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August 6, 2022 8:00 am
Welcome to through the Psalm's weekend ministry of the truthful teaching God's people. God's word over time will study all 150 Psalms with pastor Don Greene from truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio were so glad you're with us.
Let's open to the Psalms right now as we join our teacher in the truthful open Psalm 83 as we continue our verse by verse Psalm by Psalm exposition of the Psalter.
Truth Community Church Psalm of Asaph, O God, do not remain quiet. Do not be silent to know God.
Do not be still for behold your enemies make an uproar, and those who hate you have exalted themselves. They make shrewd plans against your people and conspire together against her treasured ones. They have said, 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 have made a covenant, the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab, and the hag writes give all and Oman and Amalek. The list you with the have inhabitants of Tyre. Syria also has joined with them.
They have become a help to the children of Lot Salah deal with them as with Midian, as with sis Sarah and Jay been at the torrent of to Sean who were destroyed at indoor who became is done for the ground, make thorough nobles like Orap and ZF and all their princes like zebra and Zell Luna, who said, let us possess for ourselves the pastors of God, oh 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 dishonored that they may seek your name oh Lord, let them be ashamed and dismayed forever and let them be humiliated in parish that they may know that you will loan whose name is the Lord, are the most high. Overall the earth. You know it is a bad place to be to be in opposition to the God of the Bible is a dangerous place to be to be in the position of being one of his enemies, and we were all born as natural enemies to God. We were all born in hostility toward him. Romans eight says that the mind of the flashes is in hostility toward God and we were all in that condition and so it is very fitting in a way for us to reach Psalm 83 in the middle of the Christmas season and to just preface what we have to say about Psalm 83 with the recognition of the great blessing that we have as believers in Christ that God has changed us from enemies into his friends. Jesus said I that he he considers his friends in John 15, and that is a blessed place for us to be, but we should never take for granted. We should never overlook the fact that God will deal with his enemies, and he will deal with those who are settled in their hostility toward his people because he's a defender of his people.
He's a shepherd to his people. He is the one who is a divine warrior on behalf of his people and so as we keep those things in mind we can come to Psalm 83 with a with a sense of the again the magnitude of the theme that is before us. Psalm 83 is like many of the other Psalms in the great themes that it brings forth to our mind in the great principles that come forward. These are not mere devotional thoughts to help us through a day. This gives us a sense of how the universe works. How God operates and what God does to defend his people and basically what you have here is, is the psalmist reminding God of things that he is done in the past and calling him to exercise that same power against his enemies for the deliverance of his people, and ultimately for the glory of his own name, and the psalmist is consumed with the glory of God as he as he goes and will see that as we go along. As you read this Psalm in the context of the Old Testament it it's necessary to remember because there are many references to Israel history and in the Psalm that enemies threatened the Jews throughout their history, and in this song in particular he alludes to some episodes in the book of Judges and I invite you to turn back to the book of Judges for just a few moments to remember that there was this period of time where there were cycles of despair and depression before God raised up deliverance for his people. He was disciplining them for their sin. And yet when they cried out to him in the midst of their oppression.
He would act, and he would deliver them. I want to just give you a couple of background passages here that come up as we go to Psalm 83.
In a few moments and Judges chapter 4 Judges chapter 4 the first three verses here we read the account that the sons of Israel again did evil in the side of the Lord after he who'd died in the Lord sold them into the hand of Jay been king of Canaan, who reigned in Hades or in the commander of his army was sis Sarah, who lived in Harris Chef hug Loya, the sons of Israel cried to the Lord for he had 900 iron chariots, and he oppressed the sons of Israel severely for 20 years and so Israel was under oppression from a military force that was beyond their strength in this oppression lasted severely for 20 years. It tells us later on will look at God's deliverance to them, but in keeping with the thought that enemies of threatened Jews throughout their history came about again in the book of Judges that they were again under assault in Judges chapter 6 turn over the verse one with me.
Judges chapter 6 verse one, then the sons of Israel did what was evil in the side of the Lord and the Lord gave them into the hands of Midian seven years the power of Midian prevailed against Israel because of Midian, the sons of Israel made for themselves.
