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.”
This Psalm brings to the forefront the complete description of the unrighteous. At the start and conclusion the Psalmist brings forth the faithful’s petition before God. But in between is the behavior of the unfaithful. This is worth noting for many reasons since throughout the rejection of God is intertwined by the mistreatment of the “neighbor” (Matt 22:34-40). The Psalmist does not provide distinction between these two commandments and neither should the modern reader.
One cannot be the faithful who calls upon the Lord (v. 1) when he is crying out “there is no God” (v. 4). So how is one to determine what his heart is truly proclaiming? Inspect how they treat the poor (v. 2), proscribe their level of greed (v. 3) and analyze their pride (v. 4, 6). God rejects the proud (Prov 3:34; Jam 4:6; 1 Pet 5:5). True religion serves the needy (Jam 1:27). Those who refuse to bend to God’s law defy Him to move them.