1 O Lord, why do you stand so far away? Why do you hide when I am in trouble? 2 The wicked arrogantly hunt down the poor. Let them be caught in the evil they plan for others. 3 For they brag about their evil desires; they praise the greedy and curse the Lord. 4 The wicked are too proud to seek God. They seem to think that God is dead. 5 Yet they succeed in everything they do. They do not see your punishment awaiting them. They sneer at all their enemies. 6 They think, “Nothing bad will ever happen to us! We will be free of trouble forever!” 7 Their mouths are full of cursing, lies, and threats. Trouble and evil are on the tips of their tongues. 8 They lurk in ambush in the villages, waiting to murder innocent people. They are always searching for helpless victims. 9 Like lions crouched in hiding, they wait to pounce on the helpless. Like hunters they capture the helpless and drag them away in nets. 10 Their helpless victims are crushed; they fall beneath the strength of the wicked. 11 The wicked think, “God isn’t watching us! He has closed his eyes and won’t even see what we do!” 12 Arise, O Lord! Punish the wicked, O God! Do not ignore the helpless! 13 Why do the wicked get away with despising God? They think, “God will never call us to account.” 14 But you see the trouble and grief they cause. You take note of it and punish them. The helpless put their trust in you. You defend the orphans. 15 Break the arms of these wicked, evil people! Go after them until the last one is destroyed. 16 The Lord is king forever and ever! The godless nations will vanish from the land. 17 Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them. 18 You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so mere people can no longer terrify them.
When was the last time you were helpless?
It might have been when a loved one was sick or upset; perhaps in a work setting; maybe the last time you watched the news. We all feel helpless from time to time but actually, maybe it’s something we should feel and acknowledge more: we are helpless! Hebrews 1 says that Jesus sustains all things by His powerful word. We only get today because He says so. We only take this next breath because He ordains it. That’s pretty intense, isn’t it? Kind of puts things in perspective… We do a pretty good job of convincing ourselves otherwise, but the reality is that we’re not really in control of anything… This Psalm reminds us that the Lord knows the hopes of the helpless (v. 17).
Questions for thought and discussion…
- What will you admit to being helpless in today?
- How can we help our children and young people to rest in their helplessness, knowing that God holds them and their hopes?