Psalm 10 - Prayer for the Oppressed, Orphans and the Disadvantaged




[New International Version] Psalm 10 belongs to Book I of the Book of Psalms. It is a pleading request for the oppressed, the orphans and the helpless. God’s grace and protection do not take long even for those who do not believe in his presence and in divine justice.

The PS 10 belong to Book I of the Book of PS composed of a collection of texts 150 poetry books organized by five. The Book of Psalms, for its wisdom and basic principles of human action , is considered the heart of the Old Testament. Book I encompasses Psalms 1 to 41 . The PS 10 is divided into 18 verses.

The Psalms are poems-prayers addressed to God, being the privileged way to address and speak to Him. These prayers represent human experiences and religious conscience . They portray the common man , with his faults, insecurities, fears and hopes and, even today, we can identify with the Psalmist and draw inspiration from these texts to pray and plead with God when we feel lost and anguished or to express our gratitude for any blessing received.

“There are enemies or friends, there is life or death, health or illness, pain or joy and, most of the time, there are no changes or gradations. Words are like stones and poetry like boulders carved by chisel”; “The Psalms are a bit like mountain paths, simple, especially when walking on snow, but they lead to the peaks; they are paths toward the peaks of meeting the Lord.” - Carlo Maria Martini, Cardinal of Milan

Psalm 10 - Prayer for the Oppressed, Orphans and the Disadvantaged

1  Lord, why do you keep away
and hide in times of distress?

2  With haughtiness the wrongdoer pursues the poor.
Get caught in the traps you planned.

3  The evildoer boasts of his ambition;
the greedy blasphemes and despises the Lord.

4  In his pride the evildoer says:

“There is no God, no one will ask me to account”.
These are just your thoughts.

5  His ways are continually prospering.
But your judgments are far above him,
who despises all his adversaries.

6  In his heart, he says,
“From generation to generation I will never stumble;
I will be happy, without setbacks.”

7  His mouth is full of cursing, deceit, and lies;
under your tongue there is violence and evil.

8  Lays an ambush behind fences,
treacherous kills the innocent;
his eyes look at the unfortunate man.

9 It  lurks in hiding like a lion in a den;
lurking to kidnap the poor;
kidnaps the poor and drags him into his hammock.

10 He  crouches down, curls up on the ground,
and falls with all his strength on the wretches.

11  He says in his heart: “God has forgotten; he
turned his face away so that he would never see again.”

12  Arise, Lord! O God, lift up your hand,
do not forget the downtrodden.

13  Why should the evildoer despise God,
saying in his heart, “You shall not hold an account”?

14  But You see anguish and grief;
You observe it and take it in your hands.

The poor, trusting, are abandoned to you;
You are the orphan’s protection.

15  Break the arm of the evildoer and the wicked;
chases your evil, not to happen again.

16  The Lord is king forever and ever.
The Gentiles have disappeared from his land!

17  Lord, You have listened to the desire of the poor.
Comfort your heart and incline your ear,

18  doing justice to the fatherless and the helpless.
Let no one ever terrorize human beings on earth again.

Meaning and interpretation

Over time, the numbering of the Psalms became aware of some differences. The number divergences occur between Ps 9 and Ps 147 . In the Hebrew text, Psalm 9 is only half of a Psalm that encompassed Psalms 9 and 10. This is noticeable, because throughout the two Psalms the initial letters of the verses follow the Hebrew alphabetical order.

Thus, Psalm 10 continues the previous hymn of thanksgiving for divine protection given to the helpless . This prayer speaks of the wrongdoer’s conviction that God will not intervene against him.

The absence of God can be interpreted as a moment of freedom for the wicked who act on the underprivileged. But Man is fragile and powerless before divine justice and judgment and whoever abuses his situation against the rights of others will end up suffering the justice of heaven.

The Psalms of Praise are hymns addressed, above all, to God. In this sense, the Bible continues the liturgical literature of neighboring and previous religions, where hymns are the most common way for people to address the divinity , especially in contexts of greater solemnity.

