Psalm 10:4 - Pride is a Problem!
Psa.10:4; Pride is a Problem!
Psalm 10:4 (KJV) The wicked, through the pride of his
countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
Psalm 10:4 (NIV) In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in
all his thoughts there is no room for God.
Psalm 10:4 (NCV) The wicked people are too proud. They do not
look for God; there is no room for God in their thoughts.
In some Hebrew manuscripts and ancient versions Psalms 9 and 10
are joined as one. [New Bible Companion]
Psalms 9 and 10 may have been originally a single acrostic poem,
the stanzas of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew
alphabet. In the Septuagint they constitute one psalm. [Life Recovery
Although this psalm lacks a superscription, David is likely the
author in view of the close relationship between this psalm and Ps. 9.
Individual lament psalm, [Ryrie SB]
Psalm 10: The Psalm of the Victim. [The 365-Day Devotional
The singular is used collectively of the many in Israel who have
given no thought to God. (Wycliffe Commentary)
The "pride of his countenance" is a phrase that is used because
pride shows itself mainly in the countenance, or in a lofty air and
manner. (Barnes' Notes)
The idea here expressed is not necessarily that the wicked
denies the existence of God, but that he does not take God into his
reckoning. However, today it is true that the wicked tries to make himself
believe that there is no God. Constant self-assertion of the idea
practically makes him an atheist, although it is to be doubted whether it is
really possible for any man to be an absolute atheist. The wicked man
acts as if there were no God, [SDA Commentary]
The evil man's hatred of the godly expresses a total disregard
for the Lord and his commandments. He is filled with self (v. 3;
NIV, "the cravings of his heart," lit., "the desire of his soul")....
He "praises" (hillel; NIV, "boasts") himself but spurns the
covenant God (v. 3). His goal in life is a purposeful avoidance of God
(v. 4). He is not an atheist, but instead he has conveniently chosen
to live without God (cf. 14:1; Jer 5:12). Worship of the
Creator-covenant God has been exchanged for worship of himself,
the creature (Rom
1:23). [Expositors Bible Commentary]
[Will not seek after God].... either that the wicked man will not
seek after God in prayer, or that he will not inquire after the
proofs of his existence and attributes; or that he will not seek after
his favor, or that he will not endeavor to know the divine will....
The sinner is unwilling, in any appropriate way, to acknowledge God.
We stand afar off from God by our unbelief, and then complain
that God stands afar off from us... The sinner proudly glories in his
power and success. Wicked people will not seek after God, that is,
will not call upon him. They live without prayer, and that is living
without God. They have many thoughts, many objects and devices, but
think not of the Lord in any of them; they have no submission to his
will, nor aim for his glory. The cause of this is pride. [Matthew
Pride lures us into living independently of God... The proud
person depends on himself rather than on God. This causes God's guiding
influences to leave his life. When God's presence is welcome, there is no
room for pride, [Life Application SB]
Pride will prevent him from seeking God in the following ways:
It makes him unwilling to recognize his dependence upon any
it makes him unwilling to confess that he is a sinner;
it makes him unwilling to pray;
it makes him unwilling to seek aid of anyone, even God, in the
business of life, in the prosecution of his plans, or in sickness and
it makes him unwilling to accede to the terms of reconciliation
and salvation proposed by God, unwilling to repent, to believe, to
submit to His sovereignty, to acknowledge his indebtedness to mere
grace for the hope of eternal life.
Pride is at the root of all the atheism, theoretical or
practical, on the earth; at the root of all the reluctance which there is
to seek the favor of God; at the root, therefore, of the misery and
wretchedness of the world. (Barnes' Notes)
The wicked prey on the poor, having no regard for man or God.
This practical atheism manifests itself in his total lack of
recognizing God's presence or law. The wicked's arrogance conceives of God
as totally irrelevant to matters of daily life. Man is his own
king. [Jamieson, Fausset, And Brown Commentary]
The wicked man does not consider that he has God to contend
with. [NIV SB]
The Bible is a Christian's guidebook, and I believe the
knowledge it sheds on pain and suffering is the great antidote to fear for
suffering people ....
When I suffer pain over any length of time I try to reflect on
the good which the Bible has promised pain is producing in me...
"How does suffering accomplish this?" I ask myself. It produces
perseverance, or steadiness, by slowing me down, by forcing me to turn to God,
by proving to me that I can survive a crisis ....
The Bible is filled with resources available to one trying to
stave off fears and helplessness. Reading Job's thrashings in fear
about God's seeming lack of concern can make mine easier to bear . . .
. And knowledge about prayer to a loving God can ward off frenzied
efforts to "muster up faith" in hopes of impressing God - prayer does
not work that way, as the Bible shows. God is already full of loving
concern; we do not need to impress Him with spiritual calisthenics ....
Attitudes of fear and helplessness affect the quantity of
suffering. At least we have the inspiring examples of those who have proved
that the human spirit can ascend through the words of circumstances.
And because man is both body and spirit, Christianity can offer a
true and healing hope, (Where Is God When It Hurts by Philip
APPLICATION Whenever you face a trial, pray for God's help. Pray
that God will be glorified in the situation. And thank him for the
care he shows. [Inspirational SB]
Psalm of the Victim (Ps. 10)
The Greek philosopher Plato argued that it was better to have
wrong done to us than to do wrong. Few today would agree with him.
Being a victim seems somehow shameful, weak.
