1 Why do you stand afar off, O LORD? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
2 The wicked in his pride persecutes the poor. Let them be taken in the devices that they have conceived.
3 For the wicked boasts of his heart's desire and blesses the covetous, whom the LORD abhors.
4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God. God is not in all his thoughts.
5 His ways are always grievous. Your judgments are far above out of his sight. As for all his enemies, he puffs at them.
6 He has said in his heart, "I shall not be moved, for I shall never be in adversity."
7 His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud. Under his tongue is mischief and vanity.
8 He sits in the lurking places of the villages. In the secret places he murders the innocent. His eyes are secretly set against the poor.
9 He lies in wait secretly as a lion in his den. He lies in wait to catch the poor. He catches the poor when he draws him into his net.
10 He crouches and humbles himself so that the poor may fall by his strong ones.
11 He has said in his heart, "God has forgotten. He hides his face. He will never see it."
12 Arise, O LORD. O God, lift up your hand. Do not forget the humble.
13 Why does the wicked despise God? He has said in his heart, "You will not require it."
14 You have seen it, for you behold mischief and spite to requite it with your hand. The poor commits himself to you. You are the helper of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked and the evil man. Seek out his wickedness until you find none.
16 The LORD is King forever and ever. The heathen have perished out of his land.
17 LORD, you have heard the desire of the humble. You will prepare their heart and you will cause your ear to hear,
18 To judge the fatherless and the oppressed so that the man of the earth may no longer oppress.
John Calvin's Chapter Summary:
David here complains, in his own name, and in the name of all the godly, that fraud, extortion, cruelty, violence, and all kind of injustice, prevailed every where in the world; and the cause which he assigns for this is, that ungodly and wicked men, being intoxicated with their prosperity, have shaken off all fear of God, and think they may do whatever they please with impunity. Accordingly, he earnestly beseeches God to help him, and to remedy his desperate calamities. In the close, he comforts himself and the rest of the faithful with the hope of obtaining deliverance in due time. This description represents, as in a mirror, a lively image of a widely corrupt and disorganised state of society. When, therefore, we see iniquity breaking out like a flood, that the strangeness of such a temptation may not shake the faith of the children of God and cause them to fall into despair, let them learn to look into this mirror. It tends greatly to lighten grief, to consider that nothing befalls us at this day which the Church of God has not experienced in the days of old; yea, rather that we are just called to engage in the same conflicts with which David and the other holy patriarchs were exercised. Farther, the faithful are admonished to have recourse to God in such a confused state of things; for unless they are convinced that it belongs to God to succor them, and to remedy such a state of matters, they will gain nothing by indulging in confused murmurings, and rending the air with their cries and complaints.
[v.7] - Quoted in Romans 3:14.