Pastor James J. Barker

Text: PSALMS 10


  1. Psalm 9 and Psalm 10 are closely linked together. They both speak of God’s judgment upon the wicked (cf. 9:15-20).
  2. One of the great questions of life is, "Why do the righteous suffer while the wicked appear to be getting away with their sin?"
  3. Many of us at one time or another have felt like the Psalmist (probably David, cf. 9:1), when he cried out to God: "Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? Why hidest thou Thyself in times of trouble?" (Ps.10:1).
  4. Here the Psalmist is wrestling with the perennial problem of the apparent prosperity of the wicked, and the apparent indifference of God.
  5. This psalm is a heart cry for God to intervene, to deliver His people, and to judge the wicked. God does hear the prayers of His people and God does intervene.
  6. So while the psalm opens with a complaint, it closes in confidence (10:16-18).
  7. This psalm describes the characteristics of the wicked from wicked Cain, who the apostle John says "was of that wicked one, and slew his brother" (I John 3:12) all the way to the antichrist, referred to by the apostle Paul as "that Wicked (one)" (II Thess.2:8). In fact, many Bible teachers see Psalm 10 as a prophetic picture of the coming antichrist.
  8. I want for us to concentrate on three characteristics of the wicked, as described here in Psalm 10:



    1. The Psalmist asks the Lord to deliver His people from the wicked and says "let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined" (10:2). We see this over and over in the Bible. Haman was hanged on his own gallows. Daniel’s enemies were cast into their own lions’ den. They were "taken in the devices that they have imagined."
    2. Hamlet said, "For ‘tis sport to have the engineer hoist with his own petard," i.e. blown up with his own bomb. By the way, some of you might remember that this happened quite frequently back in the 1960’s – communist radicals were frequently blown up while making bombs.
    3. God knows how to take care of the wicked who boast of their "heart’s desire" (10:3). The great preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon, wrote: "Bragging sinners are the worst and most contemptible of men."
    4. Their "heart’s desire" is for things forbidden by God and things that are destructive to the soul but the wicked do not care. Their pride has blinded them to where they cannot tell right from wrong.
    5. They "bless the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth" (10:3b). The wicked honor men according to their wealth rather than their character.
    6. Spurgeon said: "The only sinners who are received as respectable are covetous men. If a man is a fornicator, or a drunkard, we put him out of the church; but who ever read of church discipline against that idolatrous wretch, -- the covetous man?"
    7. Oftentimes you can tell if a person is proud by his haughty countenance (10:4). Proud hearts breed proud looks. Some sinners have a perpetual sneer on their face. I see quite a few of them when I am out knocking on doors.
    8. And when anyone tries to tell them what they do not want to hear (especially the Gospel), they "puffeth at them" (10:5b).
    9. I even see these proud looks when I’m preaching – some people give me mean glances when I am preaching. The LORD told the prophet Jeremiah, "Be not afraid of their faces" (Jer.1:8).
    10. Oftentimes you can tell the difference between a humble man and a proud man just by looking in their eyes. A friend once recommended that President Abraham Lincoln appoint a certain man to an important position. Lincoln said: "I do not like his face." The friend who recommended this man protested by saying, "He’s not responsible for his face!" President Lincoln said: "Every man over 40 is responsible for his face."



