The book of Psalms is a treasure chest for me as I do my best to articulate feelings and emotions regarding this life of following Jesus and loving His people. This is hard and holy work. The brutal honesty of the psalmist is refreshing with poetic cries for justice for the oppressed, marginalized, and forgotten ebbing and flowing with songs of joy, celebration, and delight in our Lord. What a breath of fresh air to find language in the Word of God to describe our own struggles as we wrestle with life, faith, and our relationship with God, the Church, and this world.
The psalmist David speaks with great lament as he pens what reminds me of a modern-day conversation discussing political systems, spiritual abuse, and social injustices. Perhaps our own prayer journals are littered with lyrics that could be pulled from this very psalm. “Where are you in this, God?” “Why do you let bad people win?” “Why do you feel so far away?” “When will you bring judgment on evil?” “Where is your justice?”
What begins in David’s frustration with the wicked and God’s seeming silence, ends with a prayer for God to intervene. Yes, evil peoeple will celebrate their own works, contradict the judgment of God, make light of God’s commands and judgments, proudly despise their enemies, persecute in cunning and manipulative ways, and lead with hypocrisy, treachery, and malice. It is inevitable that we will see these injustices in our own lives or at the very least watch others suffer with great sorrow from afar, and we will want to shake our own fists in anger.
Yet David demonstrates that we can lament with great honesty and intercede with an even greater hope that our God is going to show up in the most hopeless situations on the behalf of His people.
May we wake up every single morning with holy indignation “to bring good news to the poor….to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to the prisoners” (Isaiah 61:1). What a gift the book of Psalms offers us in teaching us how to surrender our anger for intercession as David did in asking God to show up right then and there, to appear for his people (Psalm 10:12). He doesn’t stop there! He then asks God to intervene and put a stop to the wicked schemes of the enemy (v.15). We have that same power and same Christ in us.