PSALM 83.

A Prayer for Help against the Enemies of the Church.

A song or psalm of Asaph, the last of his twelve hymns in the psalter, picturing the craft and rage of the enemies and invoking Godís speedy destruction upon them. V. 1. Keep not Thou silence, content with resting, with being an idle spectator, O God; hold not Thy peace and be not still, O God, that is, inactive while such great dangers were threatening. V. 2. For, lo, Thine enemies (the enemies of the Church are Godís enemies) make a tumult; and they that hate Thee have lifted up the head, in haughty pride and arrogance. V. 3. They have taken crafty counsel, laying their plans in secret and with guile, against Thy people, primarily Israel, but as typical of the spiritual Israel, and consulted against Thy hidden ones, the number of true believers always being so small, by comparison, that they disappear in the great mass of humanity, while, nevertheless. God protects them. V. 4. They have said, Come and let us cut them off from being a nation, exterminating them from among the nations, that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance, the annihilation, as planned by them, being so complete that the very name of Godís people would be forgotten in history. V. 5. For they have consulted together with one consent, their hearts and minds all being of the same opinion and purpose; they are confederate against Thee, their covenant against Israel being in reality a covenant against the God of Israel; v. 6. the tabernacles of Edom, that is, all the nomadic tribes belonging to this nation, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab and the Hagarenes, who roamed from the Persian Gulf to the desert country east of Gilead; v. 7. Gebal, the northern part of the mountains of Seir and therefore pertaining to Edom, and Ammon, Israelís ancient enemy east of Gilead, and Amalek, the last remnants of the desert tribe living within the territory of Edom or in remote parts of the Desert of Paran; the Philistines, on the Mediterranean, toward the southwest, with the inhabitants of Tyre, the Phenician nation; v. 8. Assur also is joined with them, the great kingdom of Assyria, which at that time had not yet reached the summit of its power; they have holpen the children of Lot, entered into an alliance with the Moabites and the Ammonites. Selah. Practically all the heathen nations surrounding Canaan were directly or indirectly interested in this plan of annihilating Israel, even as enemies of every description nowadays unite when the object of the confederacy is to fight the true Church. V. 9. Do unto them as unto the Midianites, who were practically annihilated at the time of Gideon, Judg. 7; 8, 11. 12; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison, at the time of Deborah and Barak, Judg. 4, v. 10. which perished at Endor, a town on the northern edge of the Plain of Jezreel, for it was there that the battle against the host of the Canaanites took place; they became as dung for the earth, their decaying carcasses forming manure, fertilizer, for the soil of Canaan. V. 11. Make their nobles like Oreb and like Zeeb, the two princes of the Midianites slain at the time of Gideon, Judg. 7, 25; yea, all their princes as Zebah, and as Zalmunna, slain by Gideon after their armies had been defeated, Judg. 8, 10-21; v. 12 who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession, they had intended to overthrow the true religion. V. 13. O my God, make them like a wheel, like a whirlwind and whatever is carried away by a tornado, as the stubble before the wind, disappearing without leaving a trace behind. V. 14. As the fire burneth a wood, great forests being devoured in a short time, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire, the mountains themselves melting. away with their woody covering before the flame of Godís wrath, v. 15, so persecute them with Thy tempest and make them afraid, completely overthrowing them, with Thy storm. V. 16. Fill their faces with shame, disgrace being heaped upon them by their overthrow, that they may seek Thy name, O Lord, acknowledging the exclusive divinity of Jehovah, whether willingly or under compulsion. V. 17. Let them be confounded, heaped with shame, and troubled, overthrown, forever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish, fully convinced of their own vanity and that of their false gods, v. 18. that men may know that Thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, the God of revelation, art the most high over all the earth, admitted as such either in fear or in faith. Cp. Is. 31, 16-20; 2 Kings 19, 19. That is the comfort of the believers of all times, that the true God will, in the end, be revealed before all men, to their utter confusion and to His own glorification, as the most high God.