What does Psalm chapter 10 mean?It's possible Psalm 10 was composed simultaneously with Psalm 9. It continues the acrostic pattern, starting each stanza with a successive Hebrew letter. It uses phrases and themes seen in Psalm 9. However, Psalm 10 does not have the same musical notations as Psalm 9. Whether they were meant to be sung together, or are entirely separate, the two passages approach those themes differently.
The opening line of Psalm 10 reflects the natural frustration we feel in the face of evil. In our limited understanding, we cannot grasp why God is not intervening right here, right now, and in exactly the way we'd prefer. As with other Old Testament passages, the psalmist later returns to the idea of God's established faithfulness, but the initial cry of his heart is one of a disturbed spirit (Psalm 10:1).
Evil people seem to experience success, at least from a worldly perspective. They actively seek out those who are poor, helpless, or weak to take advantage of them. Rather than being ashamed of such actions, the wicked brag about them. Not only do such people ignore God's will, but they also try to brush Him aside as if He simply does not exist. Because of material success, these evil people assume there will never be any consequences for their actions, at all (Psalm 10:2–7).
David's depiction of the wicked here is one of predators. These evil people go to great lengths to target unsuspecting and vulnerable people. The same person who might claim God does not exist is also prone to sneer at the idea that God will know or care about their sin (Psalm 10:8–11).
Finished with his complaint about the presence of evil people, David prays for God to intervene. He is astonished that some people turn from God and assume He will not judge them for their sins. In contrast, the Lord is aware of the needs of weak and helpless people. For that reason, David calls on God to disrupt the power of these wicked people, scouring and judging their lives until every bit of sin has been found out (Psalm 10:12–15).
The song ends with praise for the Lord and reassurance of His ultimate victory. Though the passage began with a sense of frustration and anguish, it ends with a hopeful, faithful tone. What God has accomplished for His people produces confidence: a trust that He will hear and act according to His perfect goodness (Psalm 10:16–18).