Where Has God Gone? | Psalm 10:1

Why, O Lord, do you stand far away?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

The most common question we ask in difficult times is why.  We wonder why God would allow such a thing to come to pass.  We wonder why we deserve such trials.  Has God abandoned us?  While the answers to these questions vary depending on person and circumstance, we can take comfort that this question appears in the passages of Scripture, as well as some probable answers.

The first thing we must keep in mind is that this psalm was meant to be read with Psalm 9.  There’s no title on this psalm, and the Septuagint combines these two psalms—they are meant to be read as one.  With that said, and with what follows in this psalm, the psalmist isn’t stating doubt in what God does as much as simple confusion.  As we continue to track with Psalm 10, we’ll see David’s regain his confidence, and so should we.

God is here, so why does it seem like He’s not?  Again, the psalmist affirms that God won’t forsake or forget His people (Ps 9:10, 12, 18; 10:14, 17, 18), and that God sees his affliction (9:13; 10:14).  David later prays, “You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle” (Ps 56:8).  Yet, there sometimes seems to be a disconnect between this truth and what he experiences. 

God is here, even when it seems that He’s not.  Although we may sometimes question whether God remains ever-present, the truth is that His omnipresence means that He is in all places equally at all times.  Psalm 139:8 says, “If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!”

We must likewise see that God is near, even when we don’t perceive His intervening presence.  We seek Him like Paul prayed for the removing of the thorn from his flesh, only to hear, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:7–9).  Sometimes the Lord doesn’t immediately intervene in situations because we need to learn trust in His providence and power.

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