Psalm 83 Commentary

Psalm 83 Commentary

The psalmist references several high points from the rich history of the nation. There was a time when the LORD moved mightily against Israel’s enemies. Midian fell at the hands of Moses. Several kings and their kingdoms also fell during the conquest of Canaan.

Then comes the petition. “Cover their faces with shame, LORD, so that they will seek your name.”

We can learn one important lesson from this prayer. There is a purpose for which the psalmist prays. If there are enemies against the saint, and there are always present, let their defeat lead them to the knowledge of the name of the LORD.  

A prayer for relief from trouble isn’t at all bad. But when laced with selfishness and an ambition exclusively designed to elevate the saint above his or her enemies, such a prayer becomes bad. At times we pray against our enemies simply because we feel we don’t have their success – what we have come to consider as success.

Prayers motivated by vanity are always bad.

Listen to your own prayer and subject it to a critical analysis. Yes, you want relief from trouble. But is it for its own sake or there is vanity as the main motivation? We want our enemies to see us at the high table. Is it because we want them to see that we are better than them?

The many psalms we have read seem to project a different picture. Let the LORD arise in the life of the saint. Let God’s enemies be scattered. The LORD God emerges victorious and the saint sings the praises of the LORD, God Almighty. It’s party time! The LORD’s victory means the saint can enjoy the blessings of the LORD in peace.

“Let them know that you, whose name is the Lord – that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.”

This would be an important ending to any spiritual warfare. Anything else and the saint must offer another prayer but it is one of repentance. A prayer room can be a place of sin. Interesting.

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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