Psalm 83: Lessons for Seeking God’s Deliverance When Attacked

Introduction: This is the last psalm under the author Asaph. It describes the psalmist’s cry for God’s intervention after an alliance of ten nations united to destroy Israel. The date of this alliance is unknown and subject to debate. Under one view, a reference to Assyria joining the alliance suggests that this took place before Assyria became the preeminent power in the region (Ps. 83:8). After it became the preeminent power, Assyria subjugated all of Israel’s neighbors. One possibility would be when an alliance of pagan powers united against King Jehoshaphat of Judah. But Assyria is not mentioned in the alliance that formed against him (2 Chr. 20:1). Another view is that this psalm references a prophecy when all of Israel’s neighbors will unite in a future effort to destroy it. While this psalm refers to physical attack, most believers today are under spiritual attack:  “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”  (Eph. 6:12). From this psalm, God reveals seven lessons for seeking His deliverance when you are under attack.  These include: (1) prayer, (2) faith, (3) hope, (4) trust, (5) leaving justice to God, (6) loving others, and (7) praising His sovereignty.

First, when Israel was under attack, the psalmist cried out for God’s intervention. When you are attacked, God also wants you to pray to Him for deliverance. Second, Israel’s enemies conspired together to destroy it. But God had promised to protect His people. Throughout history, He has kept His promises. When you are attacked, God also wants you to have faith in His promises. He will never leave or forsake you. Third, ten nations united to destroy Israel. Israel was no match on its own against this enemy. Israel had to put its hope in God for its survival. When you are attacked, God also wants you to put your hope in Him alone for your deliverance. Fourth, the psalmist recalled how God had disposed of mighty pagan powers during the time of the judges. He called upon God to dispose of these new enemies in the same manner. When you are attacked, God also wants you to trust in Him for your protection. Fifth, the psalmist turned to God for justice. When you are attacked, God also wants you to leave justice to Him. Sixth, God revealed that He would humble Israel’s enemies so that they might turn to Him. He doesn’t want any to perish. When you are attacked, God also wants you to show love to your enemies. Some might respond by turning to God. Finally, the psalmist revealed that the nations will come to know the “Most High”. When you are attacked, God deserves your praise because He is sovereign and in control. Your trials work together as part of His greater plans for good.

1. Prayer: When You Are Attacked, Pray for God’s Deliverance. Ps. 83:1-2.

  • Cry out to God when God’s people are under attack. The psalmist cried out for God to deliver Israel when ten enemies threatened to destroy it: “A Song, a Psalm of Asaph. 1 God, do not remain quiet; do not be silent and, God, do not be still. For behold, Your enemies make an uproar, and those who hate You have exalted themselves.” (Ps. 83:1-2). Prayer should always be your first response when God’s people are under attack: “When the enemies of faith threaten even the existence of the faithful, the faithful will pray for God to end the threat once and for all, basing their appeal on His mighty acts in the past and on the glory He will be given through the prayer.” (Allen Ross, A Commentary of the Psalms: Volume 2 (42-89), Kregel Academic (2013) p. 748) (italics original). When believers are under attack, turn to God and cry out for His intervention. Image: The Israelites cry to the Lord (Judges 6:6-7) صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا ...

Pray as an intercessor when God’s people are under attack1

  • When God’s people are attacked, God wants you to cry out to Him. The palmist cried out “do not be silent and, God, do not be still.” (Ps. 83:1). As our example, David also turned to God when his enemies conspired to kill him or God’s people:  “A Psalm of David. To You, LORD, I call; My rock, do not be deaf to me, for if You are silent to me, I will become like those who go down to the pit.” (Ps. 28:1). “You have seen it, LORD, do not keep silent; Lord, do not be far from me.” (Ps. 35:22). “AriseLord; save me, my God! For You have struck all my enemies on the cheek; You have shattered the teeth of the wicked.” (Ps. 3:7). “AriseLord, in Your anger; raise Yourself against the rage of my enemies, and stir Yourself for me; You have ordered judgment.” (Ps. 7:6). “Arise, LORD, confront him, make him bow down; save my soul from the wicked with Your sword,” (Ps. 17:13). “Rise up, be our help, and redeem us because of Your mercy.” (Ps. 44:26). “A Psalm of David. A Song. May God arise, may His enemies be scattered, and may those who hate Him flee from His presence.” (Ps. 68:1).

