Praising God

Bible Book: Psalms  10 : 1-18
Subject: Praise
Series: Psalms - Kirksey

“God’s tender heart must often ache listening to our sad, complaining cries”, writes Mrs. Charles E. Cowman (1870-1960). She continues, “Our weak impatient hearts cry out because we fail to see through our tear-blinded, shortsighted eyes that it is for our own sakes that He does not answer at all or that He answers in a way we believe is less than the best. In fact, the silences of Jesus are as eloquent as His approval and His way of providing a deeper blessing for you.”[1] She concludes in another place, “Oh, if only we would worry less about our problems and sing and praise more!”[2]

Although this psalm begins with questions, [“Why do You stand afar off, O LORD? Why do You hide in times of trouble?” (Psalm 10:1)] it is called “A Song of Confidence in God’s Triumph over Evil”.[3] After reading Psalm 10 and other psalms, I am reminded of the following words attributed to Rev. Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892), “Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years.”

In Psalm 10, David, the psalmist, portrays wickedness in high definition. When we see wickedness in this way it is easy to lose heart. While wickedness is the focus of Psalm 10, we must not lose our focus as believers.

The English term “wicked” comes from the old Anglo-Saxon word wiker now spelled “wicker”. Wicker means to twist which reminds us of the wick of a candle, often made of twisted string. We understand the words wicked, wick, and weak come from the same root word. In addition, the word for witchcraft, Wicca, comes from the same root word. 1 Samuel 15:23 reveals witchcraft is a sin; here, Samuel rebukes King Saul in the following way, “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft / And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, / He also has rejected you from being king.” While witchcraft is only a part of the “wickedness in high places” mentioned by Paul in Ephesians 6:12, it is a part of it. God’s people are to avoid wicked customs as we read in Deuteronomy 18:9-14, “When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not appointed such for you.” Paul the apostle warns in 1 Timothy 4:1, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.” From 1 John 5:18-21, we read, “We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him. We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.”

Dr. Phillips Brooks (1835-1893) comments on Psalm 10, “In this Psalm David gives one of his emphatic descriptions of the wicked man, and the fate that awaits him.”[4]

Our text delineates five thoughts about wicked ones who do the work of the wicked one, who does everything he can to keep us from praising God.

I. The Hatefulness of their Pride. (Psalm 10:2-4)

Dr. Edward Payson (1783-1827) explains, “Pride renders God a disagreeable object of contemplation to the wicked, and a knowledge of Him as undesirable. Pride consists in an unduly exalted opinion of one’s self. It is therefore impatient of a rival, hates a superior, and cannot endure a master.”[5]

Rev. Matthew Henry (1662-1714) explains, “[David] beholds the transgressors and is grieved, is amazed, and brings to his heavenly Father their evil report, not in a way of vain-glory, boasting before God that he was not as these publicans (Luke xviii. 11), much less venting any personal resentments, piques, or passions, of his own; but as one that laid to heart that which is offensive to God and all good men, and earnestly desired a reformation of manners.”[6]

We read in Psalm 10:2-4, “The wicked in his pride persecutes the poor; / Let them be caught in the plots which they have devised. For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire; / He blesses the greedy and renounces the LORD. The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; / God is in none of his thoughts.”

Rev. Richard Hooker (1554-1600) observes, “Pride, is a vice which cleaveth so fast unto the hearts of men, that if we were to strip ourselves of all faults one by one, we should undoubtedly find it the very last and hardest to put off.”[7]

II. The Hallmark of their Prosperity. (Psalm 10:5a)

We read in Psalm 10:5a, “His ways are always prospering. . .” David also writes in Psalm 37:16, “A little that a righteous man has / Is better than the riches of many wicked.” Asaph confesses in Psalm 73:3-9, “For I was envious of the boastful, / When I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no pangs in their death, / But their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men, / Nor are they plagued like other men. Therefore pride serves as their necklace; / Violence covers them like a garment. Their eyes bulge with abundance; / They have more than heart could wish. They scoff and speak wickedly concerning oppression; / They speak loftily. They set their mouth against the heavens, / And their tongue walks through the earth.”

