That they may seek Your name, O Lord.
Psalm 83 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
God Implored to Confound His Enemies. A Song, a Psalm of Asaph.
O God, do not remain quiet;
Do not be silent and, O God, do not be still.
2 For behold, Your enemies make an uproar,
And those who hate You have exalted themselves.
3 They make shrewd plans against Your people,
And conspire together against Your treasured ones.
4 They have said, “Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation,
That the name of Israel be remembered no more.”
5 For they have conspired together with one mind;
Against You they make a covenant:
6 The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites,
Moab and the Hagrites;
7 Gebal and Ammon and Amalek,
Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
8 Assyria also has joined with them;
They have become a help to the children of Lot. Selah.
with them as with Midian,
As with Sisera and Jabin at the torrent of Kishon,
10 Who were destroyed at En-dor,
Who became as dung for the ground.
11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb
And all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
12 Who said, “Let us possess for ourselves
The pastures of God.”
my God, make them like the whirling dust,
Like chaff before the wind.
14 Like fire that burns the forest
And like a flame that sets the mountains on fire,
15 So pursue them with Your tempest
And terrify them with Your storm.
16 Fill their faces with dishonor,
That they may seek Your name, O Lord.
17 Let them be ashamed and dismayed forever,
And let them be humiliated and perish,
18 That they may know that You alone, whose name is the Lord,
Are the Most High over all the earth.
In Deuteronomy 32:35 God says: ‘Vengeance is Mine, and retribution, In due time their foot will slip; For the day of their calamity is near, And the impending things are hastening upon them.’ Romans 12:17-19 says: Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. It is in that light that the psalmist in today’s text says: O God, do not remain quiet; Do not be silent and, O God, do not be still. For behold, Your enemies make an uproar, And those who hate You have exalted themselves. Like the psalmist we should not ask God to move against our enemies unless they are also enemies of God. Look at Jesus as our example. In Matthew 26:50-53 it says: Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and seized Him. And behold, one of those who were with Jesus reached and drew out his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” Isaiah 53:7 says: He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth. Jesus did not take action to defend Himself. He did not ask God to rise up against His enemies. In Matthew 21:12-13 it says: Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it robbers’ den.” Jesus anger and action was against the things that were against God. Jesus was offended by what was an offense against His Father. We can better understand and perhaps better achieve the ability to be like Jesus if we also understand and accept what David says in Psalm 51:3-4: I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, I have sinned And done what is evil in Your sight, So that You are justified when You speak And blameless when You judge. David had committed adultery with Bathsheba. When he learned that she was pregnant David sent her husband to the front lines of battle so that he would be killed. The child of their illicit union died. Yet David understood, even with all of the people that were negatively affected by his actions, that his sin was against God. People may hurt or offend us, but if they have sinned it is against God. Our part is like Jesus, to forgive their actions against us and to allow God to be the one who deals with their sin against Him.
The psalmist says: They make shrewd plans against Your people, And conspire together against Your treasured ones. They have said, “Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, That the name of Israel be remembered no more.” For they have conspired together with one mind; Against You they make a covenant. This too should be the crux of our plea to God, that by conspiring to eliminate Christians, those who are against God’s people are also against God. Those who want to eliminate and nulify the sacrifice of Christ; God’s only begotten Son, whether for social, political or religious reasons, are conspiring against God. It is amazing to see the alliances that will conspire against Christians and against God. There are groups of people who have nothing else in common and are in fact opposed to each other in nearly every other aspect of their beliefs except that they are alligned against God; Jewish people and Christians. In Psalm 37:12-13 it says: The wicked plots against the righteous And gnashes at him with his teeth. The Lord laughs at him, For He sees his day is coming. God is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. He knows the eternal outcome of things and of His enemies. We don’t always see, in our finite time, what God has in mind for eternity, but we can trust that He is the almighty; who is and who was and who is to come. (Revelation 1:8)
The psalmist says: O my God, make them like the whirling dust, Like chaff before the wind. Like fire that burns the forest And like a flame that sets the mountains on fire, So pursue them with Your tempest And terrify them with Your storm. Fill their faces with dishonor, That they may seek Your name, O Lord. Let them be ashamed and dismayed forever, And let them be humiliated and perish, That they may know that You alone, whose name is the Lord, Are the Most High over all the earth. In the end, that too should be our reason and motivation that we seek for God to rise up. It should not be the agony, the suffering and defeat of our enemies that we desire. It should be: That they may seek Your name, O Lord. That they may know that You alone, whose name is the Lord, Are the Most High over all the earth.
Amen. Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit; May I forgive as I have been forgiven. May I not hold on to what offends me, but rather may I be offended by the things that are an offense to You. May my heart be aligned with Yours, that all those who are against me may seek Your name, O Lord. That they may know that You alone, whose name is the Lord, Are the Most High over all the earth. That as it says in Philippians 2:10-11: At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.