But in Psalm 10, the poet explained far better than Plato ever
could why victims are more blessed than persecutors. If at any time
you feel like a victim--misused by your boss, by a friend, family, or
even by "the system," this is a psalm you might turn to. If you do
you'll find no prescription for changing circumstances. What you'll
find is a description of what happens inside the perpetrator, and
inside the victim.
The perpetrator (vv. 1-11) is described by words like pride,
arrogance, and boastfulness. His apparent success feeds these attitudes,
and prosperity leads the victimizer to assume he is safe. Others are
dismissed as weak, and God either fails to know or doesn't care.
On the other hand, the victim (vv. 12-15) experiences his
helplessness. This leads him to commit himself to the LORD. In his suffering
the victim has nowhere to turn but to God.
God, "King forever and ever" (vv. 16-18), hears the afflicted.
The Hebrew concept of "listen" implies not only hearing but
responding. God as Ruler of the universe will act to judge the wicked and to
defend the oppressed.
This psalm of the victim recognizes the fact that injustices may
exist for a time. But it reminds us that the people who persecute us
do so out of a deadly pride and arrogance, and will surely be
punished. On the other hand, being victimized brings us closer to the
How much better to be a victim who knows God, than a victimizer
who scoffs at Him! [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary]
The next time you suffer as a victim, thank God that you are not
the victimizer. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary]
A Prayer of Helplessness
Helplessness. It is an experience shared by everyone. There is
no way out. There are no alternatives. It is an experience full of
fear, rage and despair. Because our culture places such a high value
on individualism and self-reliance, the experience of helplessness
is full of shame for us. We expect that others will blame us for
letting it happen. And we end up blaming ourselves. In times of
helplessness, however, shame and blame are not helpful. What might be helpful
is to know that God understands helplessness and that he hears our
Warming Up to God: Recall a time when you felt helpless. Picture
God in that situation with you as your protector and defender. How
does that make you feel? [Quiet Time SB]
10:1-18 Notice how David begins this psalm in despair and ends
it in victory. David seems to have worked through his feelings as
he wrote. Indeed, many people throughout history have written
poetry or kept a journal as a way of listening to themselves more
closely, chronicling the ebb and flow of their growth, and savoring the
holy moments of God's work in their lives. Journaling can be an
especially valuable practice. [Life Recovery Devotional SB]
10:1-11 God sometimes seems faraway when temptation is strong.
In truth, he is never far from us. Temptation sometimes becomes
strongest when our friends seem to be able to do things without getting
trapped the way we do. We tend to follow along and end up in trouble. We
need to realize that even though our friends seem to be in control,
they also are headed for trouble; they just don't recognize it yet.
They may seem to be doing well, but this is only the way things
appear. The truth is that they are probably in serious trouble. We need
to make sure that the apparent success of others doesn't lead us
away from God's program for healthy living. [Life Recovery SB]
10:1: Why do You hide? Atypical complaint of the righteous
sufferer.. For example, Job cried out, "Why do You hide Your face?" (see
Job 13:23, 24). God's seeming absence in the midst of suffering
always adds to our anxiety. But we must remember that the feeling of
aloneness is due to our blindness, not to God's absence. [Passages Of Life
Does God Sometimes Hide From Us? (10:1)
It would seem so. Our prayers may go unanswered year after year.
We may wrestle continually with a problem and never find spiritual
insight to explain it. Or we may endure ongoing suffering with no relief
Many factors can contribute to such a dilemma. Though we may
discover some reasons for this problem, there may be other factors that
are impossible to determine in this life.
David's poetry often expresses a feeling of abandonment by God.
He was not alone with such feelings: Job, Moses, Jeremiah, Elijah
and other Biblical people of faith echoed David's emotions. Even
Jesus felt this way when he quoted David's haunting cry, My God, my
God, why have you forsaken me? (22:1). If those with such great faith
rode emotional waves like these, we can at least know we're in good
company when we experience similar frustrations.
Ironically, David paints an entirely different picture in other
psalms. He describes God as always being with him, for example, when he
asks, Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your
At times, we may sense God's presence covering us like a warm
blanket of love and protection. At other times, we may feel nothing but
an eerie and depressing silence. Psalms such as this one show us
that such feelings of abandonment are not unusual. But as David
reminds us elsewhere, we can be certain God is always with us no matter
how we feel. [Quest SB]
Why, O LORD, do you stand far off? (Psalm 10:1)
God is . . . an ever-present help in trouble" (Ps. 46:1). But He
allows trouble to pursue us, as though He were indifferent to its
overwhelming pressure, so we may be brought to the end of ourselves.... We may
be sure that He who allows the suffering is with us throughout it.
It may be that we will only see Him once the ordeal is nearly
passed, but we must dare to believe that He never leaves our trial. Our
eyes are blinded so we cannot see the One our soul loves. The
darkness and our bandages blind us so that we cannot see the form of our
High Priest. Yet He is there and is deeply touched. Let us not rely
on our feelings but trust in His unswerving faithfulness. And
though we cannot see Him, let us talk to Him. Although His presence is
veiled, once we begin to speak to Jesus as if He were literally present,
an answering voice comes to show us He is in the shadow, keeping
watch over His own. Your Father is as close to you when you journey
through the darkest tunnel as He is when you are under the open heaven!
from Daily Devotional Commentary [Streams In The Desert By Cowman]