In our last message, prophecy part 136, we were considering  Romans 1:20 as we finished.  Today we will examine Romans 1:21 and Psalm 10, prophecy 137, and then move back into the book of Revelation and the end times.

Last time we considered God — the only living and true God.  We saw His wrath because men reject the signs of creation, which reveal God.  Why do men reject the Biblical truth concerning creation?  Because creation reveals the true and living God and mankind wants nothing to do with God.  They consider what the Bible says about God is too restricting.  Man wants his freedom to live and do as he desires, not as God directs.

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man — and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things” (Romans 1:20-23, NKJV).

So, we are again considering man’s sin against God to help us understand the end time and God’s wrath.  The only true and living God shows wrath because men do not honor Him nor give Him thanks.

NOTE:  Paul shifted to the past tense in Romans 1:21. He was speaking of what men had done in the past; and of course, men still do the same today.  Two serious charges are made against men.  Men can clearly know God both…

  • within themselves, in their own thoughts, reasonings, and consciences.
  • outside themselves, in creation and nature, in the earth and outer space.

Man can know that God gives them life and cares and provides for them, and that God runs everything in an orderly and lawful way, giving purpose and meaning to life.  Men can see that God is great and good; therefore, God deserves to be glorified and given thanks.  But men…

  • do not glorify Him, do not worship, obey, or serve Him as God.
  • men do not give thanks to Him, do not praise, magnify, or express appreciation to Him.

What happens when men reject God is tragic.  Two severe things happen when men push God out of their minds, hearts and lives.

1. Men’s imaginations become vain (Romans 1:21-32).

  • The word “imaginations” means thoughts, reasonings, deliberations, conclusions, and speculations.
  • The word vain means, empty, futile, unsuccessful, senseless, and worthless.
  • When men push God out of their lives and minds, their minds are void and empty of God.  God is not in their thoughts.  It is easy to see why the wrath of God is so rough in the end times when you consider the following.   Remember, the unsaved are rebelling against God and everything about Him.

“For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire; He blesses the greedy and renounces the LORD.  The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in NONE of his thoughts”(Psalm 10:3-4, NKJV).

2. The wicked have inflated opinions of themselves, and they do whatever is necessary to satisfy themselves at the expense of others. Plotting and scheming to find ways to exploit other people, they especially prey on those who are weaker than they, those who do not have the resources to defend themselves.  David prayed that the wicked would be caught in their own schemes, that the evil they planned for others would come upon them. (Psalm 10:2).

So, we see that the wicked brag about their lustful cravings; they praise the greedy and denounce the LORD (Psalm 10:3-4).

People who exploit others are often proud of their selfish, sinful desires, and shamelessly boast of their wicked deeds.  They admire and look up to those whose hearts are greedy, just like theirs.

They salute and study the ways of those who are most successful in taking what belongs to others for themselves.  They glory in the very activities the LORD deeply despises. Remember, in the end times Christians will be running for their lives. As they are running for their lives, they will be easy targets for the lost to take their belongings.

NOTE:  The lost, wicked folks are prideful and do not seek the LORD:  They give no thought or consideration to the only true God (Psalm 10:4). 

Pride is not only exalting self above God and His commands, it is also completely ignoring God and  acting as if He does not exist.  However, every person knows within himself or herself that there is a God (Romans 1:19).

3. According to the Bible, an honest atheist does not exist.  Every individual who denies the existence of God lies against what God has revealed to him, deep within.

NOTE:  The sin of the wicked [unsaved] is that they do not respond to that regulation (God’s oversight); they do not seek to know the God who has been revealed within the inner recesses of their hearts.  There is no room for God in their lives.  As a result, they reach the full potential of their sinfulness.  They become wicked abusers of others. 

NOTE:  Romans chapter one explains their dive into depravity; you might want to examine that chapter in great detail.

According to Psalm 10:5, the wicked [unsaved] seem to succeed despite being haughty and disobeying God’s commandments; they sneer at anyone who gets in their way.  The point of the verse is this:  the wicked man is firm in his pride and disregard for God and His commands.  THY JUDGMENTS (MISHPAT) may refer to God’s divine laws that govern the human race, which are overlooked by the unsaved.  Or it may refer to God’s justice upon the wicked man, which he seemingly never sees.  It appears that he continues unchecked in his evil ways and sneers in contempt upon all who try to stand up to him. (The Preacher’s Outline & Sermon Bible, Psalms 10, page 93-95).

  • The wicked are self-sufficient; they feel happy and secure as though they will be forever trouble-free (v. 6).   The wicked are confident in their continued success.  They are convinced that they cannot be stopped or brought down.  “In his prosperity the wicked man presumptuously takes to himself the privileges of the righteous.”  God has promised that they (the righteous) will not be moved (Psalm 15:5; 16:8; 21:7; 62:2; 112:6); Frank E. Gaebelein.  Expositor’s Bible Commentary., p. 127.

The point is that the wicked are snared by a false sense of security, which is another manifestation of their pride.

  • The wicked have mouths that are full of cursing, lies, and threats — that plot trouble and evil (Psalm 10:7).  The blackness of the wicked man’s heart spews out of his mouth (Luke 6:45).

