Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Comfort in the Face of Wickedness - Evil Is Pervasive

Murder, terrorism, kidnappings, drug abuse – these topics dominate the headlines of the daily news. Our culture is steeped in wickedness that seems to invade every aspect of life.
Nothing seems to be sacred or untouched by its effect – even the church itself. Yet, as believers we can find hope and comfort in the character of our God. For, God’s omniscience and omnipotence provide comfort in the face of the prevailing of the wicked.

The entire being of the wicked person is characterized by evil.
In Psalm 10, the psalmist describes the society he faced. It was one in which the wicked prevailed. In his frustration at what he saw taking place around him, he cried out to God, asking Him where He was. He is asking God to respond to the evil that pervades every aspect of the life of the wicked.

The wicked person persecutes the poor.
This persecution is an active pursuing. The poor whom the wicked is pursuing are those who are financially poor and needy. In Leviticus 19:9-10 these are the people for whom God is making provision when He commands the Israelites to leave the gleanings in their fields.
The wicked are not passive in their infliction of evil. Rather, they are actively taking advantage of those who are poor or weak. Therefore, we should not be surprised when we hear of wicked people taking advantage of those who cannot protect themselves. Once again, this is not just a phenomenon which was present in the day of the psalmist, but it is also characteristic of our day and age.

The wicked person lies in wait upon the innocent.
This lying in wait carries with it the weight of premeditation. The wicked person makes plans to purposefully intercept the innocent and to wreak his evil upon them.
The psalmist uses two different pictures here to describe that of which he is speaking.
First of all, he uses the picture of the lion. The audience of the psalmist would have been familiar with the lion. Especially those involved with the sheep keeping would have known that lions would often follow a flock at a close distance in order to wait for the weak sheep to fall behind. Then, they would have an easy prey. This is exactly the picture the psalmist is describing. The wicked prey upon the helpless with the same ruthlessness that the lion depicts.
The second picture that the psalmist uses is that of net. This is not so much a fishing net. Rather, it speaks more of a snare. Just as a hunter would carefully lay out his snares to catch wild animals, so the wicked lay out their schemes to catch the unsuspecting.

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