The Psalms, besides being a collection of poetry and music; prayers and praises, it also contains an amazing amount of data on life and those who live it. Psalm 10 is a treasure of the Psalter because it contains such a cache. Here we find a description of the wicked man. He shows up so often in the Psalms that a good working definition is needed. David and the other psalmists will add to this list as we proceed through the psalter. However, before going any further David lays out for us a basic definition communicated by fourteen characteristics. Here they are:
- The wicked boast over their soul’s desire. (10:3)
- The wicked blesses the one who gains by violence. (10:3)
- The wicked does not seek nor include God in any of his plans. (10:4)
- The wicked’s ways are prosperous. (10:5)
- The wicked can not discern God’s judgments. (10:5)
- The wicked puffs at all of his enemies. (10:5)
- The wicked says, “I will never be moved; there will never be any evil to me.” (10:6)
- The wicked’s mouth is filled with curses, treacheries, oppression, mischief, and wickedness. (10:7)
- The wicked kills the innocent. (10:8)
- The wicked ambush the poor. (10:9)
- The wicked attract others to his ways/cause. (10:10)
- The wicked says, “God has forgotten; He has hidden his face and doesn’t see.” (10:11)
- The wicked condemn God. (10:13)
- The wicked says of God, “He does not search it out.” (10:13)
Pride, arrogance, and self-assuredness are just a few of the heart maladies that plague the wicked man. Murder, license, party spirit, and foolishness also quickly rise to the top or sink to the bottom. All of these do not have to be in place for us to identify wickedness. Any one or combination thereof is all that is necessary for the label of “Wicked” to be applied.
This is, of course, our legacy. The legacy of inherited and actual sin. How many times have we not included God in our plans? How many times have our lips uttered the words, “God must not see” when we’ve been disappointed? How many times have we blessed the person who gains by violence? If we look close enough we’ll see ourselves here.
Join me and consider. Cry out. And repent.