The dens which were in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds for it was when Israel had sown that the Midianites would come up with the Amalekites and the sons of the East and go against them so they would camp against them and destroy the produce of the earth as far as Gaza and leave no sustenance in Israel as well as no sheep, ox or donkey, for they would come up with their livestock and their tents. They would come in like locus for number. Both they and their camels were innumerable and they came into the land to devastated and so Israel was brought very low because of Midian and the sons of Israel cried to the Lord now as you read through the book of Judges, you realize that God delivered them from those oppressors. He repeatedly relented from the discipline that he had brought on them when they cried out to him in repentance and he gave them deliverance. Barrick and Deborah overcame Jay been in sis Sarah in Judges chapter 4 and five. A woman drove a spike through since Sarah's head and Israel was delivered. Gideon on the midnight challenge. Gideon defeated the Midianites with a mere 300 men armed with trumpets, jars and torches in Judges chapter 7, he also defeated Orap and Z have been Judges chapter 7 verse 25 and Seba and Zalman Luna in Judges chapter 8 without going into all of the details of that. We did a survey of judges a few years ago you could look for those messages online. If you were if you are interested.
Without going into the details of it. It's just important to remember that in actual time and space history. Israel was brought low by those who oppressed them in an actual time and space history.
They cried out to God as a historical matter. These aren't fables of which we speak. This isn't book of mythology. This is real actual history of which we read and God raised up deliverance for them who defeated powers that were greater than them with small numbers at the hands of women, even in the book of Judges and provided deliverance for them so that they were free to serve God free from their oppression free to enjoy the fruit of the land free from the dominating effects of their enemies.
Now all of that history will come back to us as we make our way through Psalm 83, but that little bit of history from the book of Judges informs the background of tonight's song he's going to look to the past to root to remind God as it were, of what he had done to deliver them and what he's doing is he is citing that prior deliverance, as the grounds upon which God should answer his prayers for deliverance.
In the present and we see that the importance of understanding the nature of biblical history, understanding and remembering what God has done in the past becomes the ground for faith in the present. We look to the past and we see the mighty acts of God, we see his kindness toward his people, and though were in different circumstances.
Today we reason in this manner we say God you've done this in the past and you haven't changed your love for your people is the same.
Your power to deliver is the same and so here in our present affliction. We ask you to do for us. Now what you did for your people in the past, bring them deliverance from circumstances over which we have no control. Help us in the midst of our sorrow in the midst of our affliction and show mercy to us as you have done for your people in the past. Now as I usually do. I think as we go through the Psalms. It's inevitable when you talk about principles like this from the Psalms and you speak about them here in the post cross error as now we think about these things in light of the cross and in light of the of the even greater work that God is done to deliver his people.
We should always have it in our minds as as Christian believers that God has manifested in a perfect in a great in a supernatural in an undeniable way. The fact that he is favorably disposed to his people.
There is no other explanation for the cross of Jesus Christ. While we were helpless, Christ died for us while we were yet enemies, God acted to deliver us, not in sending mere human deliverers. He came himself in the person of Jesus Christ, to deliver us from our sins to deliver us from our arch enemy the devil to deliver us from our ultimate doom and hell, which was our rightful portion force and beloved that changes the whole way that you think as a Christian it changes the way that you think about your your present difficulties, afflictions and trials and sorrows because when you remember those things when you look back at biblical history.
You look back at what Christ has done for you. You should start to repeatedly have framed in your mind when I come to God asking for help. He is favorably disposed to me even though I may be walking through a long valley along dark valley. I remember the cross of Jesus Christ and I remember how God acted in my favor, God acted on my behalf. Christ came as my champion deliver in a way that I didn't deserve and when I was alienated and hostile to God and dad and my sins, Christ acted to save me. Well, now in the logic of Romans chapter 8. How much more than if I come to them as his child, having been redeemed by the blood of Christ, how much more can I expect a sympathetic reception when I come to him and bear out my will before him you see the logic of these things is compelling. The logic is undeniable.
There is a spiritual reality upon which all of these things are based. That should should inform you in your prayers to pray with confidence, not with desperation to to have a sense that takes off the sharpest edge of your grief and despair, and to realize that no matter what this feels like. I look back at past history.
