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RISE UP, O GOD!

STEVE PRAYED PSALM 10 IN THE NIGHT, AS HE WAS NEARING THE END OF HIS EARTHLY LIFE

IT IS A PSALM OF LAMENT, EXPRESSING THE PSALMIST’S GENUINE FEARS

psalm-10-shadows

IT IS A PSALM THAT SEES THE SORROW ON EARTH,

AND THE CRUELTY OF MAN.

I KNOW STEVE FEARED FOR HIS DAUGHTERS IF GOD WAS REMOVING HIM FROM THE EARTH.

HE THOUGHT OFTEN ABOUT BETH, WHO HAD EXPERIENCED THE TERROR OF MAN IN THAILAND,

A LAND KNOWN FOR THE SEX TRADE OF YOUNG GIRLS.

THOUGH SHE HAD BEEN PROTECTED UNDER STEVE’S CARE, NOW,

IT SEEMED, GOD WAS CALLING STEVE HOME.

HE CRIED OUT, REMEMBERING THAT GOD IS “THE HELPER OF THE FATHERLESS.”

psalm10_12

PSALM 10 TEACHES US HOW TO PRAY FOR THE HELPLESS

FOR GIRLS LIKE BETH IN THAILAND.

FOR FAMILIES CRUELLY DEPRIVED OF THEIR HOMES IN SYRIA.

SYRIANREFUGEES150903120900-restricted-01-migrant-crisis-super-169

FOR WIDOWS AND ORPHANS IN THEIR DISTRESS

Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic minority originating from Myanmar where they are denied citizenship and suffer persecution and discrimination. Over the past two decades, hundreds of thousands of people have fled their homes to seek refuge abroad, however, few have been granted refugee status and most of them are unrecognized and unassisted. Thousands of unregistered Rohingya refugees live in the Kutupalong makeshift camp, Bangladesh. They are being forcibly displaced from their homes, in an act of intimidation and abuse by the local authorities, the international medical organization Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has treated numerous people for injuries where the majority were women and children.A fundamental solution for the Rohingya, not only in countries where they seek asylum but at their origin, is crucial to restoring the health and dignity of these long suffering people,.December 16, 2009 Kutupalong makeshift camp,Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh

PSALM 10 TALKS ABOUT THE HEART OF THE WICKED

HOW THEY LIE IN WAIT TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE HELPLESS

AND IT HAPPENS STILL TODAY.

His eyes stealthily watch for the helpless,

he lurks in ambush like a lion in his thicket

lion-on-prowl

he lurks that he may seize the poor

LOOKING

FOR CHILDREN FOR HIS SEX TRADE

FOR SCARED PREGNANT MOTHERS TO HARVEST THEIR BABIES

FOR WIDOWS TO OVERCHARGE

FOR CHRISTIANS TO MURDER —

PASSIONATE TO DO WRONG TO FEED THEIR DESIRES.

THE PSALMIST CRIES: ARISE, O LORD!

THE FERVENT PRAYER OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN HAS POWER.

A VERY REAL THING WE CAN DO IS TO PRAY AGAINST THE WICKED AND FOR THE VULNERABLE. 

To encourage you, I want to share with you a few of the ways God came running for Beth in answer to her dying father’s prayer. Beth was vulnerable, though she didn’t realize it. She felt that because she was twenty, she was ready to live on her own, but we knew she was not. Having spent the first twelve years in the orphanage, she seemed much younger in her maturity. She was pretty and a basket case around boys. Whenever a young man came into the room or waited on our table, she could not repress her giggles or her blush. We feared any conniving man with charm would find an easy target in our Beth.

While Steve was still living, our son John and daughter-in-law Julie offered to have Beth move to Kansas City to live in a room they would fix up in their basement. That way she would feel some independence, yet still be under their protective watch. Those four years with John and Julie were a tremendous blessing, and Julie was a wonderful and wise mentor to Beth.  Beth, who had never really dated, began E-Harmony at the age of twenty-four. Julie steered her away from those who spelled trouble. Still, I was anxious about the whole online dating scenario.

Beth called me one day and said, “I’ve met a man online who loves Jesus.”

“Hmmmm. I don’t know, Honey. You are a beautiful young woman. I fear he’s seen your picture, knows what you want, and now, suddenly, he loves Jesus.”

“No, Mom. I think he really does love Jesus! That’s why he chose E-Harmony over other websites. He’s active in his church. And his dad is a pastor to Asian international students.”

I paused, thinking: Might God be in this? Might He actually be giving Beth a man and a father-in-law who loves and understands the gentle Asian people? But to Beth I simply said, “Well, maybe, honey. But please go slowly.”

In time, Seth asked to meet Beth face to face. Beth called me again.

