After the calm assurance of psalm 82, psalm 83 is, by contrast full of anger and enmity, a long rant calling down God’s vengeance on the enemies of Israel. How are we to pray it as Christians, knowing we are called on to love our enemies and to do good to those who persecute us?
In the end I felt it turned on the final verse which is about making known the name of God:
And they shall know that thou, whose Name is Jehovah: art only the most Highest over all the earth.
For the Christian the true name of God is not simply ‘Jehovah/Yahweh, but it is Jesus/Yeshuah which mean Yahweh Saves. Jesus absorbs all the wrath and righteous anger in this psalm and turns it into love, so that unlike the psalmist here we can proclaim peace, rather than war.
As always you can hear me read the poem by clicking on the play button or the title and you can find the other poems in this evolving series by putting the word ‘psalms’ into the search box on the right.
There is also going to be a launch event/webinar on Feb 11th at 7pm GMT it will be completely free and you can register for it Here.
As kindred in our father’s house at last
We will make peace with one another. Yet
We still make war; we still live in the past.
Even the psalmist here is filled with hate,
As gleefully he lists his enemies
And calls God’s wrath upon them: ‘let
Them perish, let them burn in flame’ he cries,
And puts his curses in the mouth of God!
How can I pray this psalm? Give me the eyes
Of Jesus, help me see the iron rod
Which only crushes sin to free the sinful,
That I may know the holy name of God
Is not a name of wrath, but plentiful
Redemption: Jesus, Yeshuah
Yahweh saves, our God is merciful.
If you would like to encourage and support this blog, you might like, on occasion, (not every time of course!) to pop in and buy me a cup of coffee. Clicking on this banner will take you to a page where you can do so, if you wish. But please do not feel any obligation!