  • God will respond to your intercessory prayers to help others.  God will honor the prayers of those who pray fervently as intercessors for others:  “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”  (Ja. 5:16). As our example, Abraham pleaded with God as an intercessor to spare the innocent in Sodom and Gomorra (Gen. 18:23). God spared the Jewish nation in response to Moses’ faithful prayers after they made the golden calf  (Ex. 32:11-14).  He again spared the Jews in response to Moses’ prayers after they rebelled at the edge of the Promised Land  (Nu. 14:18-22).  God again spared the Jews in response to the prayers of Moses and Aaron after Korah, 250 men of renown, and then the 14,700 rebelled  (Nu. 16:21-24).  As an intercessor, Samuel promised to continue to pray for the people’s sins (1 Sam. 12:23).  David also prayed as an intercessor for God to spare the Jews after 70,000 men across all of Israel died in a plague that came about because of David’s sins (2 Sam. 24:17).  God heard Elijah’s prayers to both stop and later restart the rain in Israel (Ja. 5:17-18).  Elijah also cried out to God in faith for God to raise a widow’s son from the dead (1 Kgs. 17:21-22.)  Jonah also made a plea as an intercessor when his disobedience caused the men in his boat to suffer (Jo. 1:12).  The apostles also continually prayed for others (2 Tim. 1:3; Col. 1:9; Eph. 1:16).  “as we night and day keep praying most earnestly that we may see your face,  . . .” (1 Thess. 3:10).  You are part of Jesus’ holy priesthood  (1 Pet. 2:5, 9; Rev. 1:6).  As His appointed priest, you too have the power of intercessory prayer.  But God is unlikely to respond if you lack faith or pray with doubt in your heart.  “But he must ask in faith without any doubting,. . .”  (Jam. 1:6).  Are you praying as an intercessor for those in need?

2. Faith: When You Are Attacked, Have Faith in God’s Promises. Ps. 83:3-4.

  • The enemy constantly conspires to destroy God’s people and His plans for salvation. The psalmist lamented that God’s enemies had conspired together to destroy His people: “They make shrewd plans against Your people, and conspire together against Your treasured ones. They have said, ‘Come, and let’s wipe them out as a nation, so that the name of Israel will no longer be remembered.’” (Ps. 83:3-4). Throughout history, Satan has always conspired with his fallen angels and antisemitic leaders to try to exterminate the Jews. But God remains faithful to His promises. Genocidal dictators from Pharaoh to Hitler have always failed in their efforts to exterminate the Jews.

  • Satan has repeatedly sought to destroy all the Jews. When the Jews were in Egypt, Pharaoh conspired with his officials to kill every Hebrew male baby (Ex. 1:22). But God thwarted his plans. Following the Jews’ defeat at Ai, the nations within the Promised Land also conspired together to destroy the Jews:  “Now it came about when all the kings who were beyond the Jordan, in the hill country and in the lowland and on all the coast of the Great Sea toward Lebanon, the Hittite and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite, heard of it, that they gathered themselves together with one accord to fight with Joshua and with Israel.”  (Josh. 9:1-2). God also thwarted their plans. When Jehoshaphat was King of Judah, pagan nations of Moab, Ammon, and the Meunites also conspired to destroy Judah (2 Chr. 20:1). But God thwarted their plans. While in captivity, Haman also conspired to have King Xerxes kill all the Jews: “But he considered it beneath his dignity to kill Mordecai alone, for they had told him who the people of Mordecai were; so Haman sought to annihilate all the Jews, the people of Mordecai, who were found throughout the kingdom of Ahasuerus.” (Esther 3:6). But God thwarted that plan. When the Jews returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple, the pagan nations again formed a conspiracy together to attack the Jews: “Now when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the repair of the walls of Jerusalem went on, and that the breaches began to be closed, they were very angry. So all of them conspired together to come to fight against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it.”  (Neh. 4:7-8). God again thwarted their plans. Satan will always conspire with evil people against the Jews. Hitler’s attempted genocide during World War II was sadly one of many genocide attempts. But Satan’s plans will always fail.