There are five evils that he arrogantly and contemptuously voices that are listed:

  1. Cursing (alah) — he swears oaths or makes promises he has no intention of keeping.
  2. Deceit (mirmah) – craftiness, guile, treachery; this is the word used of Jacob’s swindling of his brother (Genesis 27:35), and of the Antichrist’s dishonest dealings (Daniel   8:25; 11:23).
  3. Fraud (toke) – threats and intimidation used to force others to give him his way; oppression.
  4. Mischief (amal) – trouble and grievous toil directed at others.
  5. Vanity or evil (aven) – deceptive speaking which leads to sorrow. (R. Laird Harris, ed. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. WORD Search CROSS e-book.
  • The wicked are lawless (vv. 8-10).  David used two familiar images to depict the threat of evildoers.

First, they are like a lion waiting to pounce upon its prey (vv. 8-9a). They sit in the shadows where they wait to seize innocent victims in their mighty jaws and drag them back to their dens where they will secretly devour them.  Spying on the helpless from behind bushes, they patiently wait until they are most vulnerable to attack.

Second, the unsaved men are like hunters (v. 9b).  They spread their nets, bait them, disguise them, and wait for the innocent to fall into them.

Note Satan’s secret actions:

  • Picture all the dishonest financial schemes directed toward the naïve, greedy, and desperate in our world today.
  • Picture the attempts of the substance industries – tobacco, alcohol, illegal drug dealing – to trap people by causing them to become addicted to their harmful products.
  • Picture the pornography and sex industries, which prey upon sinful lust and upon those involved in unfulfilling relationships.
  • Picture the deception of materialism and the advertising industry.  Again, and again, the weak fall into their traps (v.10).
  • The wicked think that God will overlook their sin – that God will not hold them accountable (v. 11). 

Satan is the master of deception and, like the naïve who fall for the wicked man’s schemes, the wicked man himself has fallen into Satan’s snare. Because he does not experience immediate retribution, the sinful man thinks that God has overlooked his evil deeds and is not going to hold him accountable.  “He mistakes God’s patience with evil for God’s lack of interest in justice and the innocent victims.” (Frank E. Gaebelein, Expositor’s Bible Commentary, pg. 127).

God’s warnings of judgment are meaningless to him because they are not instantly carried out.  This was the trick Satan used against Eve:  he tempted her to ignore God’s threat of judgment (Genesis 3:3-4).

Further, the wicked man thinks he can conceal his evil deeds from God, that God will not see him.  So evil men proudly overlook God’s omniscience and the fact that He sees and knows all (Proverbs 15:3; Job 34:21; Jeremiah 16:17).

NOTE:  Pride is prone to rear its ugly head even within the hearts of believers.  Sinful attitudes that characterize those who have plunged into the depths of wickedness can creep into the lives of believers as well.  Look into the mirror of this passage and see if your reflection appears in any of these verses (James 1:23-25).  Examine yourself for…

  • selfishness
  • arrogance
  • a sense of superiority over others
  • taking advantage of others
  • boasting of things that displease the LORD
  • admiring celebrities or the rich who have prospered through sinful means
  • ignoring the presence of God
  • acting as if God does not see you
  • a false sense of security
  • deceptive, dishonest speech
  • believing you will get by with sin

(James 1:23-25; Psalm 94:7; Proverbs 16:18; Ecclesiastes 8:11).

  • The answer to the trouble and evil on earth (Psalm 10:12-18). 

It is easy and very natural for us as believers to become frustrated at the success of evildoers and the plight of the oppressed.  What are we to do?  How can we handle the frustration of the unanswered question of God’s silence and delayed justice?  Thinking about the following helps.

 Call on God (Psalm 10:12).

NOTE: David abruptly transitioned from discussing the ways of the wicked to directly addressing God.  

  1. He called upon the LORD to intervene immediately, to stop the wicked in their tracks, and to liberate the persecuted from their bondage.
  2. He cried out for God to arise, to no longer sit passively by, but to spring to action.
  3. He asked the LORD to lift up [His] hand against the wicked.
  4. This means to challenge or mount an opposition against the workers of evil.

Commentator H.C. Leupold views it as a hand of punishment. “Lift up Thy hand involves the thought that He should bring it down with a stroke of punishment” (H.C. LEPOLD.  EXPOSITION OF PSALMS, P. 122).

  1. David called upon the LORD to give His attention to the HUMBLE, those who are depressed and beaten down from abuse and mistreatment. The just God must not be oblivious to their condition (vs. 12).

In our next study we will continue with Psalm 10:13-18 and our consideration of David’s solutions for the evil workers.

However, if you have been following our study of Prophecy and do not yet know Jesus as your personal Savior, please consider the following.

You must truthfully consider salvation and want to be saved and be right with God—whatever the cost or consequences.  Further, if God has shown you your need, and you really do want to be saved, then you must turn in repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

  • You must repent:   This means a complete change regarding sin.  There must be a change of mind.  You must admit that you are a sinner, a rebel against a holy and loving God.  There must be a change of heart — genuine sorrow and shame at the vileness and filthiness of your sin.

Then you must be willing to forsake sin and change the direction of your life.  God challenges people to do works for repentance.  You must do this.  God will not forgive any sin you are not willing to forsake.  To repent is to go in a new direction, seeking whole-heartedly to live in a way that pleases God.

Please read John 3:16 and Romans 10:9-13 and follow the principles found therein.  More about salvation in our next study.

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