Where is God when things are going bad? I hear so many people tell me that they just can’t watch the news anymore. The implication is that they are tired of hearing bad news. The logical segue from that comes the question: why doesn’t God do something to stop the terrible things happening in this world? Do you hear that question in vs. 1 of Psalm 10? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? But do you notice the trouble that the psalmist is describing. The trouble is when the wicked persecute the poor. Oh no, we aren’t going to have yesterday’s conversation again are we? I told you yesterday that whenever you talk about the poor and God’s love for them, people are going to feel left out in some way, or delegitimize the poor in some way.
We have here a second breath from Psalm 1 which focused on the difference between the way of the wicked and the way of the righteous. But the juxtaposition that we find in this chapter is not necessarily just the poor vs. the rich, but those who have power from this earth and are able to wield it against those who do not have power. Look at the list of those who are harmed in this psalm and it should give us pause: vs.2 the poor, vs. 8 the helpless, vs. 9 the poor, vs. 10 the helpless, vs. 12 the oppressed, vs. 14 the helpless and the orphan, vs. 17 the meek, vs. 18 the orphan and the oppressed. The king of Israel is asking God to look out for those who are the most vulnerable.
Now wait a second, King David, isn’t it your job to look out for them? He does end his psalm by stating that God is absolutely not going to forget them. He does say that God will bring about justice. It is a comforting Psalm as we hear all that is wrong with this world, and then the final chapter of the book brings us justice and righteousness. It’s nice to know what the last chapter is going to be.
I often use this example of how we can make it through life with a confidence that comes from knowing the final chapter of our book. We know what the end of the story is going to be. Just like this psalmist writes that God will bring about righteousness, we know that this is going to be the final chapter. God will bring about His victory. One of my favorite movies is Big Fish. There is a scene in that movie where the protagonist is dared in a scene to visit the house of a witch who had a glass eye. When you looked into the glass eye you would see a foretelling of how you would die. The protagonist did it and from then on he had a confidence because he knew what the end of his story was going to be.
Like King David we can be assured of what the final chapter will be. God will win. Like the protagonist of the Big Fish we can live our lives with complete confidence, but for our sake it is confidence in Christ, because we know that we can face up to all things in this life, because it does not end with our defeat, but rather with the victory of Jesus. It allows us to view life always from the perspective that God is in control and is always working to bring about his kingdom. I’m not sure I would recommend Big Fish if children are in the room, however.