The Daily Office: Day 18- Arise, O Lord
Silence for 2-5 minutes:
If your mind wanders, silently pray a simple prayer again and again, such as, "I surrender to your love" or "Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me" until the Holy Spirit gives you a sense of peace and focus.
1 Why, O Lord, do you stand far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
2 In arrogance the wicked hotly pursue the poor; let them be caught in the schemes that they have devised. 3 For the wicked boasts of the desires of his soul, and the one greedy for gain curses and renounces the Lord. 4 In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, "There is no God." 5 His ways prosper at all times; your judgments are on high, out of his sight; as for all his foes, he puffs at them. 6 He says in his heart, "I shall not be moved; throughout all generations I shall not meet adversity." 7 His mouth is filled with cursing and deceit and oppression; under his tongue are mischief and iniquity. 8 He sits in ambush in the villages; in hiding places he murders the innocent. His eyes stealthily watch for the helpless; 9 he lurks in ambush like a lion in his thicket; he lurks that he may seize the poor; he seizes the poor when he draws him into his net. 10 The helpless are crushed, sink down, and fall by his might. 11 He says in his heart, "God has forgotten, he has hidden his face, he will never see it."
12 Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand; forget not the afflicted. 13 Why does the wicked renounce God and say in his heart, "You will not call to account"? 14 But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation, that you may take it into your hands; to you the helpless commits himself; you have been the helper of the fatherless. 15 Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer; call his wickedness to account till you find none.
16 The Lord is king forever and ever; the nations perish from his land. 17 O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear 18 to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.
"Even hell is good news because it means someone is paying attention." -T.S. Elliot
Psalm 10 is a plea for God to arise, act, and bring justice to our troubled world. God can seem afar off as we look at the prosperity and cunning of the wicked. The arrogant man lives as if there is no God and no accountability to God. The evil man crushes the poor and murders the innocent. Where is God amid this chaotic evil? Why doesn't He do more? Are you paying attention God? Arise O Lord, and help us!
Verse 12 of the Psalm reminds me of the Lord's prayer, where we cry out, "Let your kingdom come and let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." God arises in His kingdom people to battle and stands against the evil that is so vividly depicted in this passage.
The kingdom of God comes whenever we pray in power for the needs of others. The kingdom is displayed through the feeding of the poor, ministry to the widow and visitation of the prisoner. The kingdom emanates through the countless acts of love motivated by our God, who is love itself. The children of light, stand in stark contrast to those in darkness. We are not hidden but shine as a city on a hill.
Indeed, God does arise and acts through His people every day. He is paying attention.
How will God arise in you today to bring His kingdom reign to a hurting world?
Lord, I cannot blame you for the actions of evil men. I can, however, live in your kingdom as a child of light. This calling is the true vocation and mission of your people. Arise, O Lord and live through me! Amen