“Mom, I haven’t told Seth I’m missing an arm. Should I tell him before we meet or just let him find out when he sees me?”

“Before! He might not want to meet you, but wouldn’t you rather find out before he came?” I thought, This will be a good test of character. But I hope her heart isn’t broken.

Seth was not deterred. He passed the first test of character. He drove to Kansas City where he could meet not only Beth, but John and Julie. They liked him, and the dating began.

Two years later Seth and Beth were married. They are now the parents of three children. Seth has been a good husband to Beth and a father to their children.

Beth, Seth, and Katherine Harrington
Beth, Seth, and Katherine (She was one of the four baby girls born in the summer of 2010)

Seth’s parents (and their son, Thad: Uncle Thaddy!) have also been such a gift to them, and to me! As a widow with five children and thirteen grand-children (and another coming at Christmas) I often feel overwhelmed. So often it seems I should be two places at once. But Seth’s parents have been there. This week, when Kaleb Gideon was born, my plate was full and the Harrington’s said, “We can go first and stay ten days!” I breathed a sigh of relief, knowing my schedule would be so much freer at that point. They also, because of their interaction with Asian students, understand Beth’s strong accent and Thai ways. Yesterday, when we were all here together, I marveled at how much more patient they were than I was! What a gift! What an answer to prayer! Here are Beth’s loving in-laws — who came and stayed for ten days to help!

RevisedHarringtonjpg
Sheri, Katherine, Kaleb, Kenneth, and Mark Harrington

Psalm 10 not only shows us the power of prayer in an unjust world, but it also causes us to look at our own hearts, and how we might get involved in the things that break the heart of God. When Sara Groves was in Rwanda and saw the starving children, she said she used to say, “Where is God?” But now she says, “WHERE ARE GOD’S PEOPLE?”

AND THEN SHE  WROTE THIS SONG:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSdP6PqsbJY

This week you will also hear a free sermon on Psalm 10 from a Pastor that our own Lizzy found for me. (He has an amazing series on The Song of Songs which we may listen to another time.) I’m excited for you to hear him! As I have been watching the front runners in the Republican and Democratic parties fear rises in me. Will America really elect one of these? (I know I’m treading on thin ice here, but tread I will.) However you feel, please pray for God to Rise Up and in His grace (for it will be grace for we are so undeserving) give us a leader of integrity, wisdom, and grace. Pray for those ministries that are making such a difference for refugees (like MAP and VOICE OF THE MARTYRS) for the girls in the sex trade (like International Justice Mission) and for the persecuted Christians overseas. Prayer makes a difference — so pray pray pray Psalm 10!

Concerning blog problems: When I asked David to have the tech team upgrade the link, it seems to have caused some other problems — one Laura mentioned is not being able to talk text. It seems you may have had other problems too, but perhaps they are not troubling you anymore? (I’ve been a bit pre-occupied the last few days.) Let David or Rebecca know by e-mail if you are having continuing problems. I have let the team know about Laura’s concern.

On a personal note, Beth and the children seem to have some kind of bug, and I’d love prayer for healing and protection. This could be a spiritual battle for all though I am not sure. Waterbrook Publishing wants to talk to me tomorrow (Monday) at 12:30 and it is probably about my Song of Songs manuscript. I’d love prayer for that call and a quiet time to talk to them. Thank you, my sisters.

SUNDAY

1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

MONDAY – WEDNESDAY BIBLE STUDY

Watch this musical rendition of Psalm 10 and pray along with it.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=CurEqKQzRBY

2. Read Psalm 10 and explain how it fits the classic structure of the lament:

A. Verses 1-11: The lament

B. Verses 12-14: The turn

C. Verses 15-18: The resolution and prayer

3. What are some verses that quicken you in Psalm 10 and why?

4. What stands out to you about the wicked? Do you see any traces of this in your own heart?

5. What do you learn about God that can encourage your heart?

6. Use this psalm to pray, making it your own.

THURSDAY-FRIDAY SERMON

PSALM 10 – James Hamilton Jr., Kenwood Baptist Church

7. Share your notes and comments.

Saturday

8. What is your take-a-way and why?

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148 comments

  1. 6. Use this psalm to pray, making it your own.

    Dear Lord, You have always been there for me. Thank You. You recognize there are those of our world who are less fortunate than others. Help me to do the same; to know your people hurt and need humanly support at times. Show me those in need. Let that support come from me. Help me to want to help others who are less fortunate. I don’t want to be the one who stands by doing nothing as others are hurting! Draw near to Christians this weekend as we pray and worship together in the name of persecuted Christians all over the world. Lord, we pray that the hearts of the oppressors in the Middle East will change, they will see the light, Your light. If they don’t change, please use this as a time to reveal Your wrath on them, for all the world to see. Lord,”…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.” Thank You, dear Jesus for accepting this prayer in Your name. Amen.
    ‭‭

  2. 4. What stands out to you about the wicked? Do you see any traces of this in your own heart?

