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
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.”
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.
FOR WIDOWS AND ORPHANS IN THEIR DISTRESS
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
he lurks that he may seize the poor
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.
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!
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:
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.
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.
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.
7. Share your notes and comments.
8. What is your take-a-way and why?