Have you ever experienced a bad signal on your radio or television? Or maybe you have gone through a “dead spot” with your cell phone and the connection was dropped. A similar thing happens in life when wicked people around us exert influence that blurs our spiritual clarity. This is nothing new. David describes this phenomenon in this psalm and even structured the psalm’s verses to reflect this spiritual static. But the psalm ends on a high note as David reminds us that God runs the world!
ל 1-2 Why, Adonai, do You stand far away? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble? 2 In arrogance the wicked hotly pursue the poor; let them be caught in the schemes that they have devised.
(A discourse on the wicked)
— צ ,פ ,ע ,ס ,נ ,מ omitted —
3 For the wicked boasts of the desires of his soul, and the one greedy for gain praises [himself] and despise [+13] Adonai.
נאץ (no’atz) = “revile / despise”
4 In the pride of his face [lite. ‘nose’], the wicked man does not seek Him. [#1] “There is no God.” [This is the essence of] all his schemes.
אין (ein) = “there is no”
אני (ani) = “I”
5 His ways prosper at all times. Your judgments are far removed from him. As for all his foes, he puffs at them.
פוח (puach) = “puffs / snorts”
6 He says in his heart, [#2] “I shall not be moved; throughout all generations I shall not be in adversity.”
7 His mouth is filled with vows and yet it is all deceit and oppression; under his tongue are mischief and iniquity.
אלה (alah) = “vows / oaths”
8 He sits in ambush in the villages; in hiding places he murders the innocent. His eyes spy on the helpless.
9 He lurks in hiding like a lion in his thicket; he lurks that he may seize the poor; he seizes the poor when he draws him into his net.
10 The helpless are crushed, sink down, and fall by his might.
He acts the humble man; he goes bowed down. The weak fall into his traps.
11 He says in his heart, [#3] “God has forgotten, he has hidden his face, he will never see it.” [v.14]
12-13 ק Arise, Adonai; O God, lift up Your hand; forget not the afflicted. 13 Why does the wicked despise God and say in his heart, [#4] “You are not really watching [lit. “seeking”]”?
דרש (darosh) = “to seek out”
14 ר But You do see, for You note mischief and provocation that You may take it into Your hands. To You the helpless commits himself; You have been the helper of the fatherless.
15-16 ש Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer; search out his wickedness till You find none. 16 Adonai is King forever and ever; the nations perish from His land.
אבד (avad) = “to destroy”
17-18 O Adonai, 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 [enosh] who is of the earth may strike terror no more.
Isaiah 45:15 Truly, You are a God who hides [סתר, satar] Himself, O God of Israel, Savior.
Psalm 9:9 Adonai is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
Proverbs 16:5 Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to Adonai. Be assured, he will not go unpunished.
Numbers 14:11 And Adonai said to Moses, “How long will this people despise Me? And how long will they not believe in Me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them?”
(DBY) … he contemneth Jehovah.
(KJV) … whom Adonai abhorreth.
Proverbs 6:19 … a false witness who breathes [פוח puach – “puffs”] out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
Proverbs 12:17 He puffs [פוח puach] loyalty, speaks of justice and is a deceitful, false witness.
Psalm 7:14 Behold, the wicked man conceives evil and is pregnant with mischief [עמל, amal] and gives birth to lies.
Deuteronomy 27:24 “’Cursed be anyone who strikes down his neighbor in secret.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’”
Jeremiah 50:20 In those days and in that time, declares Adonai, iniquity shall be sought in Israel, and there shall be none, and sin in Judah, and none shall be found, for I will pardon those whom I leave as a remnant.
“One day, when God’s sovereignty will be acknowledged everywhere, and the earth shall have become His earth, the opposition of the nations as goyim shall disappear from God’s world.” (R’ S.R. Hirsch)
Exodus 10:7 Then Pharaoh’s servants said to him, “How long shall this man be a snare to us? Let the men go, that they may serve Adonai their God. Do you not yet understand that Egypt is ruined [אבד, avad]?”
Leviticus 23:30 “And whoever does any work on that very day, that person I will destroy [אבד, avad] from among his people.”
Numbers 16:32-33 And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the people who belonged to Korah and all their goods. So they and all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol, and the earth closed over them, and they perished [אבד, avad] from the midst of the assembly.
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