I look to my Lord Jesus Christ, and I see one who is sympathetic to me and I have a brother I have a high priest in heaven who represents me to God and the father accepts me because he accepts his own beloved son, and I am found in him.
Those things beloved will revolutionize the way that you walk through life if you just preach them to yourself and if you will rehearse them in your mind again and again and again. And so as we go through Psalm 73 and we see how the psalmist is praying in the midst of his affliction. We should have it settled in our mind. It should be clear in our minds that we are in an even better position than the psalmist was when he was praying this way because what he knew in the shadows what he knew in the Old Testament economy. We now know, in the fullness of the light of the revelation of the son of God, that Christ has come, he has revealed God to us. In truth, and glory, and he has used his full righteousness his full power. His full prerogative on our behalf. He loved us and he delivered himself. He gave himself for us, how much confidence then should we draw near to the throne of grace, knowing that we have a sympathetic high priest like that and so with those things in mind, we come to Psalm 83 what he is doing here is he's asking God to intervene against Israel's enemies and were not going to take the time to identify all of the geographic references and all of the peoples of which he speaks. It's enough for us to to know that the allusions to geography and history are grounded in prior time and space events in that it shows that he was trying to live out his faith.
The psalmist was in the midst of hostile time and space reality. It doesn't surprise us when we as the people of God encounter opposition encounter difficulties encounter hostility toward us. This is been a lot of the people of God from the beginning. In all, look at what happened to Abel Kane's brother killed him. That's just Genesis 4 and the hostility has been ever present throughout biblical times throughout church history.
There is been hostility against the people of God and we need to remember that there's a sense in which it simply a proxy battle. It's a proxy battle indicating the hatred that Satan himself has against Christ has that Satan himself has against God himself and there is this unseen spiritual battle that goes on beyond the realm of our perception of which Scripture witnesses to us in places like Ephesians chapter 6 or first Peter chapter 5 that we have a in an adversary who is supposed to us, who stirs up enmity against us and makes things difficult for us and all of that hostility and the difficulties in the trials and the sorrows of life are all designed ultimately to do one thing to us. They are designed to teach us to go to the feet of our Savior dependably humbly asking him for grace in the midst of the battle that we might be rid of our human pride that we might be rid of our self-sufficiency and learn to trust in him, even when circumstances are the most bleak and the Psalms have taught us that again and again and again 482 83 sessions and they're going to do it for 67 more by the time were done to turn to God to turn to Christ to turn to his word with confidence that he will deliver us in his time because that's who God is, to his people. That's what he does for us. He is a shepherd us who loves us, who provides for us, who protects us, who guides us, sometimes through the valley of death. Yes, but we learned that we are to fear no evil because this one is with us, God with us in the person of Christ in the person of the indwelling spirit will as we go to Psalm 83, then let's look first of all, it is prayer for intervention. The prayer for intervention. Asaph opens this Psalm immediately with the nature of his petition in verse one.
He says this, he says, oh God, do not remain quiet. Do not be silent and old God. Do not be still, there are three petitions there a threefold emphasis God do not remain quiet to not be silent.
Do not be still. He's asking God to respond to the crisis that is in front of him and he saying this he saying God do not look passively on our situation. You have the power to intervene.
I know that you see this don't stand by idly while our enemies are afflicting us, but instead, make your presence known by intervening on our behalf do something here to help us because we are in need of your action. We are in need of your help, and he spells that out in verses two and three. Look at it with me. He said don't remain quiet. Don't be silent. Don't be still for behold, take note. Oh God, your enemies, make an uproar, and those who hate you have exalted themselves.
They make shrewd plans against your people and conspired together against your treasured ones.
He says God here we are.
Were your people were vulnerable. Now and your enemies are making shrewd plans against us. They have entered into conspiracies with one another to overthrow us. They are seeking to harm us. They are seeking to eliminate us and like the waves of the sea.
They roar against us. They foam against us. Look at it there again in verse two your enemies make an uproar, and those who hate you have exalted themselves noticed something very crucial in the way that the states the problem before the Lord and this and this prayer for intervention. He casts them not as my enemies, not as our enemies meaning on a horizontal level. There is enemies of Israel.