These Psalms were of great importance in the lives of biblical heroes. The preaching of the word of the prophets or the teaching of wisdom reflection appears closely linked to the cultural action of the people of Israel. They express, in a solemn and simple way , the believer’s recognition of the efficacious presence of God who saves his people, for he is mercy that lasts forever; it is a refuge from the dangers of life; it is joy and joy; it is prosperity that feeds its people; it is light in times of darkness and salvation on Earth and in eternal life.

The texts of the Book of Psalms oscillate between shout and praise, supplication and joy. Perhaps its authors understood that Man can only express his supplications, laments or thirst for revenge before God, if he is immersed in the spirit of praise that sings life stronger than death . Perhaps, beyond the scream, the lament or the anger, they realized that what moves these words is nothing but that life force that explodes in praise when it comes out of violence or when it goes through death.

These hymns narrate, thus, the greatness or improvements and the thanks that flow from it. Examples of this are Psalm 8; 19; 28; 33; 47; 65-66; 93; 96-100; 104-105; 111; 113; 117; 135; 146; 148-150. Hymns can also be addressed to the king , focusing especially on the ceremony of royal enthronement, with every expectation of divine intervention for the well-being of the people and the just ordering of the world . In this case, the Psalms were performed at court parties, in the presence of the king, in celebrations for victory over enemies, among others. Some examples are Psalm 2; 18; 20; 21; 27; 51; 60; 61.

With the end of the monarchy, these Psalms were accentuating the messianic connotations , which already had implicit. This is the case with Psalm 2; 18; 20-21; 45; 72; 89; 101; 110; 132; 144. The Psalms celebrating Jerusalem, which with the temple have a special connection to God, are also considered hymns. These are Ps 46; 48; 76; 84; 87; 122.

The Book of Psalms

The Joy and Happiness of the Righteous in Communion with God

The Psalms are prayer-poems addressed to God, being the privileged way to address and speak with Him. Depicting the common man , with his failures, insecurities, fears and hopes, we can still identify with the Psalmist and be inspired today in Psalms to make prayers and supplications to God in times of trouble or express our gratitude for some blessing received.

The Psalms, despite being written in Antiquity, still move , sensitize , awaken feelings , inspire and enchant . In them, we can identify anguish and joy , deeply human feelings, praises, supplications, teachings of reflection on spiritual wisdom and prophetic words.

Written for different situations , some Psalms are intimate, revealing the author’s personal relationship with God; others provide guidelines and advice for life, others are compositions for specific liturgical events such as rituals and pilgrimages.

The Book of Psalms is composed of a collection of 150 poetic texts and is divided into five parts, called Psalm Books or Booklets. Each Book closes with short hymns of praise to God . The division into five parts was considered to correspond to the five books of Moses and it is assumed that each passage in the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible, called Torah by the Jews) was read in parallel with the corresponding Psalm. Its main forms are lamentation , supplication , praise and gratitude .

The Power of Prayer in Dialogue with the Divine

The Psalms elevate our thoughts to the Divine and prayer is the power of the word . Prayer is the language of faith. Any thought, word or image addressed to God is called prayer . It is through it that we come into contact with our God within and, therefore, it is so powerful in transforming life . Prayer can produce miracles , turn dreams into reality, give us hope for change , harmony and peace with ourselves and the world.

Each Psalm has an intention that helps us meditate and walk with our God . For many theologians, the Book of Psalms has a prophetic or messianic tone as its verses refer to the coming of Christ into the world of men to guide them through the uncertainty and doubts of Human existence.

The prayer has the power to call the Spiritual Universe full mode, honest, sincere, conscious, for the purpose of spiritual self-protection, family protection and those who are dear to us, to have peace of mind, spiritual and physical, for prosperity and success, to protect health and relationships, to ward off negative energies and, above all, to connect us to something bigger than ourselves. From this peace , well-being, hope and goodness in front of everyone and everything result.

The faith can change our lives. It gives us tranquility and spiritual strength to face challenges. It helps us to meditate on our mission in life and to create a balanced and healthy environment for ourselves and those we love. When you pray, fill your heart with love and determination . The Psalms will guide you on a path of peace and communion with the higher energy .