Psalm Chapter 83 (KJV) God, make my enemies like tumbleweed.

Psalm Chapter 83 (KJV)

Context

The psalmist prays a community lament and calls on God to destroy all of the enemies who threaten the very existence of Israel. This lament lists the names of particular adversaries. However, rather than associating them with specific historical events they are associated with any similar conflict

Our enemies are plotting, oh God.

1 Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people and consulted against thy hidden ones.

This Psalm of Asaph is an appeal to God. The psalmist wants YHWH to intervene and save his people, Israel. The psalmist knows that When God speaks, the world must listen. Asaph is not asking God to send a warrior to lead them back. NO, Asaph is well aware that God Himself could bring them back. He just has to choose to speak and it would happen. See Psalm 2.

4 They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. 

“Cut them off”: The hostile nations, under Satan’s influence, repudiated God’s promise to preserve the people of Israel forever (compare Gen. 17:7-8; Psalm 89:34-37). God’s promises are sure. They never end. Just because he appears to be silent, that does not mean that he has lost his voice. I remember someone stating that my theology is faulty. Well, let’s just say this one fact, God will act according to his promises, and according to his timing, not ours. There are times when he is silent. Sin is usually the reason for his silence.

For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah.

“Edom … Hagarenes”: The list of nations represents Israel’s enemies throughout its history. Edom descended from Esau and lived southeast of Israel. The Ishmaelites, descendants from Abraham and Hagar, were Bedouin tribes. The Moabites descended from Lot (compare verse 8) and were tribal people living east of the Jordan (compare Isa. Chapters 15 and 16 and Judges and Chronicles – see below ). The Hagarenes were a nomadic tribe living east of the Jordan (1 Chron. 5:10; 19-20).

Only you can destroy our enemies, oh God

 

Do unto them as unto the Midianites; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison: “Midianites … Jabin”: The psalmist is reminding God of famous past victories as well as the people whom he used: Gideon had defeated the Midianites (Judges 7:19-25). Barak and Deborah defeated Jabin and his army commander, Sisera, near the Brook Kishon-Barak was too afraid to go out and fight against Israel’s enemies. So, he asked Deborah, a woman, to do it instead. That was unheard of but God did not care. Deborah got the victory (Judges chapters 4 and 5). It is possible that the book of Judges is mentioned in this psalm because the situations are similar. Here we see that a foreign nation has taken over Israel.

10 Which perished at Endor: they became as dung for the earth. 

Jabin and Sisera’s armies who perished at this place, and is also mentioned along with Taanach and Megiddo (Joshua 17:11). Those are the very places where the battle was fought between Jabin and Israel (Judges 5:19).  God is being asked to make these enemies a dustbowl of dung that will eventually disappear from the face of the earth.  11 Make their nobles like Oreb, and like Zeeb: yea, all their princes as Zebah, and as Zalmunna:12 Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession. 

The point is that God stood behind the judges of Israel. They judged according to his guidance. When they waged war against the enemies of Israel, it was with God’s permission and with him fighting for them. He was then, as he is of us today, their protector.

13 O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind. 14 As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire; 15 So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm.

It is interesting to note that tumbleweed is lifeless. It is the dead and lifeless remains of a specific plant. Without a root system, it is easily blown away. “Tumbleweeds when they are alive and growing) are also invasive weeds called Russian thistle, and many modern-day Westerners fear they’re taking over.” A fire in any forest will spread quickly and results in the absolute destruction of everything in its path. The psalmist wants God to destroy the enemy and to shame them and to cause them to recognize God’s greatness. This recognization of YHWH by the godless enemies of Israel should be 16 Fill their faces with shame; Why? That they may seek thy name, O LordIt would have been shameful for the heathen to bow before the God of Israel. They were considered the conquerors of the Ancient Near East. They were the formidable worshippers of Baal, but they had to realize that Baal was not greater than YHWH.

YHWH Only you are the Mosh High God

17 Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame and perish: Unfortunately, humans are more ready to hold unto their belief systems even though they have been proven to be useless. It is no different today. So, the only way that change will come is for YHWH to show himself unequivocally the most high God. This only occurs when humans are shamed into belief. When we begin to lose all that is dear to us, then we will listen. 18 That man may know that thou, whose name alone is Jehovah, art the most high over all the earth.

The psalmist’s implications are that instead of using or own anger to solve problems, we should turn our anger over to God. Please note that the psalmist is not asking God for the resources to wipe out his enemies do it on his own. Instead, he is petitioning God, who can determine how he should act.

There is a lot of politicizing about the current virus that is sweeping nations. It is like sin. It invades the souls of men.  My brothers and sisters do not allow people’s fears to determine who you are in Christ. He did not fear anyone, not even Judas! Follow the precautions of your national health coalitions. Then trust God to keep you well.

Prayer, Father, there is no God like you. We are blessed to know Jesus as the author and finisher of our faith. We claim the divine protection that we receive only from knowing and loving you. Teach us how to lay our fears, anxieties, and emotional trauma in the palm of your hands. They are best in your hands because only you have the power to heal all of them – selah.

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