    Actually-all of it. For example, when my son was having health issues that looked serious, instead of bending toward God I behaved like the wicked saying, God doesn’t see-because I was like a mad woman spending hours googling what it could be. I want my first response-NOT my second or third- to be to bend to Him and trust His control-not to act as if He isn’t there and I am in control!!

    Since I live in America it is almost my first bend toward security in comfort and ‘rights’ here. I can feel ‘at ease’ thinking I won’t meet adversity..Really this isn’t a good thing because adversity is a part of the Fall-it will happen and when I have everything-compared to prisoners, and the materialistically poor around the world-it causes me to cling to it for security more than God. I don’t like that. I have always asked myself..If I were stripped of it all what would the condition of your heart look like? Some of the poorest people and prisoners are spiritually rich-much richer than I. I see it in the Sara Groves video above. Their lives inspire me-how they love one another!

    This brings up a hard question for me-If I could let go and bend more to His calling inside-to love more those with nothing to give me.

    1. Rebecca, I am realizing more and more what an idol comfort is in my own life, and what it reveals in my heart when my comfort/security is threatened.

  3. 5. What do you learn about God that can encourage your heart?

    I kind of also see myself as the afflicted-My affliction being my wickedness because of the fall-and satan’s prowling around me trying to destroy me. I am helpless without Him to chip away at the stones in my heart..yet I see the Gospel in Psalm 10-that He is King forever..that He is my father-that He will incline His ear to me!! That He will chip away at my stones and make me more like Him..The Gospel will help me to let go of my grip on the world and empower me to Love selflessly.

  4. 5. What do you learn about God than can encourage your heart?

    I may not feel like God knows what is happening, or understands; He may feel so very far away, silent. The psalmist had those same feelings, too. Yet he proclaims that God does see our troubles and our grief; He does listen when we call to Him. These are hard truths to cling to when everything seems to be telling me the opposite, when I get stuck in the “nothing will ever change” mindset. The truth I have, in addition to these, that the psalmist didn’t have, is that “He did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for me.” If I take my soul in hand, and reason with myself, how can I listen to my feelings that tell me God doesn’t see, doesn’t care about you…when I know that He sent His Son to die for me? Even when I feel there is no one who understands, no one I can go to, I can commit myself to Him. Rebecca said above that she sees herself as afflicted becasue of her own wickedness, and along the same lines, when I see my own sin and depravity and selfishness – just yesterday seeing my own selfishness, where else can I go for help? I commit my case to Him, because God offers the only solution for my sin.

  5. 3. What are some verses that quicken you in Psalm 10 and why?

    A lot stand out, but I will keep this short.
    v. 3- “the one greedy for gain curses and renounces the Lord.” After reading that verse, I remembered something Paul Tripp said (Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands) “Sin makes us glory thieves. There is probably not a day when we do not plot to steal glory that rightfully belongs to the Lord”
    And it struck me that I am “greedy for gain” in my desire for approval and self glory. It is so subtle, I don’t present myself as seeking “glory”, and yet, I know when I do not receive credit for a job well done, or no one notices I scrubbed the house all day…when I don’t get my “glory”, I am bothered—and so the red flag waves that yes, I am “greedy for gain”-of approval, praise, glory.

    v. 14—“but You do see”—those 3 words teared my eyes up (yes, it happens often, but still, it moved me). He does see. Even when He feels far off, when He seems silent or like He’s “busy with something else more pressing”—no, He sees. He sees all that is happening, all the time. Because I know He is good, and He is all powerful, there is comfort just in knowing He sees.

  6. 7. Share your notes and comments. I listened a couple times yesterday while I was working around the house. I agree with whoever said that it did make me understand the whole psalm better. I have to say though, that I still have trouble with imprecatory statements. ‘Break the arm of the wicked’ vs. 15…or his example to pray that someone’s ACL (or other body parts) get broken or damaged. I know there’s Biblical precedent and it doesn’t necessarily counter Christian ethics to invoke curses on the enemy, but it’s not something I find myself doing. I do get his point that it is a kind thing to do, to pray that someone’s evil plan will be thwarted and it is better to have a broken arm than spend eternity in hell. But how do we know how God will or will not intervene in that person’s life? Is it just too passive to pray for His Sovereign will over the lives of our enemies and not be so specific? I know there are lots of articles and books I could read to help me understand, but not probably taking the time to look at those right now. Just raising my hesitations and questions.

