What does Psalm 10:4 mean?
ESV: In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, “There is no God.”
NIV: In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
NASB: The wicked, in his haughtiness, does not seek Him. There is no God in all his schemes.
CSB: In all his scheming, the wicked person arrogantly thinks, "There's no accountability, since there's no God."
NLT: The wicked are too proud to seek God. They seem to think that God is dead.
KJV: The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
NKJV: The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts.
Verse Commentary:
The wicked person David describes (Psalm 10:3) is too proud to admit that God exists. He believes he has no need of God. He even denies God's existence. Of course, if a person denies the existence of God, he disregards the sanctity of human life. Because he thinks there is no Creator, he sees no reason to value human life. Therefore, in part, such a person is willing to prey on the poor and the weak for their own gain (Psalm 10:2).

The phrase, "In the pride of his face," is similar to the common English expression "turns up his nose." The wicked person sneers at the idea of God, like an arrogant person wrinkling up their nose, closing their eyes, and looking away. Such a person reflects the attitude of Lucifer, the Devil, who tried unsuccessfully to usurp God's throne. The wicked person places himself on the throne.

Many who deny God's existence are successful and intelligent. Nevertheless, by declaring, "There is no God," the wicked person takes a position which is inherently foolish. Psalm 14:1 says, "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.'" The same verse indicts atheistic fools as corrupt workers of abominable deeds. Later in this same psalm, however, the wicked person will imply that God forgets or does not notice their sin (Psalm 10:11). Those who reject God often waver between outright atheism and remaking Him according to their own preferences.
Verse Context:
Psalm 10:1–11 asks why God seems to ignore the character and deeds of wicked people. The wicked are described as haughty oppressors of the poor and helpless. They are arrogant, greedy, insulters of God. They don't believe He exists, so they feel free to take advantage of poor and helpless victims.
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.
Accessed 5/20/2024 11:19:25 AM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.