Continuing my series of poems in response to The Psalms we come to Psalm 10. I mentioned in my last post that this is part of a sequence of four psalms from 9 through to 12, which strongly emphasise God’s promise to defend the poor and needy. Psalm 10 certainly continues that theme but is distinguished by its vivid portrait of the ‘ungodly’ who persecute or exploit the poor:
The ungodly for his own lust doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the crafty wiliness that they have imagined. For the ungodly hath made boast of his own heart’s desire: and speaketh good of the covetous, whom God abhorreth. The ungodly is so proud, that he careth not for God ; neither is God in all his thoughts. His ways are alway grievous: thy judgements are far above out of his sight, and therefore defieth he all his enemies. For he hath said in his heart, Tush, I shall never be cast down: there shall no harm happen unto me. His mouth is full of cursing, deceit, and fraud: under his tongue is ungodliness and vanity.
And this description of a character all too familiar in modern as well as ancient times, is followed by the great cry of the psalmist in verse 13
Arise, O Lord God, and lift up thine hand: forget not the poor.
This cry must surely rise to God from the lips of the poor today, and it certainly found its way into my poetic response to the psalm. As usual you can hear me read the poem by clicking on the title or the ‘play’ button. you can find the other poems in this series by entering ‘psalms’ into the search box on the right.
We sing with all the daughters of true Sion
But now our song must be a rebel song:
A song against the proud devouring lion,
A song that cries aloud, O Lord how long?
How long will you stand back and let them be
These vicious tricksters, thinking they’re so strong,
Who make a boast of their own vanity;
Self-serving ‘leaders’ feeding their desire
For self-aggrandisement, whose idiocy
Sickens the nations that they should inspire.
They care for nothing but themselves and say
That God will never see it. They retire
Onto their yachts and golf-courses, where they
Mock the very people they oppress. Arise
Arise my God, and give the poor their day!