  • Have faith in God’s promises when the enemy attacks.  Here, the psalmist warned that nations were again conspiring to destroy Israel (Ps. 83:3-4).  But God made promises to His people. Among others, He promised to curse those nations that stand against Israel and bless those who support it (Gen. 12:13).  When God’s people take refuge in Him, He also promises to be a hedge of protection for the nation (Prov. 30:5; 2 Sam 22:31). Also, when a nation walks with faith-led obedience, God promises that its enemies will fear it:  “I will send My terror ahead of you, and throw into confusion all the people among whom you come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you.”  (Ex. 23:27). “But you will chase your enemies and they will fall before you by the sword; five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall before you by the sword.”  (Lev. 26:7-8; Nu 10:9, 35; Isa. 54:17; Gen. 22:17). ‘“This day I will begin to put the dread and fear of you upon the peoples everywhere under the heavens, who, when they hear the report of you, will tremble and be in anguish because of you.’”  (Dt. 2:25).  “The Lord shall cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way and will flee before you seven ways.”  (Dt. 28:7). Thus, God has repeatedly offered to protect His people. But they needed to know God’s promises to have faith in them.

  • Satan also influenced Jesus’ enemies to conspire against Him.  Satan also caused Jesus’ enemies to turn against Him:  “Now when morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus to put Him to death;”  (Matt. 27:1). Satan turned Judas against Jesus, and he caused the disciples to initially abandon Jesus.

  • Satan will also cause the world to hate you.  When you step out to serve Jesus, you should also expect others to hate you:  “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.”  (Jo. 15:18).  “Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you.”  (1 Jo. 3:13).  “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”  (Jo. 16:33). “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”  (Jo. 17:14; Acts 14:22; 2 Cor. 6:4).  If you find people turning on you when you serve Jesus, know that Satan considers you a threat. You can then confidently turn to God and pray for protection.

  • Having faith also means that you are certain of God’s positive final outcome. Having faith means that you have no doubt. It means that you are certain of God’s ultimate good, even if you never get to see it: “Now faith is the certainty of things hoped for, a proof of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1). Does your faith exist without physical proof?

3. Hope: When You Are Attacked, Put Your Hope in God Alone. Ps. 83:5-8.

  • Ten pagan powers united to destroy God’s people. Israel faced an existential threat to its existence with ten mighty pagan nations united to destroy it: “For they have conspired together with one mind; they make a covenant against You: The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites; Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assyria also has joined them; they have become a help to the children of Lot. Selah” (Ps. 83:5-8). “The psalmist mentions ten different nations which had banded themselves together against God’s chosen people Israel. Ten against one is long odds but then God was on the side of Israel.” (Charles Spurgeon on Ps. 83).2

  • The alliance of ten enemy powers was no match for God’s power. The pagan alliance began with Israel’s long-term enemy Edom and culminated with the Assyrians joining the descendants of lot. “Verse 6. – The tabernacles of Edom. Edom was always among the bitterest of Israel's enemies, and naturally took a part in almost every combination that was made against them. Though sometimes subjugated (2 Samuel 8:141 Kings 11:15, 16), it continued hostile during the whole period of Israelite and Jewish history. Hence the constant denunciations of the prophets (Isaiah 11:14Jeremiah 27:3Jeremiah 49:7-22Ezekiel 25:12-14Joel 3:19; Amos 9:12; Obadiah 1:6-18Malachi 1:4)  . . . Verse 8. - Assur also is joined with them. This is the climax. Assyria - the great empire - the most important of all the kingdoms of the earth - has joined the petty nations upon Israel's border, and holds a place in the great confederacy. . . Moab and Ammon would seem to have been the principal powers engaged in the confederacy. The others were their helpers.” (Pulpit Commentary on Ps. 83).3 But God thwarted this evil conspiracy.

PROPHECY HEADLINES.COM: Jeremiah to today's Israel: No 2-State Solution!

