What does Psalm 10:13 mean?
ESV: Why does the wicked renounce God and say in his heart, “You will not call to account”?
NIV: Why does the wicked man revile God? Why does he say to himself, 'He won't call me to account'?
NASB: Why has the wicked treated God disrespectfully? He has said to himself, 'You will not require an account.'
CSB: Why has the wicked person despised God? He says to himself, "You will not demand an account."
NLT: Why do the wicked get away with despising God? They think, 'God will never call us to account.'
KJV: Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? he hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it.
NKJV: Why do the wicked renounce God? He has said in his heart, “You will not require an account.
Verse Commentary:
Those who understand God's goodness (Psalm 9:1–2) and His justice (Psalm 9:7–8) sometimes struggle to understand why others are so committed to opposing the Lord. Here, David questions why wicked people "renounce" God, using a Hebrew term which implies despising, blaspheming, and contempt (Psalm 10:3). These evil ones don't just decline to honor God, they hate Him. At the same time, they refuse to consider that He will hold them accountable for their sin (Psalm 10:11).

Of course, such reasoning on the part of the wicked is unfounded. God does see sin, and He judges it (Hebrews 4:13). In Numbers 32:23 the Lord announces, "Be sure your sin will find you out." Work pays wages, and in the same way sin brings consequences. Romans 6:23 states, "For the wages of sin is death."

Death because of sin comes in three ways. Ephesians 2:1–2 reflects on the believers' past life, stating, "And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked." Spiritual death is separation from God in this life. Secondly, physical death is also part of sin's wages. Hebrews 9:27 says "it is appointed for man to die once." This death separates the body from the soul. Finally, there is eternal death: separation from God forever in the lake of fire. Revelation 20:14 calls this death, "the second death." Sin never pays less than what sinners deserve.
Verse Context:
Psalm 10:12–18 closes the song by asking God to avenge those harmed by wicked men. David trusts the Lord to hear the cry of the afflicted and end the persecution brought on by the wicked. These closing verses resemble the divine judgment Asaph predicted in Psalm 73:18–20, 27.
Chapter Summary:
This song opens with a common question humanity asks in hard times: "where are you, God?" There follows a description of wicked people and their deeds and motives. Evil people feel free to be depraved and arrogant, assuming there is no God to judge them. Like predators, these wicked people ambush helpless people. Despite their wrong assumptions, God keeps His promises. He will judge the wicked and defend His people. Helpless people can trust God to make matters right. Someday, He will rid the earth of all sin and suffering. His justice will prevail, and His people will never again experience persecution.
Chapter Context:
According to some scholars, Psalms 9 and 10 might have been composed together, possibly even as one psalm. No title is affixed to Psalm 10, and it seems to continue the acrostic pattern of Psalm 9, starting each section with a successive letter from the Hebrew alphabet. The Septuagint and the Vulgate place the two psalms as one. However, the mood shifts from one psalm to the other. Psalm 9 focuses on judgment to come; Psalm 10 focuses on the presence of widespread injustice. Whether literally composed together, or separately, they deal with related issues using profoundly different tones.
Book Summary:
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
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