Psalm 10:1—Is God approachable or unapproachable?
Problem: Throughout the Bible God is depicted as eminently approachable, for “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1; cf. 73:28; James 4:8). On the other hand, in this psalm God is portrayed as inaccessible. For example, “Why do You stand afar off, O Lord? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble?” (Psa. 10:1; cf. Isa. 14:15; Ezek. 20:3).
Solution: The psalmist is speaking figuratively here. Just as “drawing near” to God (James 4:8) is figurative, not literal, likewise, neither does God literally “hide” from us. It may seem to us as though He does simply because He does not respond as fast as we would like or in the way we would like. Nonetheless, the Scriptures assure us that God is both listening and acting in our best interest (cf. Heb. 4:14–16; 12:11). There is no text of Scripture that says God does not respond to the earnest and penitent prayers of believers (see comments on John 9:31).
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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.