Scripture reading – Psalm 83, 2 Kings 1

Click on this link for translations of this Bible study.

Our Scripture reading brings us to Psalm 83 and 2 Kings 1. This is the first of two devotionals and is taken from Psalm 83. A second “bonus” devotional from 2 Kings 1 will follow.

Psalm 83 – “A Song or Psalm of Asaph.”

Psalm 83 was the last psalm attributed to Asaph, the Levite, who was one of the principal musicians of King David’s era. The exact date of Psalm 83 was not given; however, it is prophetic for a time when God’s people would face a confederation of nations committed to the destruction of Israel as a nation. Consider three principal points from the psalm.

Israel’s Desperate Cry to God (Psalm 83:1-8)

Israel’s Desperate Cry to God (Psalm 83:1-8)

Facing a coalition of nations dedicated to the destruction of Israel, the psalmist cried to the LORD to come to the aid of His people (Psalm 83:1). The author reasoned that Israel’s enemies were the enemies of God. He asserted that they hated the LORD and plotted against those referred to as “thy hidden ones” (literally, those whom the LORD treasured, Psalm 83:3).

The enemies boasted and encouraged one another, saying, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; That the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance” (Psalm 83:4). Israel’s enemies were not content to merely overcome them as a nation, they desired to annihilate them as a people so that their names would be forgotten (Psalm 83:4b-5).

Ten heathen nations comprised the confederation that plotted Israel’s destruction: The Edomites (the sons of Esau), Ishmaelites (the sons of Abraham by Hagar), Moabites (descended from Lot), Hagarenes (a tribe of Ishmaelites named after Hagar), Gebal (a Phoenician, Lebanese people), Ammonites (a son of Lot), Amalekites, Philistines, citizens of Tyre, and the Assyrians (identified as Assur, Psalm 83:8-8).

The Psalmist’s Imprecatory Prayer (Psalm 83:9-17)

After identifying the enemies of God and Israel, the psalmist prayed for the LORD to destroy them as He had in ancient times (Psalm 83:9-11). The enemies of Israel boasted they would raid and plunder “the houses of God” (i.e., the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant, Psalm 83:12). Therefore, the psalmist prayed for the LORD to destroy them (Psalm 83:13-17). He longed to see the LORD crush the enemy, as a wheel grinds grain, and that they would become nothing more than “stubble” carried away by the wind (Psalm 83:13). He desired to see the LORD burn the enemy in His wrath, even as fire destroys a forest (Psalm 83:14). He wanted the LORD to confound Israel’s enemies and that they would suffer shame till all perished (Psalm 83:15-17).

Why Pray for the Enemies of Israel to be Destroyed? (Psalm 83:18)

Why Pray for the Enemies of Israel to be Destroyed? (Psalm 83:18) 

The reason was twofold: That Israel would see the LORD’s deliverance, and the heathen would know there was one God, JEHOVAH [Yahweh; the Eternal, Self-existent God of Israel], Who is “the most high over all the earth” (Psalm 83:18).

 

Closing thoughts –

Israel today is embroiled once again in conflicts and a state of war. Nevertheless, the very existence of the Jewish State is an undeniable testimony that Jehovah, the God of Israel, has kept His covenant with the people of Abraham’s lineage and faith (Genesis 12). All the other civilizations and nations of ancient times have passed from history’s stage, yet one has been preserved—Israel.

As a people, today’s Israel is mostly a secular nation. Yet, some live in Israel who believe Jesus Christ was the Messiah. They are waiting for Him to return as was promised (Acts 1:11; Revelation 16:15; 22:12)

Are you living and looking for the day the Messiah, Jesus Christ, will return as He has promised?

1 Thessalonians 4:16–1716For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith 

* You can subscribe to the Heart of a Shepherd daily devotionals by entering your name and email address at the bottom of today’s devotion.

The Internal Revenue Service recognizes Heart of A Shepherd Inc as a 501c3 public charitable organization. Your donation is welcome and supports the worldwide ministry outreach of www.HeartofAShepherd.com.