(e.g. john 8 32)

Psalms 10:4  (King James Version)

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Topical Studies
<< Psalms 10:3   Psalms 10:5 >>

Psalm 10:4

Sometimes the Bible clearly states what pride produces. At other times, it shows this by associating pride with its fruit. It usually does this immediately within a given verse in which the word "pride" appears by showing pride to be synonymous with its fruit.

This verse seems to catch the essence of all of pride's fruit. It causes a person to resist God rather than seek to be like Him. How can a person be one with God without seeking Him?

An alternate translation of the last clause in verse 4 is, "All his thoughts are, 'There is no God.'" Pride colors all he thinks concerning morals and ethics. His thoughts are on the greatness of man. Because his thoughts are inclined to glorify man, he does not consider that there might be Someone greater to whom he is responsible.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Pride, Humility, and the Day of Atonement

Psalm 10:4

Is God a reality to us all the day long, or are there long periods when He is not in our thoughts? Do we go through long stretches of time when we think only of carnal or secular things? Is everything we do filtered through the spiritual knowledge God reveals to us for creating Himself in us? Does everything we do pass the bar of His standards? Are we really part of His Family, the Body of Jesus Christ? Do we know? Does everything we do reflect the way the Family of God would do things?

Honestly answering these questions in the affirmative is a daunting order. Indeed, none of us can answer them all with a "Yes." However, the apostle Paul charges us with this very obligation in II Corinthians 10:3-5:

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

Could we do this? Why would God set it as a standard if it were not possible?

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Offerings of Leviticus (Part Eight): Conclusion (Part One)

Psalm 10:4

This is of major concern because the first commandment is the most important. It lays the foundation for all that follow. If the source of a person's values is not of the very highest order, he sets himself up for certain moral and spiritual failure. No other source can even begin to compare to Almighty God.

The last phrase of this verse does not mean the "wicked" man is an atheist. In fact, He may be a nominally religious person. However, while undoubtedly considering himself realistic, he has such a low regard for God that he does not consider Him as he makes his choices in life. God plays no major role in his life, and he may even purposefully avoid Him. To him, God is not dead, but He is nonetheless an inconvenience brought into play only in times of extreme stress. He has essentially chosen to live without Him, and thus he is effectively worshipping himself. This description likely fits a high percentage of Americans.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The First Commandment

Psalm 10:4

Pride resists God rather than seeking Him. How, then, can one be with God without seeking Him? It is an impossibility. This lays bare the central issue here.

An alternative translation of the last phrase is: "All his thoughts are that there is no God." This is interesting within the context because it begs the question: What does a person who is not mindful of God think about? What can he think about? He can only think about himself and those who are close or important to him?say, those who are part of his family. Nevertheless, they are not God. The person can see who they are and what they do. He looks around him and all that has been accomplished. His proud thoughts are of the greatness of man because he perceives that man has accomplished all of this, not God. In the minds of those who believe man is so great, considering all of his vaunted achievements, there is room for none greater, because that person cannot see anything greater.

We can see in this why God has such a strong issue with pride: because pride generates self-sufficiency, and self-sufficient people will not seek what they do not think they need and therefore do not want. They think they are all right the way they are. Pride blinds people to their needs. Of course, this is not realistic.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Pride, Humility, and Fasting

Psalm 10:4

This would never happen to a godly person. He is seeking God and thinking about Him almost constantly because he wants to honor and glorify Him with every word and deed. Thus he constantly relates the events of his personal life to God because he is living by faith.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Thanksgiving or Self-Indulgence?

Psalm 10:4

Most of us rarely ponder how others approach life, certainly not those who have rejected God. Yet they face life believing they came from nothing and are charging toward similar nothingness. This nihilism produces existential behavior, that is, living for the moment because they exist now, having no hope or guarantee of existence in the future. In addition, such people feel accountable to no one but themselves or possibly to the state—but certainly not to any Divine Judge who will render to them according to their deeds (Psalm 28:4; Isaiah 59:18; Revelation 20:12).

What happens, though, when their lives begin to unravel? To whom do they turn when relationships sour or employment vanishes or disaster strikes? Some may recant their atheism and "find religion," but many are so jaded against spirituality of any sort that a god of any kind is abhorrent to them. Do they lean, then, on psychiatry? Science? Medicine? Law? Government? In reality, each of these human pursuits is as insubstantial as a hologram. In the end, the atheist stands alone.

