sentiment against the poor. We see this in the rapid Anti-Semitic tide which is rising. Antisemitism portends bad things for (true) Christians as well, for the Dragon(Satan) hates Judeo Christianity. The legion of laws which have been enacted designed to protect the rights of degenerates and perverts are actually snares set, to criminalize those who fear God and are not afraid to speak and think the truth.