We cannot but be zealous against those who federate to strike at God,
and should earnestly desire and beg of God that such enemies should be brought to confusion,
both that He might be glorified and that they might be brought to repentance (v. 15-16).
1 Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God.
2 For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head.
3 They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones.
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.
5 For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:
6 The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes;
7 Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre;
8 Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah.
9 Do unto them as unto the Midianites; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison:
10 Which perished at En-dor: they became as dung for 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.
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.
16 Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O LORD.
17 Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish:
18 That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.
Psalm 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Psalm 83:1-18 – “The Most High over All the Earth”
This psalm was composed on the occasion described in II Chronicles 20, where we learn that at a great crisis the Spirit of God came on Jahaziel, one of the sons of Asaph, Psalm 83:14. It was written to be sung before the battle, in anticipation of certain victory. The Levites chanted it, with a loud voice on high, as Jehoshaphat’s army marched out against the great confederacy of nations, which threatened the very existence of Israel. There were strong reasons for God’s interposition, for Israel’s foes were God’s foes also. It was His people that were the target of this crafty conspiracy. Were they not His hidden ones, Psalm 83:3? Should a hostile world pluck them from the hollow of His hand? When our life is “hid with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3), we may confidently appeal for His safe-keeping.
The fate here imprecated savors of Moses rather than of Jesus Christ, Psalm 83:9-18. Our Lord’s way is to seek the conversion of the heathen. At the same time it may at least be urged that Israel did not pray thus to gratify a personal vindictiveness, but that the great world of men might know God to be Jehovah. Out of the mighty convulsions that sweep across society, we know that the coming of the divine Kingdom is somehow being prepared. God can make even the wrath of man to praise Him, Psalm 76:10. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Psalm 83:1—O God, keep not Thou silence; hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God.
Oh that God would break the silence! If He would but say one word! If we might but hear that voice—deep as the sound of many waters, and tender as the call of love—just to say that He was there; that all which we believed was true; that He was satisfied and pleased; that our perplexities would work out right at last! It is so difficult sometimes to go on living day by day without one authoritative word; and we are prone to rebuke Him for silence, that He is still, that He holds his peace. “Be not silent to me: lest… I become like them that go down into the pit” (Psalm 28:1).
But God has not kept silence. The Word was manifested. In Him the silence of eternity was broken. And if thou and I are still, if our ear is purged, and anointed with the blood and oil, if we make a great silence in our heart, we shall hear Him speak.
“Where is thy haunt, Eternal Voice?
The region of thy choice;
Where, undisturbed by earth, the soul
Owns thy entire control.”
’Tis not where torrents are born, nor amid snowcapped peaks, nor in the break of the surf; but in the heart, weaned from itself, isolated in chambers of sickness, cast among strangers, yearning for tender voices that cannot make themselves heard—there God is no longer still. He breaks the silence. “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God” (Isaiah 40:1). “It is I; be not afraid” (John 6:20). It is always easy to detect God’s voice, because it is full of Jesus, who is the Word of God, and it is corroborated by Providence; but the heart must be still, and on the listen! —Our Daily Homily