O my God, scatter them like tumbleweed, like chaff before the wind! As a fire burns a forest and as a flame sets mountains ablaze, chase them with your fierce storm; terrify them with your tempest. Utterly disgrace them until they submit to your name, O Lord. Let them be ashamed and terrified forever. Let them die in disgrace. Then they will learn that you alone are called the Lord, that you alone are the Most High, supreme over all the earth. (Psalm 83:13-18)
Normally I don’t quote so many verses in a single study—at least not in one place. I may spread them out over a number of days, pull Scripture from all over the Bible to show how consistent and clear God’s Word is. But in the above six verses, which are the last verses of this Psalm, there is just one simple thing to learn.
Sound familiar? 2700 years later you still have people making the same threats. But they forget about the same God, who loves His people Israel.
So the psalmist asks for God to scatter them, burn them, chase them, terrify them, and disgrace them, until they submit to His name. The apostle Paul makes a similar statement in Philippians chapter 2: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (vs. 9-11) Paul makes it clear that every knee shall bow and every tongue declare, regardless of your opinion of the LORD.
Asaph continues in his request to his God: “Let them be ashamed and terrified forever. Let them die in disgrace.” And then we learn the point of his request: “Then they will learn that you alone are called the Lord, that you alone are the Most High, supreme over all the earth.”
For those in Philippians 2 who must bow and confess, so it will be for the enemies of God in Psalm 83. It’s too late; they will be dead, but they will know who the LORD is. No chance to repent. No chance to believe and confess. No chance to find forgiveness.
For those of you who may have a similar attitude towards God the way His enemies do, please heed the following passage: “Behold, now is ‘The acceptable time,” behold, now is ‘The day of salvation’.” (2 Corinthians 6:2) Don’t become an enemy of God. Learn who the LORD is, while you still have breath, and then make today, right now, your day of salvation.