Both Paul and Peter tell us bluntly that our trials and tests are things "common to man" (I Corinthians 10:13; I Peter 4:12). We struggle against the same forces that others do. A poor economy, a war, a natural disaster, an oppressive government, a crime wave, etc., hits us just as it hits others, more or less. The similarity ends there, however. A Christian's approach to his problems—in terms of their purposes, solutions, and products—is far different than an atheist's, or anyone else in the world, for that matter. True Christians see every circumstance as preparation for God's Kingdom and thus worthy of a Christlike course of action.

Paul says God does not give us tests beyond our abilities to solve, and in addition, He opens a "way of escape" for them (I Corinthians 10:13). These are wonderful assurances in themselves, but we can be confident of something even better: God's presence with us—indeed, in us!—as we face our trials. We are not alone! God is there to provide "mercy and . . . grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16). Later, Paul writes, "For He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you'" (Hebrews 13:5). Thus, Peter advises, "[Cast] all your care upon Him, for He cares for you" (I Peter 5:7).

Jesus tells His disciples, including us, "I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20). Through Isaiah, He comforts us: "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand" (Isaiah 41:10). Trials, temptations, tests—what are they next to the willing power of God?

Remember, we are never alone! God is there (Psalm 23:4)! Call upon Him while He is near (Isaiah 55:6)!

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
We Are NOT Alone!

Psalm 10:4

This is of major concern because the first commandment is the most important. A proper understanding of—and thus obedience to—the other nine depends largely on this one.

This does not mean "the wicked" never thinks of God. He may even "belong" to a church and attend fairly regularly. He is not an atheist, but he does not fear God. He has no regard for Him and may in fact purposefully avoid Him. This person has conveniently chosen to live without God except to meet society's conventions. He is effectively worshipping himself.

This nation has more and more frequently been led by men and women answering to this description. They have been largely responsible for impressing their concepts upon society, which has been swept along in absorbing their ideas. People may still frequently talk about God, but He is not feared and obeyed. Idolatry is doing its damage, and reaping of the whirlwind is not far off.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The First Commandment (1997)

Psalm 10:4

David delineates a significant difference between the godly and ungodly. The distinction lies in the way and how often each thinks about God. The fundamental differences are in how important God is to each and how accurate their thoughts about Him are.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Seeking God (Part One): Our Biggest Problem

Psalm 10:3-4

Here we see pride as a form of idolatry. It generates boasting—the proud brags about his heart's desire. He vaunts himself and drives himself toward what he covets. Consider this in relation to Helel, the being who became Satan. He drove himself to make war against God, a war that anybody in his right mind could see he could not possibly win. But his pride obliterated his ability to see the reality of his actions. And if it affected Helel that way, who could see God with his own eyes, what will it do to a human? In the same way, it will drive him toward what he covets and against God.

Clearly, what they seek is mammon—material things—and Jesus said you cannot serve God and mammon. The proud person actually serves the mammon; it has become his god. One cannot serve both God and mammon because they are opposites. Pride, then, drives a wedge between a man and God. It plows the way before the proud person, opening up an easy path in the wrong direction. Ultimately, the proud person renounces or defies God while elevating himself and his desires. Therefore, he puts inordinate confidence in himself and his abilities, but he plows on without seeking God's counsel through prayer, study, or the counsel of others.

Commentators insist that, even though these verses say God is in none of his thoughts, the proud person is not really an atheist. Where does an idea like this come from? It comes from examples like the Parable of the Publican and the Pharisee. The proud Pharisee vaunted and exalted himself, yet where was he? In the Temple praying! Did he believe in God? Yes, he did. Thus, commentators conclude that the proud person does not totally dismiss God.

He is not really an atheist, but he has a perverted conception of God. He renounces Him, though perhaps not verbally, in what he does and in his attitude toward himself and others. These show that he is really not seeking God. The proud person may openly express belief in God but choose not to have Him present in his life. He is thus selective in applying the Word of God to himself, ignoring anything that would reduce his self-esteem.

Through the years, I have observed in counseling many couples with marital problems that the husband often has a strong ego problem, and he is unwilling to seek help. Most of the time, it is the wife who seeks it. The man thinks he can handle it himself. Also, his pride breeds fear of exposure, which would undermine his self-image. His image of himself as masterful would suffer damage if he had to counsel with a minister about his marriage. He imagines the minister will think less of him—and he thinks even less of himself because, to him, seeking help is a sign of weakness.

What an interesting pretzel we twist ourselves into to maintain our pride!

John W. Ritenbaugh
Faith (Part Six)

Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Psalms 10:4:

Genesis 6:1-7
Genesis 6:11-13
Genesis 10:8-10
Genesis 19:14
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Malachi 1:6-7
Luke 21:36
Romans 3:11
Romans 5:1-2
Hebrews 11:3
1 Peter 2:5
1 Peter 2:9
2 Peter 2:10-11


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