It had been a tumultuous period of time at work for the past few weeks as I was hard pressed by tight deadlines and long working hours. With stress mounting on me, it seemed that I was not able to see any light at the end of the tunnel. I believe that this is something some of you may have encountered before. At that juncture, did you have problems relating to God? Have you ever asked God whether He cares for you? If He cares, then why does He seem so far away and not help to improve the situation? These are some thoughts that may have come across our minds when we face difficult situations in life. The adverse situations may also include: a loss of job, the loss of loved ones, being hit by an illness that you would never have expected…the list continues on.
In Psalm 10, the author, probably King David, was facing a situation where God seemed far away. He described the wicked oppressing the poor and their ego being elevated when God did not take any action (verse 1-4). The wicked continued to prosper at the expense of the poor (verse 5-11) and David started asking the Lord to intervene (verse 12); trusting the Lord that He would bring judgement and justice (verse 14 -18).
From the passage, there are some lessons that we can learn:
Though the psalmist had certain doubts and lamented on God’s absence, he did not stop praying. He was honest with the Lord and asked Him to intervene so that the situation can be improved. Praying is something we can do when we are facing difficult times. We should persevere in prayer even though God seems silent or does not respond. As we continue to pray, we take action to humble ourselves and confess to Him of our shortcomings; thus recalibrating our focus from self to God.
We must be mindful of the dangers of pursuing wealth; especially if it is at the expense of others. From the passage, the wicked man was controlled by greed and he oppressed the poor so that he could gain more. As we attain a certain level of wealth, our sinful nature may cause us to crave for more until it becomes an obsession. Pray that we will not follow the footsteps of the wicked and ask the Lord to help us not to solely focus on building our wealth on earth – which is temporal, but to seek building treasures in heaven that are eternal.
Despite God’s silence in the passage, David continued to have confidence in God and trust God that He will bring justice to the oppressed and orphans. God thus becomes the defender of the helpless and would save them from the wicked. From the above, we can therefore have the assurance and comfort that God is always there with us during our adversities.
Coming back to my situation, things started improving ever since. The dark clouds that lingered for the past weeks have started to dissipate. The missed deadlines that I feared never came, and my working hours were back to normal. From this episode, I learnt that the Lord has indeed “arisen” and He is always there.
Brother Leo Deng Yong