    1. If there was just one Scripture I could use to describe the average American, it is this: "God is not in all his thoughts" (10:4).
    2. Do you think God is in his thoughts when he is surveyed in one of these ridiculous polls that we hear so much about?
    3. Do you think God is in his thoughts when he sleeps in on Sunday instead of getting up and going to Sunday School?
    4. No – God is left out altogether. People get up, go to work, make money, eat, sleep, and do a thousand other things without stopping for a moment to pray.
    5. Or read the Bible.
    6. Or go to church.
    7. To the average person today, God is irrelevant and unnecessary. People today act as if God does not even exist. And when someone tries to warn them that they need to get right with God, they are attacked as "intolerant," or "narrow-minded," or "unloving," etc. I say this with a broken heart – America truly is a heathen country, a country ripe for the judgment of God.
    8. In his pride and self-sufficiency, the modern man has no sense of his need for God. His heart is cold. His neck is stiff. And his mind is blinded by the devil. He is deceived, as Paul says – "deceiving, and being deceived" (II Tim.3:13).
    9. The unsaved like to comfort themselves with the idea that God has forgotten all of their wicked deeds (10:11). If there is someone here this morning with this foolish notion – you are seriously mistaken. God has not forgotten, He does not "hide His face," and He sees everything that goes on (10:11).
    10. God is omniscient – He knows everything about you, everything about me, and everything about everything.
    11. The wicked regard God with contempt. That is what "contemn" means (10:13). The wicked spurn God; they despise Him because they do not believe He will judge their sin.
    12. The popular philosophy today is "Do your own thing…Whatever makes you happy…Don’t be judgmental…Live it up!" This "anything goes" philosophy has just about destroyed our nation. People will accept just about anything – homosexuality, abortion, socialism, gun control, corrupt politicians, euthanasia, you name it – AS LONG AS THEY ARE MAKING LOTS OF MONEY.
    13. And if anybody dares to say, "What about God" he is in trouble, because people don’t want to hear about it.
    14. They refuse to accept what the Bible teaches about judgment. They scoff at hell and say, "Thou wilt not require it" (10:13).
    15. But God will require it (cf. 10:14; 9:17,19).



    1. When I was a teenager I had a friend who was always beat-up. His ways were "always grievous." One more wrecked car, another black eye, fired from another job, thrown in jail once again – his ways were "always grievous."
    2. God’s "judgments are far above out of his sight" (10:5). The wicked man is oblivious to the judgment of God, like a drunken man stumbling in front of a speeding car.
    3. Because of their arrogance and pride, they believe they "shall never be in adversity" (10:6). The wicked feel secure in their sin. They have (seemingly) gotten away with it for a long time and so they are bold.
    4. Puny little man thinks he is omnipotent. He wants to remove God from His throne and replace Him. But "the LORD is King for ever and ever" (10:16).
    5. "His mouth is full of cursing…" (10:7). Today we are bombarded with filthy cursing, profanity, taking God’s name in vain, etc. The apostle Paul quoted this Scripture in Romans 3:14, "Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness."
    6. "His ways are always grievous" – cursing, deceit, fraud, mischief, vanity (10:7), murder, treachery, villainy – these are the characteristics of the wicked (10:8-10).


  1. Dr. Walter Wilson was a physician as well as a great Bible preacher. He had a friend who wanted to hold tent meetings in a certain city. I have been particularly interested in stories about tents.
  2. It turns out there was only one vacant lot available and the owner was a staunch unbeliever (10:4). And so he turned the preacher down. But the preacher was a clever man and knew how to change his mind: MONEY (10:3).
  3. It worked. The unbeliever agreed to rent out his lot to the church and soon they had a tent up and were holding meetings.
  4. The pastor invited Dr. Wilson to come and preach and lo and behold, who should appear but the man who owned the lot. He enjoyed the service and so he came back, and came again.
  5. Finally, it was the last night of the meetings. Dr. Wilson preached that if unbelievers determine in their heart to go along without God, then God will bind them to that decision.
  6. And if men prefer to live in sin rather than be made righteous, then God will force them to continue in that path throughout eternity.
  7. Dr. Wilson concluded his message and gave an invitation. The man who owned the lot was the first to come forward. He shook the preacher’s hand and said that he had received Jesus Christ as his Saviour. He said: "I realize that my unbelief has gotten me nowhere and has brought me no blessing whatever."
  8. Perhaps there is someone here today like that man. You have never been saved. Your unbelief has gotten you nowhere. You need to trust the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour.

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