Ten pagan nations conspired together against Israel4

  • Psalm 83 may also be a prophecy for a future effort to exterminate Israel. Asaph, the author of Psalm 83, was also a prophet (2 Chr. 29:30). The alliance of the ten nations is not exactly described in Scripture. For example, when King Jehoshaphat faced an enemy alliance, the Bible only lists Moab, Ammon, and the Meunites (2 Chr. 20:1). Thus, this could also be a prophecy for a future attempt to destroy Israel. Between November 1947 and July 1949, the Palestinians, the Egyptians, the Jordanians, the Lebanese, and Syrians all united to destroy Israel. But that alliance involved six nations, four short of the number listed in Psalm 83. Today, many Muslim groups and some Muslim states still openly call for the destruction of Israel. Thus, this could be a prophecy for a future war. Indeed, during the Millennial Reign, the nations will conspire against the reign of Jesus in Jerusalem: “The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers conspire together against the LORD and against His Anointed, …” (Ps. 2:2; Acts 4:26; Rev. 11:15). “When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” (Rev. 20:7-10). Thus, Psalm 83 may foretell this future, final battle.

  • Put your hope in God alone when you need deliverance. When Jehoshaphat faced an alliance of enemies seeking to destroy Judah, he confessed that Judah could not defend itself without God. Thus, he proclaimed that Judah’s hope rested in God alone: “Our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.” (2 Chr. 20:12). Salvation comes from God alone: “Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.” (Is. 45:22). Whenever you are under attack, God also wants you to turn to Him and put your hope in Him for your deliverance.

  • Jesus is the anchor of your soul during the trials of life. It is in Jesus that we “have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.”  (Heb. 6:18).  When you are tossed about in the darkness and storms of life, He is the anchor of hope for your soul: “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and reliable and one which enters within the veil,” (Heb. 6:19). “And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.” (Ps. 39:7). “For You are my hope; Lord GOD, You are my confidence from my youth.” (Ps. 71:5). “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God,” (Ps. 146:5). If you are under attack, place your hope in God alone for deliverance.

4. Trust: When You Are Attacked, Trust in God’s Protection. Ps. 83:9-12.

  • God has been faithful to destroy Israel’s enemies when His people turn to Him. The psalmist prayed for God to destroy Israel’s more powerful enemies as He had done previously: “Deal with them as with Midian, as with Sisera and Jabin at the river of Kishon, 10 who were destroyed at En-dor, who became like dung for the ground. 11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb, and all their leaders like Zebah and Zalmunna, 12 Who said, ‘Let’s possess for ourselves the pastures of God.’” (Ps. 83:9-12). “Do to them as to the Midianites; let them be routed by their own fears, for so the Midianites were, more than by Gideon's 300 men. Do to them as to the army under the command of Sisera (who was general under Jabin king of Canaan) which God discomfited (Judg 4:15) at the brook Kishon, near to which was Endor. They became as dung on the earth; their dead bodies were thrown like dung laid in heaps, or spread, to fatten the ground; they were trodden to dirt by Barak's small but victorious army; and this was fitly made a precedent here, because Deborah made it so to aftertimes when it was fresh. Judg 5:31So let all thy enemies perish, O Lord! that is, so they shall perish.” (Matthew Henry on Ps. 83).5

  • Trust in God’s protection when you do His will.  Moses encouraged the Jews that they should not fear their enemies:  “When you go out to battle against your enemies and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, is with you.”  (Dt. 20:1). “He shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel, you are approaching the battle against your enemies today. Do not be fainthearted.  Do not be afraid, or panic, or tremble before them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.’”  (Dt. 20:3-4).  “The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you.  He will not fail you or forsake you.  Do not fear or be dismayed.”  (Dt. 31:8). If your faith is lacking, God calls upon you to build it up through reading the Word: “[F]aith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”  (Ro. 10:17). The next time you fear, recite His promises: “Do not fear for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand . . . Do not fear, I will help you.”  (Is. 41:10, 13).  “For I know the plans I have for you . . . plans for welfare and not calamity to give you a future and a hope.” (Jer. 29:11).  “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.”  (2 Tim. 1:7).  Faith is like a muscle.  It can atrophy if you don’t read the Word.  Are you reading the Word and praying to build up your faith?

  • Trust Jesus be your Rock and your shield.  As our example, David placed his trust in the “the Rock of Israel”:  “My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; My savior, You save me from violence.” (2 Sam. 22:3; Ps. 18:2).  “The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of my salvation,”  (Ps. 18:46).  “The LORD is their strength, and He is a saving defense to His anointed.”  (Ps. 28:8).  Paul reveals that “the rock was Christ.”  (1 Cor. 10:4). He is our Rock and the power or horn of our salvation:  “And has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of David His servant—”  (Lk. 1:69).  Jesus also wants you to call upon Him as your Rock of deliverance in times of trouble.

