“O God, do not keep silence; do not hold your peace or be still, O God!” God may have seemed very silent to His people in distress. Their enemies were clearly not quiet. They were making an uproar.
The evil that Asaph heard and saw was the result of secret scheming. Foes had made a plan against the Lord’s servants, and they were executing that plan. They hated the name of Israel. They sought to “wipe them out as a nation.”
Asaph identified this group of enemy nations. They included Edom, Moab, Philistia, Tyre, and other tribal groups. They were joined by the Assyrian Empire.
Asaph called upon the Lord to bring them all down as He had humiliated other threatening powers in previous generations. In the midst of his call for immediate justice he added this fascinating plea: “Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek your name, O Lord.”
All these people groups who hated the Lord and His people might yet have hope. If they were humbled by Israel’s God, they might actually turn to Him. Asaph looked for them to be “dismayed forever,” but only as followers of false deities and as treacherous enemies of the Lord’s chosen flock. He ended Psalm 83 with a plea that even these hostile people groups might see the truth: “that they may know that You alone, whose name is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth.”
This request is now being fulfilled through Jesus, the Jewish Messiah. People all over the earth are coming to know Israel’s God through the strong Savior who died for their sins.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Lord Almighty, where are You? Please speak to us through Your Word. Help us to survive when enemies attack Your covenant people. You will surely come in the Day of Judgment. What shall we do until that day? We will trust You, and we will remember that You are at work even now. You are the Most High God, over all the earth.