Bible Studies for Life Sunday School Lesson for January 21

Here's the Bible Studies for Life Sunday School Lesson for January 21 written by Rony Kozman, assistant professor of Biblical Studies at Samford University in Birmingham.

Bible Studies for Life Sunday School Lesson for January 21

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By Rony Kozman, Ph.D.
Assistant professor of Biblical Studies, Samford University

A Cry for Justice

Psalm 10:1–4, 12–18

Sometimes it seems that injustice reigns. (1–4)

In this psalm, the psalmist is concerned with the injustice that is done to the lowly and to the weak. The psalmist is troubled that the wicked are oppressing the weak, the poor and the needy. 

We read that the wicked “persecute the poor” (v. 2); “their mouths are filled with cursing and deceit and oppression” (v. 7); “they murder the innocent” (v. 8); like a predator they “watch for the helpless … that they may seize the poor” (vv. 8–9).

The psalmist is disturbed in their quest to satisfy “the desires of their heart” (v. 3), the wicked seem to prosper while they perpetrate injustice (v. 5). 

While unjustly amassing gain for themselves, the wicked think they will get away with their injustice. They say to themselves that “God will not seek it out” (v. 4). God’s judgments are, to them “out of their sight” and they think they will not be punished (vv. 5–6). 

The wicked think “God has forgotten” their injustice, that He will never find out about what they have done (v. 11) and that God “will not call [them] to account” (v. 13). They think they will get away. 

The humble look to God for justice. (12–15)

But the psalmist knows injustice will only be here for a limited time. The psalmist pleads to God and asks Him why He is not intervening. 

Why does He “stand far off” and not come to the aid of the poor? (v. 1) In fact, the entire psalm, including this question, is the psalmist’s appeal to God that God would intervene and make things right. 

The psalmist appeals to God to “rise up … lift up your hand; do not forget the oppressed” (v. 12). And he pleads that God destroy the wicked who oppress the weak. 

And he pleads that God would rid the earth of injustice (vv. 15–16). 

The helpless along with the psalmist “commit themselves to [God],” trusting He will come to their aid (v. 14).

God will overthrow injustice. (16–18)

As much as the psalmist is distraught by the prosperity of the wicked at the expense of the weak and pleads for God to intervene, the psalmist also expresses trust and hope that God will intervene and make all things right. 

Whereas the wicked claimed God “will never see” their injustice (v. 11), the psalmist confesses, “But you do see! Indeed, you note trouble and grief” (v. 14). 

And because God sees the injustice done to the orphan and to the oppressed, God is their “helper,” and He will “do justice for” them (vv. 14, 18). 

And the result is that in the future when God intervenes, when He rescues the weak and destroys the wicked, there will be no more terror and injustice in the earth (v. 18).