How to Not Seek God

The wicked does not seek him
— Psalm 10:4

The fact that "the wicked does not seek God" hardly comes as a surprise.  However, it's helpful once in a while to become a student of those you DON'T want to emulate.  Today we'll glean two lessons from the "wicked" person who does not seek God.

1)  Pride is foolish: even the wicked can't stop thinking about God.
In Psalm 10, the wicked person is far from idle.  He is devoting significant amounts of time and energy to ensnaring and exploiting vulnerable people (vv. 8-10) and making outrageous boasts about how he himself will never face adversity (v. 6).  But even in the midst of living out such evil, he can't seem to shake God from his thoughts.  Verse four says, "In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, ‘There is no God’".  For someone who isn't seeking God, the wicked person sure gives a lot of head and heart space to the Almighty. If God were of no consequence, there would be no compulsion to constantly suppress Him! The wicked man's pride keeps him from seeking God, but ironically, his desire to deny God only turns his thoughts toward God more. Such is the concerted folly of trying to minimize the limitless One. Has your pride caused you to waste energy denying God instead of gaining strength as you depend upon Him? Are you foolishly on the run from God today?

2)  Grammar check: lying is the language of the wicked.
The Psalmist asks the hard but honest question at the beginning of Psalm 10, "O Lord, why do you stand far away?  Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?" (v1. ). The Psalmist is seeking God even when He is tough to be found and evil seems to prosper.  Indeed, the Psalms are full of both honest questions and honest declarations all throughout the Psalter. And such honest seeking is soon rewarded with right perspective and fresh illumination! In contrast, the wicked person can't rub two honest sentences together. He curses and renounces the Lord (v. 3).  "His mouth is filled with cursing and deceit and oppression; under his tongue are mischief and iniquity" (v. 7).  He says of himself, "I shall not be moved" (v. 6) and of God, "You will not call into account" (v. 13).  He utters still more blasphemies in his heart saying, "God has forgotten, he has hidden his face, he will never see it" (v. 11).  Has dishonesty, in any form, found a cozy place in your prayers, too? While maybe not full-blown cursing or blasphemy, have deceit and impotent views of Christ put a chill on the fire of your prayers?

Dear Lord, I regard the relationship I have with You to be of utmost worth. There is nothing in heaven or earth that compares with belonging to You. I love You. Forgive me of my foolish pride that puts a chokehold on Your Spirit's breath in me and may I be 100% sober about the futility of denying Your surpassing greatness. Forgive me also for failing to be truly honest with You in my prayers, and cleanse both my internal and external speech from such wicked language. Instead, may we speak the truth in love to one another! Speak O Lord, for Your servant is listening.

Clay Cromer
Ministry Director at Christian Union Lux (Yale University)

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