The psalmist complains of the wickedness of the wicked. (1-11) He prays to God to appear for the relief of his people. (12-18)
Verses 1-11 God's withdrawings are very grievous to his people, especially in times of trouble. We stand afar off from God by our unbelief, and then complain that God stands afar off from us. Passionate words against bad men do more hurt than good; if we speak of their badness, let it be to the Lord in prayer; he can make them better. The sinner proudly glories in his power and success. Wicked people will not seek after God, that is, will not call upon him. They live without prayer, and that is living without God. They have many thoughts, many objects and devices, but think not of the Lord in any of them; they have no submission to his will, nor aim for his glory. The cause of this is pride. Men think it below them to be religious. They could not break all the laws of justice and goodness toward man, if they had not first shaken off all sense of religion.
Verses 12-18 The psalmist speaks with astonishment, at the wickedness of the wicked, and at the patience and forbearance of God. God prepares the heart for prayer, by kindling holy desires, and strengthening our most holy faith, fixing the thoughts, and raising the affections, and then he graciously accepts the prayer. The preparation of the heart is from the Lord, and we must seek unto him for it. Let the poor, afflicted, persecuted, or tempted believer recollect, that Satan is the prince of this world, and that he is the father of all the ungodly. The children of God cannot expect kindness, truth, or justice from such persons as crucified the Lord of glory. But this once suffering Jesus, now reigns as King over all the earth, and of his dominion there shall be no end. Let us commit ourselves unto him, humbly trusting in his mercy. He will rescue the believer from every temptation, and break the arm of every wicked oppressor, and bruise Satan under our feet shortly. But in heaven alone will all sin and temptation be shut out, though in this life the believer has a foretaste of deliverance.
Psalms 10:1-18 . The Psalmist mourns God's apparent indifference to his troubles, which are aggravated by the successful malice, blasphemy, pride, deceit, and profanity of the wicked. On the just and discriminating providence of God he relies for the destruction of their false security, and the defense of the needy.
1. These are, of course, figurative terms (compare Psalms 7:6 , 13:1 , &c.).
hidest--Supply "thine eyes" or "face."
2. Literally, "In pride of the wicked they (the poor or humble, Psalms 10:17 , Psalms 12:5 ) shall be taken in the devices they (the proud) have imagined."
3. heart's--or, "soul's."
desire--that is, his success in evil.
and blesseth, &c.--he (the wicked) blesseth the covetous, he despiseth the Lord.
4. The face expresses the self-conceit, whose fruit is practical atheism ( Psalms 14:1 ).
5, 6. Such is his confidence in the permanence of his way or course of life, that he disregards God's providential government (out of sight, because he will not look, Isaiah 26:11 ), sneers at his enemies, and boasts perpetual freedom from evil.
7-10. The malignity and deceit ( Psalms 140:3 ) of such are followed by acts combining cunning, fraud, and violence (compare Proverbs 1:11 Proverbs 1:18 ), aptly illustrated by the habits of the lion, and of hunters taking their prey. "Poor," in Psalms 10:8 Psalms 10:10 Psalms 10:14 , represents a word peculiar to this Psalm, meaning the sad or sorrowful; in Psalms 10:9 , as usual, it means the pious or meek sufferer.
8. eyes . . . privily--He watches with half-closed eyes, appearing not to see.
10. croucheth--as a lion gathers himself into as small compass as possible to make the greater spring.
fall by his strong ones--The figure of the lion is dropped, and this phrase means the accomplices of the chief or leading wicked man.
11. As before, such conduct implies disbelief or disregard of God's government.
12. (Compare Psalms 9:19 , 3:7 ).
the humble--(Compare Psalms 10:17 , and Margin.)
lift up thine hand--exert thy power.
13, 14. It is in vain to suppose God will overlook sin, however forbearing; for He carefully examines or beholds all wickedness, and will mark it by His providential (Thine hand) punishment.
14. mischief and spite--provocation and trouble of the sufferer (compare Psalms 6:7 , 7:14 ).
committeth--or, "leaves (his burden) on Thee."
till thou find none--So far from not requiting ( Psalms 10:11 Psalms 10:13 ), God will utterly destroy the wicked and his deeds ( Psalms 9:5 Psalms 9:6 , 34:16 , 37:36 ).
16-18. God reigns. The wicked, if for a time successful, shall be cut off. He hears and confirms the hearts of His suffering people ( Psalms 112:7 ), executes justice for the feeble, and represses the pride and violence of conceited, though frail, men (compare Psalms 9:16 ).