What does Psalm 10:14 mean?
ESV: 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.
NIV: But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.
NASB: You have seen it, for You have looked at harm and provocation to take it into Your hand. The unfortunate commits himself to You; You have been the helper of the orphan.
CSB: But you yourself have seen trouble and grief, observing it in order to take the matter into your hands. The helpless one entrusts himself to you; you are a helper of the fatherless.
NLT: But you see the trouble and grief they cause. You take note of it and punish them. The helpless put their trust in you. You defend the orphans.
KJV: Thou hast seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to requite it with thy hand: the poor committeth himself unto thee; thou art the helper of the fatherless.
NKJV: But You have seen, for You observe trouble and grief, To repay it by Your hand. The helpless commits himself to You; You are the helper of the fatherless.
Verse Commentary:
This offers a rebuttal to the wicked person who claims God does not see his deeds. That arrogance might come from the assumption God does not exist (Psalm 10:4) or that He is disinterested (Psalm 10:11). David insists that God does see (Psalm 33:13); He grasps every detail of the trouble and grief the wicked inflict on the helpless. The two Hebrew words translated as "mischief and vexation" combine to cover both physical and emotional suffering. God is not only aware of what evil people do; He also knows the anguish it causes.

Despite an evil person's arrogance, God has the situation under control (Job 42:2). Those who are helpless may trust in Him. In his first epistle to persecuted and exiled Jewish Christians, Peter encourages his readers to cast all their anxieties on God, because He cares for them (1 Peter 5:7). In Romans 8, the apostle Paul assures believers that nothing can separate them from God's love revealed in Christ Jesus. They can depend on the truth that "for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according his purpose" (Romans 8:28).

In the ancient era, orphaned children were arguably the weakest, most vulnerable members of society. Also in a difficult position were widows. Speaking of God as one who actively helps the "fatherless" refers to His immense love and care for even the "least" of mankind. The apostle James encourages his readers to practice true religion by "visit[ing] orphans and widows in their affliction" (James 1:27).
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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