The King Collects on His Accounts | Psalm 10:12–18
12 Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand;
forget not the afflicted.
13 Why does the wicked renounce God
and say in his heart, “You will not call to account”?
14 But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation,
that you may take it into your hands;
to you the helpless commits himself;
you have been the helper of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer;
call his wickedness to account till you find none.
16 The Lord is king forever and ever;
the nations perish from his land.
17 O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted;
you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear
18 to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.
Throughout Psalm 10, we’ve encountered the somber description of the wicked. While we are all sinners, the Christ-transformed believer becomes a target. This psalm echoes the troubles that believers face and their desire for deliverance from persecution. In this section, we see how David prays for the Lord to move (vv. 12–15) and his confidence in what the Lord will do (vv. 16–18).
God notes why His people pray. David calls again on the covenant-keeping Yahweh to lift His almighty hand in battle (v. 12, cf. 7:6; 9:19; Nm 10:35). In v. 11, the wicked speculates that God is forgetful; God won’t forget (9:12), but David still prays that God would remember. He also knows God is the avenger of blood (9:12) and asks why the wicked has so much room for such a boast, also confessing that God takes note of all (10:14). So, he prays that God will 1) break the wicked’s strength and 2) judge every sinful act until none remain.
God hears and moves on the prayers of His people. David affirms the Lord’s sovereignty over all the enemy nations of God’s earth (v. 16). The Lord both hears and listens attentively to the prayer of the afflicted (Pv 2:2; Is 48:18). He will work His justice in the world.
There’s more power in the “hand” of God (v. 12) than in the arm of the wicked! He records every wicked deed. As Numbers 32:23 says, “you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out.” The only hope for the wicked is to repent before it is too late.
Take heart, embattled Christian! He watches for the widow and the orphan—the helpless— and is a helper to all in need. The old saying should be that God helps those who can’t help themselves, and He commands His people to do the same (Ex. 22:21ff.; Deut. 10:18ff.). Know that He inclines Himself to the cries of the afflicted.