Scripture Verse

Why standest Thou afar off, O Lord? Psalm 10:1


Words: Au­thor un­known.

Music: Saw­ley James Walch, 1860 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know the au­thor, or where to get a good pic­ture of him or James Walch,


O why so far re­moved, O Lord,
And why so dis­tant be;
Why hid­est Thou Thy face from us
In our anxi­ety?

The wick­ed in un­holy pride
The low­ly poor op­press;
Let them be tak­en in the snare
Of their own craf­ti­ness.

The wick­ed in his ar­ro­gance
Refuses God to fear,
Nor is it in his thoughts at all
The so­ve­reign God to hear.

His ways are griev­ous and Thy laws
Too high for him to see;
He there­fore his de­fi­ance bids,
And taunts his ene­my.

For he with­in his heart has said,
I suf­fer no dis­tress,
Adversity comes not to me,
I still have had suc­cess.

In curs­ing and de­ceit and fraud
His tongue is ev­er skilled;
With fes­ter­ing ini­qui­ty
His mouth is ev­er filled.

He lurks in vil­lage hid­ing place,
And in dark cor­ners bent,
He watch­es for the hum­ble poor,
To seize the in­no­cent.

In stealth he cow­ers co­vert­ly
As li­on in his lair,
That he may pounce up­on the poor,
And catch him in his snare.

He crouch­es low so that the poor
To his strong friends may fall,
And tells himself that God for­gets
Or sees it not at all.

Arise, O Lord, and lift Thy hand,
The poor in me­mo­ry keep.
How can the wick­ed blas­pheme God
And say He is asleep?

For sure­ly Thou dost see, O Lord,
Dost see the sin and spite;
And when the help­less look to Thee
Thou dost their wrong re­quite.

Break Thou the force of evil men,
Befriend the fa­ther­less,
Trace out the wick­ed ev­ery­where,
Uproot their wickedness.

The Lord our God is sovereign still,
The heathen all are slain.
Thou, Lord, hast heard the sup­pli­ant’s pray­er
And dost his heart sus­tain.

No more shall boast­ing ar­ro­gance
Or taunt­ing pride op­press;
The poor and or­phaned Thou wilt hear
And judge with right­eous­ness.