Psalm 83 is an impassioned plea for God to intervene against Israel’s enemies—and a call to action and unity for the nation of Israel. The psalm takes a closer look at the struggles of the people in the face of adversity, and how their faith in God is what will see them through. Let’s dive into this powerful chapter of scripture.
The Setting of Psalm 83
The setting of Psalm 83 is one of struggle and turmoil. The author, Asaph, calls on God to take action against those who have risen up against His chosen people. This includes many nations, such as Assyria, Edom, Ishmaelites, Moabites, Philistines and Ammonites. These were all nations which had threatened or oppressed Israel throughout its history. In light of these threats, Asaph implores God to take action so that His name might be glorified among their enemies (v2-3).
Themes in Psalm 83
Throughout this psalm there are a few key themes which stand out. Firstly, there is the theme of unity among believers (v12-14). Asaph calls on members from multiple tribes within the nation to unite together in their fight against outside forces. He speaks about how if they do not stand firm together then their enemies will prevail (v4). This reflects an ongoing challenge within the nation—the need for unity between different groups so that they may overcome all adversaries together as one body.
Secondly, there is a call to remember God’s past work (v18). Here Asaph reminds his readers that God has been faithful in protecting His people throughout history and that He will protect them again now if they remain faithful and united (v15-16). Lastly, there is a call for repentance (v19-20). Asaph exhorts his readers to turn away from their wicked ways and return to Him with all their heart so that He may show mercy upon them once more.
Psalm 83 provides us with an important reminder about our need for unity—especially when faced with adversity or opposition from outside sources. It also reminds us that our strength comes from relying on God’s guidance and protection rather than trying to rely solely on our own power or wisdom. Lastly it encourages us to repent of our sins knowing that when we turn back towards Him He will always forgive us and provide mercy upon us once again. Ultimately this powerful chapter serves as an important reminder about our dependence on God during times of hardship or oppression—and how only through trusting Him can we find true victory over any enemy we may face.