James Roberts (21 October 1981 / Saginaw, Michigan)
Why do You stand so afar off, O Lord?
Why do You hide Yourself,
Veiling Your eyes in times of trouble?
The wicked in pride and arrogance
Hotly pursue and persecute the poor;
Let them be taken in the schemes which
They have devised.
For the wicked man boasts of his own heart's desire,
And the one greedy for gain curses and spurns,
Yes, renounces and despises the Lord.
The wicked one in the pride of his countenance
Will not seek, inquire for, and yearn for God;
All his thoughts are that there is no God,
So He never punishes.
His ways are grievous at all times;
Your judgements, Lord,
Are far above and on high out of his sight,
So he never thinks about them;
As for his foes,
He sniffs and sneers at them.
He thinks in his heart,
I shall not be moved;
For throughout all generations
I shall not come to want or be in adversity.
His mouth is full of cursing, deceit, oppression;
Under his tongue are trouble and sin,
Mischief and iniquity.
He sits in ambush in the villages;
In hiding places he slays the innocent;
He watches stealthily for the poor,
The helpless and unfortunate.
He lurks in secret places like a lion in his thicket;
He lies in wait that he may seize the poor,
The helpless and unfortunate;
He seizes the poor when he draws them into his net.
The prey is crushed,
And the helpless fall
By his mighty claws.
The foe thinks in his heart,
God has quite forgotten;
He has hidden His face;
He will never see my deed.
Arise, O Lord!
O God, lift up Your hand;
Forget not the humble,
The patient and crushed.
Why does the wicked man condemn God?
Why has he thought in his heart,
You will not call to account?
You have seen it;
Yes, You note trouble and grief,
To requite it with Your hand.
The unfortunate commits himself to You;
You are the helper of the fatherless.
Break the arm of the wicked man;
And as for the evil man,
Search out his wickedness until You find no more.
The Lord is King forever and ever;
The nations will perish out of His land.
O Lord, You have heard the desire
And the longing of the humble and oppressed;
You will prepare and strengthen
And direct their hearts,
You will cause Your ear to hear,
To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
So man who is of the Earth,
May not terrify them any more.
Poet's Notes about The Poem
Comments about this poem (Psalm 10 by James Roberts )
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