Why does the wicked renounce God
and say in his heart, “You will not call to account”?
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.
– Psalm 10:13-14
Have you ever noticed that so many lines in the Psalms start with the word “why”?
This psalm, psalm 10, starts with a “why”. Verse 1 asks “Why, O Lord, do you stand far away?” It is a cry heard throughout history, uttered by the despairing, the oppressed, the fearful, the helpless – often, the writers of Scripture. Feeling helpless, small and alone in a very, very large universe is part of the human condition. At least it is when we’re looking at life honestly.
The psalmist here answers his initial “why” question with another, in verse 13: “why does the wicked renounce God”? Indeed. We may feel alone in a very large universe, but the psalmist rightly recognizes the fact that we are not alone. We have a King who “is king forever and ever; the nations perish from his land.” (verse 16). He is King of the entire universe, and, indeed, he’s bigger than it is. Even the nations, these vast, quarrelsome and often oppressive beasts that prowl history, will perish. The Lord will remain. Wickedness will not prevail. And those who do it would be well advised to pay attention to the one to whom they will give an account. To the one who knows the Lord and walks in his ways, the question must be asked – why do the wicked renounce God? Can’t they see?
Our Lord has a special place in his heart for the helpless who cry out to him. And he helps and fights for those who are “fatherless”; those who have no one to fight for them.
And he’s big enough to gently heed our “whys”, and strengthen the heart from which those questions ring.
you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear
to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.
– Psalm 10:17-18