READ Psalm 10:1–11
1 Why, LORD, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
2 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 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.”
Read the psalm portion twice slowly. Then ask three questions and write out your answers:
▪️Adore—What did you learn about God for which you could praise or thank him?
🔹That God hears our prayers and answers them in His timing. Like David I know God is present even when it doesn’t seem like it.
▪️Admit—What did you learn about yourself for which you could repent?
🔹I repent that I’m quick to judge and seem to have the ability to do it both consciously and unconsciously. I question why lesser “saints” seem to have more and God in his graciousness distances himself out of love and doesn’t point out that I’m not quite the “saint” I think I am and that I have more than most myself. God in His mercies doesn’t embarrass me.
▪️Aspire—What did you learn about life that you could aspire to, ask for, and act on?
🔹I’ve come to realize that I often live life expecting treasures instead of troubles and that it takes a lot of time and effort to realize that the troubles are the treasures, that the troubles make me dependent on God. And that dependence allows God to be God; and me to be the me He created me to be.
Once you have answered these three questions, you have your own meditation on the psalm. Now read the meditation in the book and incorporate its insights into your journal notes. Finally, turn your meditation—already categorized as adoration, confession, and aspiration—into personal prayer, using the provided “on-ramp” prayer as well. This will take you into the deep level of wisdom and insight the psalms can provide. – Excerpt From: Timothy Keller & Kathy Keller. “The Songs of Jesus.“
PAINFUL REALITY. Augustine taught there were two “cities” or ways to live in society—one based on self-giving and one on self-serving. To worship the desires of the heart (verse 3) leads to habits of self-expression and self-assertion rather than sacrificial love. It is this way of life that appears to be ascendant in the world, with a God who seems to be far away and doing nothing about it (verse 1). The psalm describes this situation in painful detail, as a way of keeping us from even subtly going along with this manner of living. Like the psalmist, we need to resist it in prayer and in our daily life.
Prayer: Lord, keep me from being either naive about human evil, self-righteous about it, or cynical before it. Don’t let me ever get used to injustice or, worse, become complicit in it. That takes constant vigilance and reflection about how I am living. Keep me loving what you love and hating what you hate. Amen…let me treasure troubles if they draw me closer to you, remind me time and time again that I have to but open my eyes, bend my heart, listen to my soul to know that Immanuel is always present and that if anyone is distancing themselves – it’s me distancing myself from you. Draw me close, again, I pray.