"If God is love, why is there so much hate in the world?" Have you heard people ask this? Have you wondered this yourself? You're not alone.
The book of Job is a textbook case for the question, "Why God?" Many of the psalms echo this, and even Jesus on the cross cried out, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?"
This is when genuine, relational faith is most valuable.
Why are you so distant, Lord? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
The wicked person arrogantly pursues oppressed people. He will be caught in the schemes that he planned. The wicked person boasts about his selfish desires. He blesses robbers, but he curses the Lord. He turns up his nose ⌊and says⌋, “God doesn’t care.” His every thought ⌊concludes⌋, “There is no God.” [vss 1-4]
He always seems to succeed. Your judgments are beyond his understanding. He spits at all his opponents. He says to himself, “Nothing can shake me. I’ll never face any trouble.” His mouth is full of cursing, deception, and oppression. Trouble and wrongdoing are on the tip of his tongue.
He waits in ambush in the villages. From his hiding places he kills innocent people. His eyes are on the lookout for victims. He lies in his hiding place like a lion in his den. He hides there to catch oppressed people. He catches oppressed people when he draws them into his net. ⌊His⌋ victims are crushed. They collapse, and they fall under ⌊the weight of⌋ his power.
He says to himself, “God has forgotten. He has hidden his face. He will never see it!” [vss 5-11]
Arise, O Lord! Lift your hand, O God. Do not forget oppressed people! Why does the wicked person despise God? Why does he say to himself, “God doesn’t care”? You have seen ⌊it⌋; yes, you have taken note of trouble and grief and placed them under your control. The victim entrusts himself to you. You alone have been the helper of orphans.
Break the arm of the wicked and evil person. Punish his wickedness until you find no more.
The Lord is king forever and ever. The nations have vanished from his land. You have heard the desire of oppressed people, O Lord. You encourage them. You pay close attention to them in order to provide justice for orphans and oppressed people so that no mere mortal will terrify them again. [vss 12-18]
(Psalm 10:1-18 GW) [Context– Psalm 10]
Key phrase— Arise, O Lord! Lift your hand, O God. Do not forget oppressed people!
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Review the Scriptures above as you answer the following questions
What is the first complaint expressed in this psalm?
How are wicked people characterized? What is their attitude towards God?
Where does this psalm begin to change direction? What is pointed out?
How does the psalmist resolve the initial questions and dilemma?
Relational faith—trust in a living God—isn't hemmed in by short-sightedness. It looks to God beyond what's obvious. Faith sees God for who He is.
Have you ever looked through a telescope or pair of binoculars? Looking through the small end (eyepiece) it makes things look near that are far away. I've looked at the moon through a telescope and marveled at the detail I can see of its craters. It's an amazing view.
If you were to flip the telescope around to look through the wide end, everything looks much smaller and far away. It's a distorted view. Evil gets noticed more than good. Consider, after all, what gets airtime on the media?
It's a matter of perspective. Authentic faith brings us closer to God and enables us to see things from His perspective. But God's arm is longer than wickedness and evil, and He cares far more about it all than we ever can.
Make it personal...
Read through the Scripture text again as you consider and answer these questions
Are there times when God seems distant and removed? How often do you feel this way?
Does it seem to you that too many people get away with cheating, lying, oppression, and other wicked things?
How often do you take note of people doing good? When you see it do you appreciate and encourage them?
What is your faith grounded on? Does your trust in God enable you to see beyond immediate circumstances?
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