Why, O LORD, do you stand far away?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
In arrogance the wicked hotly pursue the poor;
let them be caught in the schemes that they have devised.
For the wicked boasts of the desires of his soul,
and the one greedy for gain curses and renounces the LORD.
In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him;
all his thoughts are, “There is no God.”
His ways prosper at all times;
your judgments are on high, out of his sight;
as for all his foes, he puffs at them.
He says in his heart, “I shall not be moved;
throughout all generations I shall not meet adversity.”
His mouth is filled with cursing and deceit and oppression;
under his tongue are mischief and iniquity.
He sits in ambush in the villages;
in hiding places he murders the innocent.
His eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;
he lurks in ambush like a lion in his thicket;
he lurks that he may seize the poor;
he seizes the poor when he draws him into his net.
The helpless are crushed, sink down,
and fall by his might.
He says in his heart, “God has forgotten,
he has hidden his face, he will never see it.”
Comment: The first two lines seem to me either very cheeky to dare to accuse God of that, or know Him well as Your friend with whom you are prepared to be very honest. It certainly is an accusation! I have underlined in the passage the characteristics of the ‘wicked’ which David lists.
As you can see I found it much easier to underline the original than copy out all the characteristics of the wicked. It seems a bit extreme but as I think that it is a good reflection of the way that we as a nation live! We forget God and as far as our neighbour is concerned we are very egocentric.
Prayer: Help me to be honest in my self-assessment when I kneel in Your presence, O God.