    1. Wanda – I haven’t had a moment’s extra time to listen to this week’s message yet…..I didn’t think I would get to it at all, but now you have pricked my interest! I lean very much the way you do as far as prayer for enemies…..seems to be how Jesus taught us to pray? The New Testament seems saturated with the call to pray for, forgive and do good for our enemies….? But this is a BIG TOPIC and the imprecatory Psalms and other like passages are Holy Scripture also. I’d like to dig a bit more….but not today! Great thoughts and questions, Wanda. Thanks.

    2. also Wanda….I love your “Berean-ness”!! You don’t just settle for being spoon fed, but question and desire to search the Scriptures to see if these things are so. You are a wonderful example to us all in this. 🙂

    3. Very late getting here at least posting. I too had some hesitations of those prayers. Bless those who persecute you Bless and do not curse” Romans 12:14 The Lord will answer that prayer in how He sees fit. Just like He works in the answer to prayers for our own lives and the lives of our loved ones.

      1. I like your answer here, Liz and also Jackie’s reminder of Jesus’ prayer. These NT scriptures make me feel that we ought not to pray curses on our enemies. In a way, it seems like the words Jesus said when he said ‘you have heard it is an eye for an eye and a cheek for a cheek. I say to you if your brother strikes you on one cheek, give to him the other one also.’ Hard to see where the praying harm on our enemies comes in. I guess I am more pacifistic in nature. Yet, When it comes to those who are bent on horrific evil and a danger to multitudes of people, it is hard for me to discern. And then there is: ‘venganance is from the Lord, I will repay.’ I feel ‘safest’ spiritually praying for the Lord’s Sovereign will for He knows what I don’t. I usually re-coil when I see Christians cursing those who stand opposed to God (or sometimes; who stand opposed the their biases.) Ugh. Now my brain hurts!

        1. I meant to say (or sometimes, those who stand opposed to their own biases.)

        2. Wanda I just shuudder to think how easily we can start thinking of those who hurt us as our enemies and really they are pawns in our real enemies hands. He loves it when we lose sight of that.
          Repay no one evil for evil.
          Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18If it is possible, as much as depends on you,
          live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved,

          do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written,
          “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20Therefore

          “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
          If he is thirsty, give him a drink;

          For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Romans 12:17-21
          I know we know this. I have to always remind myself of it.

          21Do not be overcome by evil, but

          overcome evil with good.

    4. Good questions, Wanda. I noted at first he explained that in the Bible, the hand and arm are the way you accomplish things, so to say “break the arm” means, “shatter the means whereby the wicked accomplish their designs.” Of course, this is quite different than praying that they suffer personal harm to their bodies. In that vein, I think it’s okay to pray things like the wicked person’s means of communication might fail. Or, I have sometimes prayed for God to bring what is hidden in the dark into the light, to let any bad motives be revealed and found out. This is different than praying the other kinds of prayers he mentioned, like knee tendons tearing, etc…

      1. Those are good distinctions, Susan. Thanks. That helps me.

      2. And LIZ….I couldn’t reply to your comment, but that is such a good passage. You’re right. Need to be reminded. Thanks.

        1. and also, I really like how you opened this. We think of those who hurt us as our enemies and not pawns in the hands of the real enemy. That is SO true.

  7. The Lord is in control of this presidential election even if a person who opposes His ways is to take office. Does that mean we do not pray or take the privilege we have in this country to vote. Of course not. Our lacking in this can be that result. As Sarah Groves said “Where are Gods People?”

  8. The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God;
    God is in none of his thoughts Psalm 10:4
    This stood out to me as I have picked up a book to re read called “The Prayer Life” by Andrew Murray and the sin of prayerlessness. I am convicted This week in my private study the Lord showed me in John 6 when Jesus was feeding the 5 thousand. The thing that struck me was when he told them to “sit down”
    ” I journaled that it just so stuck out. Then I read in “Streams in the Desert” for Oct 28 that day and it was talking about being “Seated in Him” and then again in the evening at my bible study in a book “The Evangelism Explosion” there was an illustration of “The Chair” How we are seated in a chair of our self efforts when there is another chair in the room which represents Christ and how we need to transfer our weight to that chair again I saw seated in Christ. It is only in Him.

    Forgive me Lord for my prayerlessness.

    http://youtu.be/z3wwWFsSlNQ

  9. Well, I posted, but don’t see it–no worries, it will show if He wants it to, and my thoughts are not all that important! 🙂 I’m just typing this as a test for myself, maybe it was the link I put in for Matthew Henry’s book on prayer?

  10. 7. One thing in particular that stood out from the sermon was that “all sin is ultimately a worship problem…it’s not that we’re wanting things too badly, it’s that we’re not lifting our eyes and setting our desires on what will satisfy our souls.” He advised we ask ourselves the question, what makes you happy…what do you celebrate? What we boast in or desire will determine our destiny.

    1. I remember that. That was a good point.