He says God, these are your enemies God.
These people hate you their planning against your people against your treasured ones, and so the emphasis here is not on our suffering and Psalm 83. He says God they are making a proxy attack on you. These are your enemies, and so all the more reason for you to act because these are people that are acting as your enemies in the midst of their plans against us what he says here exposes a wonderful spiritual reality that when God's people are attacked like that. It's an attack on God himself to attack the people of God is ultimately to attack the people that God has chosen to identify himself with. And so God is not indifferent to his people because ultimately he has saved the people he is called out of people Israel in the Old Testament the church in the New Testament. He is called out this people, in order that they might be instruments of his own glory, and so to attack the people of God to make to conspire against the people of God is ultimately to conspire against God himself. It is no small matter that they are doing, and Asaph goes on to show that in this context. In the context of Israel that their goal. The goal of the enemies is nothing less than total obliteration, they want to vanquish the people of God from the face of the earth.
He states very plainly there in verse four he says they have said, and let us wipe them out as a nation that the name of Israel be remembered no more. Their goal was nothing less, than as it were to take a cloth and simply wipe Israel off of the face of the earth. Still, people want to do that today and they just want to do away with people of God and Asaph says God when they enter into league to do that with each other and and plot against us like that they're plotting against you. Let's look at this just a little more closely.
Verse two there your enemies.
They they hate you. Oh God.
Verse three it's against your people against your treasured ones verse five. They have conspired together with one mind against you. They make a covenant set against us.
God ultimately it's you, because were your chosen people. God remember the Abraham a covenant from Genesis 12 how you promise to raise up a nation from the descendents of Abraham.
How you made us the descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and were going to be the vessels of your Revelation. The vessels of your glory on earth to be a testimony to the nations God when they come up against us like that. They're coming up against you. It's against you see this emphasized also in verse 12, when they say let us possess for ourselves the pastures of God and so this is of political conflict that's taking place not simply playing out on a horizontal level. This is a vertical conflict. These nations against God is what the psalmist what his argument is and is prayer is this, he saying God your personal cause is at stake here, and therefore you have every reason every motivation to respond to my prayer and to act for the sake of your name to act for the sake of your glory because God you are the one who raised up Israel and promise to protect us if they're attacking us then and we are your people then this is an attack on you your self.
We recognize that God has a say in that God has a stake in that you know the one of the ways that this kind of applies to our thinking in the 21st-century is that it's it's so common and predictable that it becomes pathetic about people who are saying that if the church doesn't change you know that the church is going to go out of existence know that people are abandoning the church and we need to.
People need to change.
The church needs to change to accommodate the world or it's going to fall out of existence. All beloved.
That's not true, and there is there is no reason whatsoever for us to change what we do to stop preaching the word of God to stop preaching against sin, to stop calling people to repentance, to stop proclaiming the name of Christ are no reason whatsoever to do that because in their efforts to intimidate and marginalize the true people of God. They are bumping up head-to-head with the very promise of Christ himself who said in the Gospel of Matthew, I will build my church and tooth out. You would think the 2000 years of history of persecution and bloodshed against the church 2000 years of martyrdom in different places of the world and yet the church of Christ still stands in the word of God is still being proclaimed, you'd think the people would learn something about the enduring nature of Christ and his ability to sustain his people and to build his church, even in the midst of hostility but that's all lost on them outside the walls of the church. But, beloved, may it never be for us that we lose sight of that that we lose sight of the promise, Christ will build his church were not afraid there is absolutely no possibility that any power on earth will ever extinguish the church will ever extinguish the true people of God because they do not have the power to stop Christ from doing that which he said that he himself would do in which he pledged his name to do and so we realize that when these different kinds of attacks here a physical attack and Psalm 83, perhaps in our day.
Sometimes a more subtle attack seeking to undermine and to discourage and disillusion the people of God, we come back to who our Christ is and were renewed and were undaunted and we stay the course and remind God that it's his cause that is at stake, not our own.