Dr. Nathanael Emmons (1745-1840) explains, "God much oftener afflicts men for their profit, than he prospers them for their profit. Prosperity tends to corrupt the heart, but adversity to purify it. Prosperity tends to attach men to the world, but adversity to wean them from it. It is probable that prosperity has destroyed ten, where adversity has destroyed one. Therefore men have more reason to fear prosperity than adversity."[8]

Rev. Thomas Brooks (1608-1680) warns, “Carnal security opens the door for all impiety to enter into the soul. [Roman military and political leader, Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, also known as] Pompey [106 B.C.-48 B.C.], when he had in vain assaulted a city, and could not take it by force, devised this stratagem in way of agreement; he told them he would leave the siege and make peace with them, upon condition that they would let in a few weak, sick, and wounded soldiers among them to be cured. They let in the soldiers, and when the city was secure, the soldiers let in Pompey's army. A carnal settled security will let in a whole army of lusts into the soul.”[9]

III. The Harm of their Practice. (Psalm 10:5b-10)

Dr. Benjamin Whichcote (1609–1683), a Puritan divine, and former Provost of King's College, Cambridge, writes, “The Psalmist vividly pictures the crafty schemes of the wicked in order to entrap his victims. Our cities are full of fallen young men and women. We have thousands of heartless men in society answering to the vile robber pictured in these verses. For the sake of gain they set traps in which the health, honour, happiness, soul of the youthful perish. The whole civilized world was shocked the other day by the discovery that, by means of an infernal machine, a villain sent ships and their crews to the bottom of the sea for the sake of the insurance money; but thousands of atheistical, covetous men, for the sake of gain, are ingeniously seeking to sink the souls of the people in the gulf of hell.”[10]

We read in Psalm 10:5b-10, “Your judgments are far above, out of his sight; / As for all his enemies, he sneers at them. He has said in his heart, ‘I shall not be moved; / I shall never be in adversity.’ His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and oppression; / Under his tongue is trouble and iniquity. He sits in the lurking places of the villages; / In the secret places he murders the innocent; / His eyes are secretly fixed on the helpless. He lies in wait secretly, as a lion in his den; / He lies in wait to catch the poor; / He catches the poor when he draws him into his net. So he crouches, he lies low, / That the helpless may fall by his strength.”

In 2 Timothy 4:14-15 the Apostle Paul writes, “Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works. You also must beware of him, for he has greatly resisted our words.”

The wicked know happiness and relentlessly pursue it at all cost. Their motto is “I want what I want when I want it.” Each time they acquire the lust of their eyes, they are thrilled and bubbling over. The lifestyle of the wicked demonstrates a hedonistic philosophy. They are involved in loving things and using people. The wicked man settles for much less than God intends. Please note there is a vast difference between happiness experienced by the wicked and joy experienced by the righteous.

IV. The Hazard of their Presumption. (Psalm 10:11-13)

We read in Psalm 10:11-13, “He has said in his heart, / ‘God has forgotten; / He hides His face; / He will never see.’ Arise, O LORD! O God, lift up Your hand! Do not forget the humble. Why do the wicked renounce God? He has said in his heart, / ‘You will not require an account.’”

Paul the apostle writes in 1 Timothy 1:18-20, “This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.”

From Hebrews 9:27, we read, “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” Jesus said in John 16:5-11, “But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”

V. The Hallelujah of their Pruning. (Psalm 10:14-18)

Rev. Matthew Henry concludes, “In singing this psalm and praying it over, we should have our hearts much affected with a holy indignation at the wickedness of oppressors, a tender compassion of the miseries of the oppressed, and a pious zeal for the glory and honour of God, with a firm belief that he will, in due time, give redress to the injured and reckon with the injurious.”[11]

David writes in Psalm 10:14-18, “But You have seen, for You observe trouble and grief, / To repay it by Your hand. The helpless commits himself to You; / You are the helper of the fatherless. Break the arm of the wicked and the evil man; / Seek out his wickedness until You find none. The LORD is King forever and ever; / The nations have perished out of His land. LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; / You will prepare their heart; / You will cause Your ear to hear, / To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, / That the man of the earth may oppress no more.”

