Psalm 10:13 | The Teflon Man
DAVID GOFF | July 22, 2020
Why do the wicked renounce God?
He has said in his heart,
“You will not require an account.”
In the 1980s, there wasn’t a more ruthless, violent gangster to be found than John Gotti. Gotti, a long-time mobster, worked his way up to became the boss of the Gambino crime family operating out of Queens, New York. In that organization, he earned hundreds of millions of dollars each year by involvement in racketeering, gambling, drugs, and numerous other criminal activities.
Despite being indicted and going through three high-profile trials, Gotti was acquitted each time (often by jury tampering and witness intimidation). His unique ability to avoid criminal charges from sticking earned him the nickname, “Teflon Don.”
In a spiritual sense, we too can act as though we are the Teflon Man. We do so by believing we can partake in deceit, oppression, or other sins without accountability to God. When we embrace this falsehood, we become proud, oppressive of others, and dismissive of God’s coming judgment.
When we look at Psalm 10, however, we see the lies of the Teflon Man exposed. Yet, we also are reminded that one day the Lord will ensure “the man of the earth may oppress no more” (Psalm 10:18), providing us great hope in future justice.
Let’s now consider the two great lies of the wicked we see in our passage:
God doesn’t see what I’m doing
Throughout Psalm 10, we see David focus on the evil deeds and attitudes of the wicked who are all around him. As they live out their lives, they embrace a false idea that God doesn’t see what they are doing. In their heart, they believe that “God has forgotten; He hides His face; He will never see” (10:11).
This false idea leaves them empowered to do as they see fit: persecute the poor, boast, renounce the Lord, sneer at their enemies, speak cursing, deceit, and oppression, and take advantage of the innocent.
But is the Lord absent? Is He oblivious to man? In the book of Jeremiah, the word of the Lord tells us a different story:
For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity hidden from My eyes. (Jeremiah 16:17)
You see, God is omniscient, He knows our coming and going - and also our heart. There is no place where we can flee His presence.
Even though this Psalm’s directed towards the unbelieving wicked - this same naïve attitude can also creep into the lives of believers. We often carry on with our sin as though God is unaware, turning the grace of God into a mockery. The Bible says we are to “Be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am Holy.” We ought to prepare ourselves for the day when we will be in the presence of God himself.
God won’t hold me accountable
As David continues, he describes the wicked as believing they are above adversity and untouchable. In their heart, they say, “I shall not be moved” (10:6); and the Lord “will not require an account” (10:13) of the evil they have done.
Because they have gotten away with their sin for a season, they believe they are in the clear. VanGemeren, in his commentary on the Psalm, explains this same point:
“They mistake God’s patience with evil for God’s lack of interest in justice and the innocent victims of injustice. Their boldness grows as they no longer sense any accountability to God for their actions.”
Yet, the reality is God’s justice will reign, and all of humanity will be held accountable. David anticipates this and pleads to the Lord to “break the arm of the wicked and the evil man” (10:15) and to “do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed” (10:18). What a day that will be when all the humble rejoice and the wicked are held accountable!
Lord, we praise you for who you are. We are thankful that you are omniscient and watching over all things. Please remind us that nothing is hidden from you. We are grateful that you watch over the innocent and will not forget about the humble.
Today we ask that your Spirit would guide us and protect us from living as though you are not here. Instead, I pray that we would live lives that are joyfully accountable to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
David Goff is the Associate Pastor of First Baptist Church, Washington MI