And so here in this Psalm 83 he's he's gathering up strength and gathering persuasiveness in his prayer as he speaks to God about the nature of the situation God are conspiring against you. They made a covenant against you. Therefore it behooves you to act in the sake of your own cause. Now as you continue on reading the petition for intervention. What you see is this is that it's a very broad conspiracy and the solidarity of these different nations against Israel makes them a very formidable force.
As you look, add it on a horizontal basis. Look at verses six through eight and were not going to spend the time to identify all of these people for the sake of our time here this evening, but we do want to make a general comment about these three verses verse six. They've made a covenant who are that they he explains verse six the tense of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab, and the hag writes give all in the mind and Amalek the list you with the inhabitants of Tyre is Syria also is joined with them. Assyria further to the north.
They have become a help to the children of Lot now for us in the 21st-century. Those many nations may seem distant and the names seem somewhat irrelevant to us, but there is a very interesting feature very interesting nature about what he is recited here in these three verses if you look at a Bible Atlas at all and compare it with what's being said here you'll find that the nations that he is identified make a geographic circle around Israel and with with Assyria. Further to the north and some wandering tribes included in there you'll find that these hostile countries make a geographic circle around the nation. What heals in other words, what he saying is God we we are surrounded we are encircled. There is no way of human escape here against these nations. They are too many and they are too strong. We have nowhere to go. We have nowhere to go but up is no escape route. Here God we look up to you and ask for your help now the. The exact precise historical situation in which the song was written is unknown. Psalm have suggested, with a measure of persuasiveness that maybe this dates to the realm of in the reign of Jehoshaphat. What you find is as you compare biblical accounts you don't find anything were all 10 of these nations and peoples are gathered together at any one time in any one particular narrative.
The precise historical situation is unknown.
One writer Derek Kidner suggest this. It may be that this is a prayer concerned with something bigger than a single threat in a particular alliance.
Rather, it's with the perennial aggression of the world against God and his people. In other words, this is an enduring prayer says God here in the midst of the world of this world we are we are continually facing opposition.
We are continually vulnerable from threats from those around us. And when you think about the history of the people of the Jews, you realize how true that is just walk with me through some biblical history, Pharaoh tried to destroy the Jews at the Red Sea in the book of Exodus nation of Assyria, the nation of Babylon invaded them northern kingdom southern kingdom took them into exile.
Herod destroyed the Jewish babies. When Christ was an infant in modern times, Jews have been persecuted.
Hitler you know destroyed 6 million of them, and if you look at the end of verse eight. You see the saliva. There bidding us to cause to pause.
I should say and consider what's at stake here. Israel is trying to live as a nation in the midst of people that are bent on their total destruction, and they have been just as they were in the book of Judges.
Just as able suffered at the hands of Cain. Just as all of these other historical events to which I alluded taken place.
The Jewish people lived out their position as the people of God in the Old Testament, and around of hostility. Some of it self-inflicted through their own idolatry and faithlessness, but they were the subject of of hostility and dealing with people that are bent on their total destruction people who wanted the beauty and the goodness of the land on which they were the people that were hostile to them and to their God. And so we stop and we pause and we consider what he saying here and we realize if were entering rightly into the mind of the biblical writer here.
We realize that there should be a sense of sympathy with his call to God to intervene. None of us.
None of us would relish living life with that kind of continual threat hanging over our heads and a relentless defining nature of our existence. People that want us dead and want what we have for themselves.
None of us want that and so we stop and we consider that we realize how deep and profound and hostile. The history is, and we say you know what I understand why he would pray this way. God help then God intervened for your people do something here. Don't stand idly by their your people thereunder threat is continual God act and help them God act and help us and so we see the prayer for intervention in those first eight verses let's move on to the second part of the Psalm here and look at the pattern for intervention. The pattern for intervention in this section that's coming up here in verses nine through 12.
The psalmist reminds God of something as he prays he tells God. I am only asking you to do that which you have already done in the past. I'm not asking for anything extraordinary here. I'm not asking for anything untoward here. I'm only asking you, according to the pattern that you yourself have shown in helping your people in the past. It's a very powerful prayer.
It's a powerful way to persuade God in prayer to say God what I'm asking for is perfectly consistent with what you have done yourself in the past. Look at verses nine through 11 and now our little journey to the book of Judges at the start will pay off for us.
