“O God, do not keep silence; do not hold your peace or be still, O God!” –Psalm 83:1
Psalm 83 is a desperate cry to God for help, to save his people. The psalmist is asking God to not be silent or still, but to do something for his people’s sake. When this psalm was written, the Israelites were under attack by a confederate of other nations.
“For they conspire with one accord; against you they make a covenant — the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites, Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; Asshur also has joined them; they are the strong arm of the children of Lot.”Psalm 83:5-8
The first part of Psalm 83 is a plea to God, relating the inequities Israel is facing on behalf of their enemies. The second part is asking God to wield his justice and save his honor and his people.
The psalms are interesting because not only do they provide us with beautiful songs and powerful imagery, but they also give us historical insight. However, sometimes it is hard to apply those historical psalms to the present church or to our own lives because they seem unrelatable.
This psalm is one that made me feel that way, which is why I appreciate Matthew Henry’s perspective on how this psalm can apply to us today:
“This, in the singing of it, we may apply to the enemies of the gospel-church, all anti-christian powers and factions, representing to God their confederacies against Christ and his kingdom, and rejoicing in the hope that all their projects will be baffled and the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church.”