Psalm 10:2-12 : In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises. 3 He boasts about the cravings of his heart; he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord. 4 In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. 5 His ways are always prosperous; your laws are rejected by[b] him; he sneers at all his enemies. 6 He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.” He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.” 7 His mouth is full of lies and threats; trouble and evil are under his tongue. 8 He lies in wait near the villages; from ambush he murders the innocent. His eyes watch in secret for his victims; 9 like a lion in cover he lies in wait. He lies in wait to catch the helpless; he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net. 10 His victims are crushed, they collapse; they fall under his strength. 11 He says to himself, “God will never notice; he covers his face and never sees.” 12 Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless. Response : The Oppressor in his pride persecutes the poor in two distinct charges – pride and tyranny; the one the root and cause of the other.
- brags of his wicked designs and of his evil life openly
- glories that he has already accomplished them.
- He commends others who are according to the desires of his own soul.
- He only respects or honours none but such as are like him.
Covetousness, the desire of possessing that which we have not, and attaining unto great riches and worldly possessions, in trade and merchandise and traffic of every kind, has led to wickedness. Surely a spirit of covetousness has been poured out upon men within the last thirty or forty years.
Our youth enter life
- no longer with the ambition of providing things honest in the sight of men, keeping their credit, bringing up their family, and realising a competency, if the Lord prosper them,
- but with the ambition of making a fortune, retiring to their ease, and enjoying the luxuries of the present life.
God has called us by His grace
- out of the great thoroughfare of Mammon,for the express purpose of testifying against this and all other backslidings of the church.
- Christ said, “No man can serve two masters.” Matthew 6:24 . Indeed, “The love of this world is enmity to God” ( James 4:4 ) The love of the world must needs be enmity to God, and therefore the lovers of the world must needs be enemies to God, and so no covetous man is God’s servant, but God’s enemy. For this cause covetousness is called idolatry (Ephesians 5:5 ), which is the most contrary sin to God. The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God.
- Proud hearts breed proud looks and stiff knees. The heart is often written on the countenance. A brazen face and a broken heart never go together. Honesty shines in the face, but villainy peeps out at the eyes. See the effect of pride; it kept the man from seeking God. It is hard to pray with a stiff neck and an unbending knee.
- God is not in all his thoughts: he thought much, but he had no thoughts for God. The only place where God is not is in the thoughts of the wicked. This is a damning accusation; for where the God of heaven is not, the Lord of hell is reigning and raging; and if God be not in our thoughts, our thoughts will bring us to perdition.
- Thousands will die and be damned rather than they will have a pardon upon the sole account of Christ’s merits and obedience. Oh, the cursed pride of the heart! When will men cease to be wiser than God? To limit God? When will men be contented with God’s way of saving them by the blood of the everlasting covenant? Is it not enough for you that your destruction is of yourself? But must your salvation be of yourself too? God is willing (“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son”), are you so proud as that you will not be obliged to God?
- You will deserve, or have nothing. Poor and yet proud; “God resisteth the proud,” especially the spiritually proud. He that is proud of his clothes and parentage, is not so contemptible in God’s eyes as he that is proud of his abilities, and so scorns to submit to God’s methods for his salvation by Christ, and by his righteousness alone.
- All the oppressor’s endeavours and actions
- aim at nothing but at hurting others.
- He is given over to the dominion of gloomy indifference, and he cares as little for others as for himself.
- Whosoever may be imagined by him to be an enemy he cares not.
- Contempt and ridicule are his only weapons; and he has forgotten how to use others of a more sacred character.
- His mental habits are marked by scorn; and he treats with contempt the judgments, opinions, and practices of the wisest of men.
- He has said in his heart, I shall not be moved, I shall never be in adversity, I am immutable, and omnipotent too.
But let me remember that this man’s house is built upon the sand, upon a foundation no more substantial than the rolling waves of the sea. He is not secure, is never safe. Boastings are not buttresses, and self confidence is a sorry bulwark. This is the ruin of fools, that when they succeed they become too big, and swell with self conceit, as if their summer would last for ever, and their flowers bloom on eternally. Be humble, O man! for I am mortal, and mutable.
The second crime is now to be proved. The fact that the man is proud and arrogant may go a long way to prove that he is vindicative and cruel. Haman’s pride was the father of a cruel design to murder all the Jews. Nebuchadnezzar builds an idol; in pride he commands all men to bow before it; and then cruelly stands ready to heat the furnace seven times hotter for those who will not yield to his imperious will. Every proud thought is twin brother to a cruel thought. He who exalts himself will despise others, and one step further will make him a tyrant. His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud. There is not only a little evil there, but his mouth is full of it. There is cursing which he spits against both God and men, deceit with which he entraps the unwary, and fraud by which, even in his common dealings, he robs his neighbours. Beware of such a man: have no sort of dealing with him; under his tongue is mischief and vanity. In the secret places he murders the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor. He acts the part of the highwayman, who springs upon the unsuspecting traveller in some desolate part of the road, lying in wait for the saints. In a land of robbers and thieves; let us travel well armed, for every bush conceals an enemy, everywhere traps laid for us, and foes thirsting for our blood. There are enemies at our table as well as across the sea. With watching, perversion, slander, whispering, and false swearing, they ruin the character of the righteous, and murder the innocent; or, with legal quibbles, mortgages, bonds, writs, and the like, they catch the poor, and draw them into a net. Take care, brethren, for there are other traps besides these. Hungry lions are crouching in every den, and fowlers spread their nets in every field.
“O Lord! keep thy servants, and defend us from all our enemies!” Oppression turns princes into roaring lions, and judges into ravening wolves. No creatures do oppress them of their own kind. Look upon the birds of prey, as upon eagles, vultures, hawks, and you shall never find them preying upon their own kind. Look upon the beasts of the forest, as upon the lion, the tiger, the wolf, the bear, and you shall ever find them favourable to their own kind; and yet men unnaturally prey upon one another, like the fish in the sea, the great swallowing up the small. He crouches, and humbles himself, etc. There is nothing too mean or servile for him, in the attempt to achieve his sinister ends. It seems God has forgotten: he hides his face; he will never see it, He has turned his back upon the world. This was the ground of the oppression of the poor by the wicked, which he mentions, Psalms 10:9-10 .
With what bold language will faith address its God! and yet what unbelief is mingled with our strongest confidence. Fearlessly the Lord is stirred up to arise and lift up his hand, yet timidly he is begged not to forget the humble; as if Jehovah could ever be forgetful of his saints. This verse is the incessant cry of the Church, and she will never refrain therefrom until her Lord shall come in his glory to avenge her of all her adversaries.
Lord help me when I suffer oppression. Help me never to forget that You care and will have Your day. May I run with patience the race that is set before me, looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of my faith. Amen.