  • When you trust God, He can also give you a spirit of courage. When you trust God, the Holy Spirit can also give you a spirit of courage in the face of any enemy: “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” (2 Tim. 1:7). “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons and daughters by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!”’ (Ro. 8:15). As God has demonstrated throughout history, no enemy is a match against Him: “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” (Ro. 8:31).

5. Justice: When You Are Attacked, Leave Justice to God. Ps. 83:13-15.

  • The enemy is nothing but dust in comparison to God’s power. The psalmist prayed with confidence that Israel’s enemies would crumble like dust in the face of God’s power: “13 My God, make them like the whirling dust, like chaff before the wind. 14 Like fire that burns the forest, and like a flame that sets the mountains on fire, 15 so pursue them with Your heavy gale, and terrify them with Your storm.” (Ps. 83:13-15). The psalmist left justice to God. Believers are also called upon to leave vengeance for evil to Him.

  • Let God avenge those who wrong you. The “tents of Edom” started the 10-nation alliance against Israel (Ps. 83:6). Thus, God condemned Edom “because he pursued his brother with the sword.” (Amos 1:11). God also promised that Edom would be “cut off.” “Because of violence to your brother Jacob, you will be covered with shame, and you will be cut off forever. On the day that you stood aloof, on the day that strangers carried off his wealth, and foreigners entered his gate and cast lots for Jerusalem- You too were as one of them. Do not gloat over your brother's day, the day of his misfortune. And do not rejoice over the sons of Judah in the day of their destruction; yes, do not boast in the day of their distress.” (Obed. 1:10-12). God will also avenge the wrongs committed against you. “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.” (Ro. 12:19). Have you tried to set right the wrongs against you? Or, will you let God do that?

  • God is just and will judge evil.  Because God is just, He will one day judge evil:  “If I have sharpened My flashing sword, and My hand has taken hold of justice, I will return vengeance on My adversaries, and I will repay those who hate Me.”  (Dt. 32:41).  “But the LORD of hosts will be exalted in judgment, and the holy God will show Himself holy in righteousness.”  (Is. 5:16).  “He does not keep the wicked alive, but gives justice to the afflicted.”  (Job 36:6).  “He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the lovingkindness of the LORD.”  (Ps. 33:5).  “For the LORD loves justice and does not forsake His godly ones; they are preserved forever, but the descendants of the wicked will be cut off.”  (Ps. 37:28).  “The LORD is exalted, for He dwells on high; He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness.”  (Is. 33:5).  Among your many reasons to praise God, you can give thanks that He will avenge any wrong against you in His timing.

6. Love: When You Are Attacked, Show Love to Your Enemies. Ps. 83:16-17.

  • God will humble His enemies to allow them the chance to repent. God would not immediately destroy Israel’s enemies. Because He does not want any to perish, He would first humble His enemies to give them a chance to turn to Him and repent of their rebellions against Him: “16 Fill their faces with dishonor, so that they will seek Your name, Lord. 17 May they be ashamed and dismayed forever, and may they be humiliated and perish,” (Ps. 83:16-17). As one commentator observes, “Asaph ended this psalm with an unexpected turn. After praying for the destruction of Israel’s enemies, he prayed that they would be thoroughly humbled (fill their faces with shame) so they would be led to seek Yahweh. Asaph understood what we often forget: people will often only seek the LORD if they are first laid low before His power. There is a sense in which God must defeat us before He will save us.” (David Guzik on Ps. 83). (emphasis original).6

  • God loves all sinners and does not want anyone to perish: God will not instantly destroy sinners. If He did that, all humans would perish. God instead initially disciplines and humbles sinners because He wants everyone to repent and be saved: “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Pet. 3:9). By modeling God’s holy character, the Jews were meant to be a light to the nations. “I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness, I will also hold you by the hand and watch over you, and I will appoint you as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations,” (Is. 42:6).

  • Pray for your enemies. In addition to trusting in God’s promises, He also wants you to pray for and show love to your enemies. “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” (Matt. 5:44). “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,” (Lk. 6:27). “If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;” (Prov. 25:21; Ro. 12:20). “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Ro. 12:21). Are you praying for and showing love to your enemies?

