Psalm 83: "No Silence”
We come to the last psalm of Asaph with another community lament. This was a prayer for the voice of the people to be heard. This was not only a prayer against the enemies of Israel, but for the enemies of God. These enemies have conspired against Israel, and justice is being requested. According to Guzik, "some commentators connect this Psalm with 2 Chronicles 20:1-37 and the victory won in Jehoshaphat’s time. Others see the collection of 10 enemies set against Israel as not referring to one specific occasion, but to the constant danger of extermination Israel lived under – relevant in both the ancient and modern world." The 10 enemies he references is from verses 5-8, and the prayer against these enemies is for the Lord to handle them in the same manner as the time of the Judges (see Judges 4-7). The most important verse here is found in verse 18. Here, Asaph states that the purpose of his prayer is not for revenge or hatred, but instead that they may know the Lord. How many of you noticed the contrast from verse 1 and verse 18? In verse 1, Asaph speaks to the Lord’s silence, and here in verse 18, His name will be known (or heard) all over the earth! Motive plays a large role in our prayers. Why do we pray for our enemies? Is it for vengeance? Or is it for Him to be known by them? Many of will have a hard time answering this question. It is natural for us to just want them to “leave us alone,” but the Lord wants them to desire Him, and that is what we should be praying for.