“In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, ‘There is no God.’ His ways prosper at all times; your judgments are on high, out of his sight; as for all his foes, he puffs at them. He says in his heart, ‘I shall not be moved; throughout all generations I shall not meet adversity’ ” (Psalm 10:4–6).
THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO DISREGARD GOD. In addition to the obvious atheism of denying that God exists, there are many other varieties of atheism. In fact, millions of religious people are guilty of the kind of attitude reflected in Psalm 10 (and Psalm 14). They say they believe, but their lives are independent of Him. In my opinion, there is no worse sin than this “pious atheism.” It is at the heart of many other sins, and it is the soul-cancer eating away inwardly at so many “good” people who are living “well-adjusted” lives in one of the advanced nations of the world.
“In the pride of his face” (v.4). It is nothing but arrogant to think that because we prosper, our self-management must be working well for us. And Christ’s letter to Laodicea (Revelation 3:14–22) shows just how deluded Christians themselves can be about this.
“I shall not be moved . . . I shall not meet adversity” (v.6). If we’ve shoved God out of the way and gotten away with it, we may think we’re bullet-proof. But “I shall not be moved” is a poor prophecy.
“God has forgotten, he has hidden his face, he will never see it” (v.11). We figure we can squeeze in some years of disobedience and get back on track later. God isn’t paying attention. He won’t notice.
“You will not call to account” (v.13). In our foolish pride we suppose that we won’t have to answer to God, or if we do, that event is so far in the future it doesn’t make any practical difference.
But obviously, living this way is a foolish enterprise (Psalm 14:1; Luke 12:20). In the long run, it will not succeed. It is a precarious life, a house of cards that is going to collapse eventually.
But this pride is also satanic. The man in Psalm 10 does not worship Satan directly, but he is doing the very thing Satan wants us all to do: manage our own lives. And that pride is what has led us onto the downward slope of destruction. Since he can make it look so respectable and progressive, I imagine Satan is quite proud of it.
“For a thing to be satanic does not mean that it is abominable and immoral; the satanically-managed man is . . . absolutely self-governed and has no need of God” (Oswald Chambers).