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Those who seek to destroy the Jews will be brought to shame and cry out for mercy7

  • Allow God to give you victory when others heap shame on you.  David praised God as “the One who lifts my head.”  (Ps. 3:3).  In addition to protecting David, God also gave him victory and restored his honor:  “And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, and I will offer sacrifices in His tent with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.”  (Ps. 27:6).  “He rescues me from my enemies; You indeed lift me above those who rise up against me; You rescue me from a violent man.”  (Ps. 18:48).  “Therefore He will lift up His head.”  (Ps. 110:7b).  If you feel shame or others use your past sins against you, turn to God for your victory and restoration.

7. Sovereignty: When You Are Attacked, Praise God Because He is in Control, and Your Trials are Part of His Greater Plans for Good. Ps. 83:18.

  • All God’s enemies will one day bow before Him and profess Him as Lord. The psalmist prayed for God’s victory to bring Him glory: “18 so that they will know that You alone, whose name is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth.” (Ps. 83:18). “Psalm 83:16-18 (MT 83:17-19) explicitly states what usually remains only implicit in imprecatory prayers. These prayers urge the Lord to defeat His enemies, to do justice upon them, and not to not forget them. These prayers assume, however, that the enemies will continue in unrepentance. Implicitly, if the enemies were to repent of their idolatry and sin by joining Yahweh’s cause, embracing Yahweh’s way, and trusting Him for forgiveness, life, and happiness, the prayer would change from a call for judgment to a call for mercy. These statements at the end of Ps 83 show this to be the heart of the Bible’s imprecatory prayers as they state the purpose for which Asaph wants his enemies shamed and dismayed – that they may seek Yahweh, know His name, and acknowledge that He alone is Most High.” (James M. Hamilton Jr., Evangelical Bible Theology Commentary Psalms (Vol. II: Psalms 73-150) (Lexham Academic 2021) pgs. 96).

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Every knee will one day bow down and confess Jesus as Lord8

  • God will one day receive the glory that He is due. When God’s enemies observe His true power, they will one day give Him the glory that He is due: “I am the LORD, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, nor My praise to graven images.” (Is. 42:8). Every enemy of God will one day bow down in respect to His sovereign power: “so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,” (Phil. 2:10; Ro. 14:11). “And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, ‘To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.’” (Rev. 5:13). “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.” (Ja. 2:19).

  • Praise God for His deliverance from your enemies and His provision. When God delivers you, God wants you to give Him the glory He is due by remembering His good works: “I shall remember the deeds of the Lord; surely I will remember Your wonders of old.” (Ps. 77:11). You are also encouraged to share your testimony with others: “One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.” (Ps. 145:4). Have you shared God’s blessings in your life with others?

  • Praise God for His many answered prayers. We can give thanks that we know the outcome of the battle. God will win, and the devil will be vanquished. As our example, David always credited God with answering His prayers. “I was crying out to the LORD with my voice, and He answered me from His holy mountain. Selah” (Ps. 3:4). “But know that the LORD has set apart the godly person for Himself; the LORD hears when I call to Him.” (Ps. 4:3). “In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God for help; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry for help before Him came into His ears.” (Ps. 18:6). “ . . .You heard the sound of my pleadings when I called to You for help.” (Ps. 31:22). Are you giving God the credit when He answers your prayers?

  • Praise God for being in control, even when evil feels rampant. When God’s enemies have openly conspired throughout history to exterminate the Jews, even those with strong faith are tested. Evil will never make sense. But even in the darkest of times, believers must trust that God is in control and has a plan: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Ro. 8:28). Even if His plan does not make sense to you, He wants you to trust Him. ‘“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the LORD.” (Is. 55:8). When bad things happen to you, do you have faith that God has a greater plan for you?

  • Praise God for using your trials to build perseverance and faith in Him. God allowed the Jews to suffer through many trials so that they would have a deeper faith. Your trials should also produce perseverance and build up your faith: “And not only this, but we also celebrate in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;” (Ro. 5:3). Paul was persecuted and thrown in jail. But he encouraged believers that faith should include “rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,” (Ro. 12:12). “Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” (Jam. 1:2-3; 2 Cor. 1:8-10). Are you praising God for using your trials to build up your faith in Him?

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