A Song or Psalm of Asaph.
1Keep not thou silence, O God: Hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. 2For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: And they that hate thee have lifted up the head. 3They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, And consulted against thy hidden ones. 4They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; That the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. 5For they have consulted together with one consent: They are confederate against thee: 6The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; Of Moab, and the Hagarenes; 7Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; The Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; 8Assur also is joined with them: They have holpen the children of Lot. Selah. 9Do unto them as unto the Midianites; As to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison: 10Which perished at En-dor: They became as dung for the earth. 11Make their nobles like Oreb, and like Zeeb: Yea, all their princes as Zebah, and as Zalmunna: 12Who said, Let us take to ourselves The houses of God in possession. 13O my God, make them like a wheel; As the stubble before the wind. 14As the fire burneth a wood, And as the flame setteth the mountains on fire; 15So persecute them with thy tempest, And make them afraid with thy storm. 16Fill their faces with shame; That they may seek thy name, O Lord. 17Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; Yea, let them be put to shame, and perish: 18That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, Art the most high over all the earth.
“We have you surrounded!”
I have watched enough cop and cowboy shows to have heard those words an innumerable amount of times, haven’t you?
The psalmist, at least in his thoughts, hears his enemies saying those words, “we have you surrounded”. He perceives his nation is encircled by at least ten enemy nations plotting together against his people. Their goal is not simply to capture but to cut off the Jewish people from being a nation (vs.4) and end their existence.
What does the psalmist do when surrounded?
He prays. What else could be done? They were, after all, surrounded!
It is worth noting that the psalmist understands that it was not a fight between his nation and those confederated against them, but a fight between those enemies and God himself. Look at what he says to the Lord.
Psalm 83:2 For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: And they that hate thee have lifted up the head.
He refers to them as “thine enemies”
He understands that their hatred was against “thee”
Psalm 83:3 They have taken crafty counsel against thy people and consulted against thy hidden ones.
The psalmist understands that he and his people were God’s possession and his hidden treasure. True, God needed no reminder but praying this way surely must have strengthened and comforted the one praying as he was reminded of that truth.
The enemies may have believed that they had God’s people surrounded but little did they know God had surrounded them.
Unfortunately, anti-Semitism has been and is still very common. Within the past week a number of celebrities and athletes have made some terrible remarks against the Jewish people. The constant contempt held against them yet continual existence of the children of Israel is proof of God’s favor. Many a hater of Israel has risen to prominence in history only to meet the common fate of failure and death. They all discover eventually that God was serious when he spoke these words to Abraham about his descendants.
Genesis 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
Do you ever feel surrounded?
It was true of Asaph’s nation and it is true of those Christians who suffer persecution now, a fight against his people is a fight against the Lord.
Saul of Tarsus had been a zealous persecutor of Christians. He had them arrested, imprisoned, tortured and even killed. Ole Saul was on the road to Damascus with another list of Christ followers to torment when Jesus appeared to him. Notice what Jesus said,
Acts 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
Whether you are being wrong persecuted by people you see or tormented by unseen spiritual oppressors, have confidence, if you are his and you are sounded by enemies, your Savior is aware, he is there, you know that he cares and he is taking their attacks very personal.
You are surrounded by his loving care!