Psalms of Honesty and Truth
We are sometimes attacked in our faith, because of our faith in the One and Only God, the Creator of all. We are made fun of at the very least because we won’t enter into unrighteous conversations, or unwholesome behavior. There are many who are killed for clinging to their faith in God and their obedience to live out His will and purpose. Sometimes there is nothing but prayer to our Protector and Provider for help. The battle is His and He will win.
Asaph is honest in His crying out in the heat of the battle, the war with those who hate God’s chosen. “Don’t you see, don’t you hear what’s happening, God?” is his relentless cry. Of course, God sees and hears and knows His glory will be seen at the end of all our battles. Trust Him.
This is the last of the psalms identified with Asaph (50; 73–83). It describes a coalition of ten Gentile nations that attempted to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Israel has been the object of hatred and opposition since their years in Egypt, but God has kept His promises and preserved them (Gen. 12:1-3). Pharaoh, Haman (the book of Esther), Hitler, and every other would-be destroyer of the Jews has ultimately been humiliated and defeated. This reminds us that the church of Jesus Christ is likewise hated and attacked by the world (John 15:18-19; 17:14), and like the Jews in Asaph’s day, our defense is in prayer and faith in God’s promises (Acts 4:23-31).
Commenting on this psalm, Alexander Maclaren wrote, “The world is up in arms against God’s people, and what weapon has Israel? Nothing but prayer.” But is there any better weapon?
Psalm 83, NLT
A song. A psalm of Asaph.
1 O God, do not be silent!
Do not be deaf.
Do not be quiet, O God.
2 Don’t you hear the uproar of your enemies?
Don’t you see that your arrogant enemies are rising up?
3 They devise crafty schemes against your people;
they conspire against your precious ones.
4 “Come,” they say, “let us wipe out Israel as a nation.
We will destroy the very memory of its existence.”
5 Yes, this was their unanimous decision.
They signed a treaty as allies against you—
6 these Edomites and Ishmaelites;
Moabites and Hagrites;
7 Gebalites, Ammonites, and Amalekites;
and people from Philistia and Tyre.
8 Assyria has joined them, too,
and is allied with the descendants of Lot. Interlude
9 Do to them as you did to the Midianites
and as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the Kishon River.
10 They were destroyed at Endor,
and their decaying corpses fertilized the soil.
11 Let their mighty nobles die as Oreb and Zeeb did.
Let all their princes die like Zebah and Zalmunna,
12 for they said, “Let us seize for our own use
these pasturelands of God!”
13 O my God, scatter them like tumbleweed,
like chaff before the wind!
14 As a fire burns a forest
and as a flame sets mountains ablaze,
15 chase them with your fierce storm;
terrify them with your tempest.
16 Utterly disgrace them
until they submit to your name, O Lord.
17 Let them be ashamed and terrified forever.
Let them die in disgrace.
18 Then they will learn that you alone are called the Lord,
that you alone are the Most High,
supreme over all the earth.
Before asking for their destruction, Asaph prayed that the enemy would be “ashamed and dismayed” and would turn to the true and living God. The armies of the ten nations depended on many gods to give them success, but the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob defeated the armies and their gods! “Hallowed be thy name” is the first request in the Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9) and must be the motive that governs all of our praying. The Most High God is sovereign over all the earth!
Do we pray this earnestly for our enemies? Do we pray that they would turn to the true and living God?
Dear Heavenly Father, Hallowed be Your Name. May Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth, in every detail, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily manna, all we need to do what you have asked us to be and do. Lead us not into temptations but deliver us from all evil. May your glory be seen, for you have all power. To YOU be all glory forever and ever.
In Jesus Name, Amen