He says deal with them as with Midian, as with sis Sarah and Jay been at the torrent of Keyshawn who were destroyed at indoor who became is done for the ground make their nobles like or Evans ZF and all their princes like Ziemba and Zelma Luna who said, let us possess for ourselves the pastors of God. Now if you only read Psalm 83 in isolation without any knowledge of Israeli history from prior portions of the Old Testament that section would make a lot of sense you could pray over this and ask for illumination, all you wanted, but is not to make any sense until you put it in the context of the book of Judges. What he's saying here what he's alluding to hear look at look at what he says in verse nine deal with them as with verse 11 make their nobles like an easy he's drawing an analogy is drawing a comparison he saying God hears the kind of help that I'm asking for. It's what you've done in the past, our history as a nation provides a precedent for this prayer of mine. You remember back in Judges, Lord, when you delivered your people from sincerity in his 900 iron chariots you remember God how you delivered your people at the hand of Gideon and delivered them from great military commanders.
You delivered them from those who were too powerful for them and you intervene and you slough our enemies, and you humiliated them and you humbled them and you exercise your power and exercise. Your might. In order for the good of your people.
You remember all that God that's what I'm asking you to do now with our enemies in the present with what were facing here today God. All I'm asking you to do is to act and to save us just like you did for us as a people in the past and so God there's no reason for you not to and what was the threat look at it again with me verse 12 he says these people in the past said let us possess for ourselves the pastors of God. They wanted to come in and drive us out, and to obliterate us as a people. Well it's the same thing that they're facing now here in Psalm 83 says look look at verse four with me as he's describing the current enemies when he wrote he said they said common let us wipe them out as a nation that the name of Israel be remembered no more. And so God you've done this in the past. This is the same threat. And so there is justification for what I am praying based on our past history. Our enemies want our land for themselves.
But God you promise to give that to give this land us not to them, God, you made us a nation for yourself.
And they want to eliminate us. Isn't it time for you to act is in a time for you to show yourself strong. Isn't it time for you to show mercy to us now something that I like to remind us of his time permits, and as the occasion comes up. Stop for a moment and think beloved.
Why does he need to pray this way was a need to pray this because he's in trouble. It's because the people are in trouble. There is a real and genuine specific threat to their existence. Don't you see that sometimes it pleases God to lead his people be humbled by trials humbled by affliction humbled by difficulties even of a severe existential kind that threaten our very existence. Sometimes God allows us to go through that it should not cause us to question his love for us. It should not cause us to doubt it should not cause us to to turn from him in anger or despair but rather simply to turn to him and say, God, my perspective on what I am going through is governed by the internal realities of the way that you deal with your people, not the passing nature of my circumstances, the eternal reality of the situation here is this so God you've chosen a people for yourself and you've chosen and included me in the process. I thank you for that Lord.
The fact that you have done that tells me that there is a certain guarantee that I have a future with you that my present threat against me is not possibly the end of me. It cannot be the end of me. Oh God, because you chose me before the foundation of the world you have eternal purposes that are at work in my life. God therefore according to that I ask you to help me in the present.
According to your great purpose help me and continue the work that you begun in me in us as a people continue it and do what you started finish the work that you've been God so that we express to him our dependence and yet we express our dependence with a perspective of confidence that understands the past history of what God has done in the future intentions that he has for his people and the tension and the conflict that we feel in the midst of the battle today is informed by what has happened in the past and what God has revealed will come in the future and therefore we live by faith. And we do not surrender to our fears. We do not surrender to despair. We do not give in and we do not quit. We do not commit suicide because we intend fully to honor the the purpose for which God laid his hand upon us. We don't check out a life maybe it's hard but we persevere. We plow on ahead, confident in who God is what he is done.
What is promised to do. I don't know about you but I want to be around to see the fulfillment of it, don't you Matt in the midst of the tension we humbly cry out to God, help God do in accordance with your purpose and so he's appealed to the past as a basis for God to act in the present and now what's the purpose point number three.