In Psalm 7 we find “a meditation of David, which he sang to the LORD concerning the words of Cush, a Benjamite.” Here David writes, “O LORD my God, in You I put my trust; / Save me from all those who persecute me; / And deliver me, / Lest they tear me like a lion, / Rending me in pieces, while there is none to deliver. O LORD my God, if I have done this: If there is iniquity in my hands, / If I have repaid evil to him who was at peace with me, / Or have plundered my enemy without cause, / Let the enemy pursue me and overtake me; / Yes, let him trample my life to the earth, / And lay my honor in the dust. Selah / Arise, O LORD, in Your anger; / Lift Yourself up because of the rage of my enemies; / Rise up for me to the judgment You have commanded! So the congregation of the peoples shall surround You; / For their sakes, therefore, return on high. The LORD shall judge the peoples; / Judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, / And according to my integrity within me. Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, / But establish the just; / For the righteous God tests the hearts and minds. My defense is of God, / Who saves the upright in heart. God is a just judge,
And God is angry with the wicked every day. If he does not turn back, / He will sharpen His sword; / He bends His bow and makes it ready. He also prepares for Himself instruments of death; / He makes His arrows into fiery shafts. Behold, the wicked brings forth iniquity; / Yes, he conceives trouble and brings forth falsehood. He made a pit and dug it out, / And has fallen into the ditch which he made. His trouble shall return upon his own head, / And his violent dealing shall come down on his own crown. I will praise the LORD according to His righteousness, / And will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.”

In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 we read, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”


Dr. Edward Payson explains, “In this Psalm we have a full-length portrait of a careless, unawakened sinner drawn by the unerring pencil of truth.”[12]

Paul the apostle writes in 2 Timothy 2:19, “Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.’”

We read in Psalm 37:3-8, 13-15, “Trust in the LORD, and do good; / Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, / And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, / Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, / And your justice as the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; / Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, / Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; / Do not fret—it only causes harm. . . . The wicked plots against the just, / And gnashes at him with his teeth. The Lord laughs at him, / For He sees that his day is coming. The wicked have drawn the sword / And have bent their bow, / To cast down the poor and needy, / To slay those who are of upright conduct. Their sword shall enter their own heart, / And their bows shall be broken.”

Dr. William Lonsdale Watkinson (1838-1925) writes, “Hell works the hardest on God’s saints. The most worthy souls will be tested with the most pressure and highest heat, but heaven will not desert them.”[13]

In 1674 Thomas Ken (1637-1711) penned these well-known words, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow; / Praise Him all creatures here below; / Praise Him above, ye heavenly host; / Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”[14] We know it as the “Doxology”.

May each one of us, as believers, follow David’s pattern of praising God.

[1]Streams in the Desert, compiled by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1925), February 9 Reading, p. 67

[2]Streams in the Desert, compiled by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1925), May 5 Reading, p. 182

[3]Bible, Psalm 10, Available from: Accessed: 12/01/11

[4]The Biblical Illustrator, ed. Joseph S. Exell, The Psalm, Volume 1, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, n.d. [originally published 1887]), p. 172

[5]The Biblical Illustrator, ed. Joseph S. Exell, The Psalm, Volume 1, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, n.d. [originally published 1887]), p. 169

[6]Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible [Psalms, Psalm X] (1710), Database WORDsearch Corp.

[7]Charles H. Spurgeon, A Treasury of David, Psalm 10 (1885) Database © 2003 WORDsearch Corp.

[8]Edward Amasa Park, Memoir of Nathanael Emmons: with Sketches of His Friends and Pupils, Volume 1 (Boston: Congregational Board of Publication, 1861), p. 91

[9]Charles H. Spurgeon, A Treasury of David, Psalm 10 (1885) Database © 2003 WORDsearch Corp.

[10]The Biblical Illustrator, ed. Joseph S. Exell, The Psalm, Volume 1, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, n.d. [originally published 1887]), p. 174

[11]Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible [Psalms, Psalm X] (1710), Database WORDsearch Corp.

[12]The Biblical Illustrator, ed. Joseph S. Exell, The Psalm, Volume 1, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, n.d. [originally published 1887]), p. 169

[13]Streams in the Desert, compiled by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1925), May 17 Reading, p. 197

[14]Thomas Ken, “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow” Available from: Accessed: 01/11/12

By Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey, pastor First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort 30775 Jay Drive Spanish Fort, Alabama 36527

Author of Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice Available on and / / (251) 626-6210

© January 22, 2012 All Rights Reserved