What's the purpose for this intervention. What is the purpose for this intervention and beloved this so important. This is so important. We need to remind ourselves of the purpose for which we pray. The purpose for which we ask God's intervention in the midst of our difficulties in the midst of the threats against his people the purpose. The goal, the aim, the motivation for which we pray is geared toward his glory geared toward the honor of his name, and the psalmist makes this all very clear in the final section of Psalm 83 beloved. This section is intense in its imagery, and it is intense in its objectives in what it is asked, asking God to do.
Psalm 83 is a prayer for men. What I mean by that is it it say it is a masculine strong prayer is fine for women to pray it but this is not the effeminate spirituality of so much of what passes for modern-day Christianity. This is a prayer that is anchored in the glory of God and recognizes that he has his purposes in the destruction of the wicked, and it does not shrink back from identifying with the purposes of God as it prays in this manner, always having the ultimate final goal being the glory of God.
God, I would not have. I would not have your enemies prevail, and your name injured your reputation diminished by the triumph of men who are wicked and who are opposed to you. I would not bear that I would not have that as a father I pray thy kingdom come, thy will be done for your glory. If it benefits me in the process. Lord, that's incidental the controlling central focus that which most animates my heart and my prayer. Oh, God is your glory, your glory, and that's what we see as we look quickly at this final section of Psalm 83 verse 13 he says oh my God make it then these enemies of which he is identified in the prior section. Oh my God makes 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. He's using up a a series of vivid similes asking for thorough conquest.
He says God pursue them like the wind pursues a tumbleweed just spinning down the road with no control with no strength. With no anchor against the greater force of the wind. We lived in California. We saw that from time to time. Need to see these massive apparently really large plants, just just bouncing down the road in response to the wind being driven wherever the wind wants to take them.
That's the kind of things praying Lord.
These nations that are gathered up against us.
Come upon them like a wind and blow them away like a rolling tumbleweed, never to be seen again and let the process of their bouncing away be a manifestation of your greater strength against their pathetic weakness against your power, leave them without route and insecure consume them like a wildfire runs through the forest.
Verse 14. Like fire that burns the force and like a flame that sets the mountains on fire, so that in California to the massive power these firestorms running through through hundreds and even thousands of acres in a short amount of time as the fire just consumes the dry kindling that is all around it in these forests and it just explodes in fire and and that which was once on the hillside is reduced – and in the aftermath of the flame. The consumed God. I pray that you would consume them like that burn them up, carry them away. Reduce them to ash, overcome them, like a storm and leave them no avenue of escape verse for 15 so pursue them with your tempest and terrify them with your storm so you have all of these vivid natural these vivid images from the natural world, giving a thoughtful poetic picture to the complete victory that is calling God to exercise on behalf of his own name, Micah said this is not a prayer for the fainthearted is a manly prayer. This is a prayer that is rooted in a sense of the glory of God. A sense of right and wrong. A sense of eternal perspective that those who settle themselves in opposition to God and his purposes and his people have forfeited their right to exist, but I want you to see something beloved in this. This is not a song that I would expect the natural man, the peep, the man of the world to take any liking to this is a prayer song which many would attack because of the strength of it.
You and I are in that realm. So let me just help you think about it from the right perspective and to see something very critical in our understanding. Psalm 83.
Here is not written by a man who is preoccupied with a desire for personal revenge is not on his mind at all. He is simply zealous for the glory of God and he makes that very plain look at verse 16 he says fill their faces with dishonor, that they may seek your name oh Lord made that they would seek your glory that they would that they would recognize who you are. I want to see you prevail against them so that your name would prevail in the estimation of all who see now is not necessarily asking for their spiritual conversion there in verse 16.
The context some people see it that way men that I respect greatly see it that way and always saying that they may seek. Your name is praying for them ultimately to be saved well maybe but in context it sure doesn't read that way it reads more like a plea for forced submission that they would bend the knee to you oh God, and that you would bring them down from pride. Why do I see it that way, as opposed to the sense of conversion well look at what follows in verse 17 he says let them be ashamed and dismayed forever and let them be humiliated and perish. That's not quite the view of somebody praying for the salvation of their loved ones he's praying that they would be brought down from their pride that they would be humbled before the magnificence of God and forced to confess that the God of Israel is the only true God and all the world and that they were powerless against him. In Philippians chapter 2 kind of language every knee will bow those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, every knees going to bow. We as believers bow voluntarily in worship a lot more in time will bow in forced submission and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, though they defied him throughout all of their life. He's praying for these proud, boastful, arrogant nations to be brought down from their pride and ultimately ultimately beloved. Here's what we need to see in verse 18. As he writes under the influence of the Holy Spirit as the Holy Spirit guides his words as he penned them some 3000 years ago or so. The whole point of all of this praying God deliver us for the sake of your name God subdue your enemies drive them away like tumbleweed. What is the point of it all. Verse 18, that they may know that you alone, whose name is Yahweh, or the most high. Overall the earth. The goal of his prayer.
The goal of the vindication, the deliverance, the intervention that he seeks is all summed up in that one great phrase he is seeking after the glory of God. He is praying solely Dale Gloria to God alone be the glory because God when you do that when you answer my prayer like this, you will be glorified in your holiness and your faithfulness will be vindicated so that there is no contest that there is no doubt that there is no voice raised up against the knowledge of God and the knowledge of his glory.
Let everyone see it. Lord B manifest all that you are exalted that you are glorified, that you are alone. The one who rains overall and manifested in this judgment while you say, but does not have a place in New Testament thought is have a place for you in New Testament Christianity well turn to Revelation 19. Turn to Revelation 19 at the end of the age. Christ is going to come in Revelation 19 shows us that he will come as a conquering warrior verse 11 I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse and he who sat on it is called faithful and true, and in righteousness he judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadem's and he has a written name written on him which no one knows except himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood in his name is called the word of God and the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following him on white horses from his mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it he may strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron and he treads the winepress of the fierce wrath of God the Almighty and on his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, king of kings and Lord of lords that I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice and all the birds which fly in midheaven, symbol for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men in the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them in the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves in small and great, and I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies, assembled to make war against him who sat on the horse and against his army and the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone and the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were for hold with their flesh. Beloved these things teach us that as much as we glory in the forgiveness of Christ is given to us as believers in him and we rest in the salvation that he purchased for us at the cross, God will not be treated as a fool.
God will deal with his enemies.
God will crush and defeat them. In the end, and it teaches us to fear him. It teaches us to review his glory and the unrepentant will learn the hard way that Jesus Christ is Lord, and in that even in the destruction of the wicked, God will be glorified as he manifests his ultimate sovereignty over all of his enemies and brings them to the doom that they themselves deserve now for us. We look at that and we say this.
Vengeance belongs to God. In the meantime, what he is committed to us in this meantime, in the parenthesis before the coming of that great an awful day. We preach to men. You need to fear God, you need to come to Christ, you need to be reconciled to him. There is this coming time of judgment. Why don't you flee from it. Why don't you come to Christ for salvation and reconciliation with God before he treads you down with the rest of his enemies. Why don't you seek him now while there is time. While the offer of Christ is presented to you and he invites you to come voluntarily to be received in love to bend the knee gladly rather than to have the knee bent for you in judgment. That's our message that explains the urgency of preaching the gospel of Christ we call men to repent, to be reconciled to God.
While they can. Beloved, I have to ask you, have you met Christ.
Now in love and mercy were you playing games with an appointment where you would meet him in his judgment and wrath.
Let's pray together.
Father, help us ever to seek your glory to rest in the assurance of your ultimate triumph to preach the gospel to a lost and guilty world. Thank you for saving us from the judgment that we ourselves deserved. Oh God, thank you that we are safe in Christ, never to be forgotten never to be overlooked that you will keep us all the way through to the end. Through final judgment on this earth through your coming kingdom into eternity. Oh God, we will belong to you, and for that we are eternally grateful. Father protect us and help us as we walk through this earth filled with valleys and filled with tears, vindicate your glory as you deal with us as you protect us as you provide us. As you guide us through this life. We look humbly to you and ask that you would be glorified in our lives for the sake of Jesus we pray. Amen friend. Thank you for joining us for through the Psalms, a weekly ministry of the truth. Pulpit and if you have the opportunity. We would love to invite you to join us on Sundays at 9 AM Eastern and Tuesdays 7 PM Eastern for our live stream from truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.
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