I am amazed at the plainness of speech the
Old Testament Psalmists often used, especially when speaking to
For example, Psalm 83 opens with these words:
"Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not
thy peace, and be not still, O God."
That's pretty bold speech!
Of course we must realize that the Holy
Spirit of God is the real Author of Scripture. There is nothing
wrong with these words in Psalm 83:1. We are being shown how we
can come "boldly" before the throne of Grace, just like Hebrews
4:16 would later instruct us!
these words: "Keep not thou silence, O
God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God."
God's Names, as
used here, are significant. "Elohim" occurs first, followed by
"El." Both Proper Nouns have the same root, a word that means
power or strength! God is a mighty God! He is omnipotent!
Lord, we need to
"hear" from Thee! Keep not silent! This request involves the
Lord, we need Thy
"Word," speak to us we plead! "Hold not Thy peace!" This
involves the "mouth!"
Lord, we need to
see Thee move! "Be not still!" Now this request involves the
How thankful we
should be that God, our great God, is One Who is willing to
involve Himself with the daily issues of our earthly lives!
Lord, help us we
Later in Psalm 83
it becomes evident why the Psalmist is crying for such
intervention! Enemies have gathered all around Israel, seeking
her very destruction.
Here's a key
verse that explains the situation: "They
have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a
nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance."
Now we can better
understand the urgency and the insistence of this prayer!
Notice that Asaph,
the Psalm's human writer, does not plead for some earthly leader
or some new weapon of battle ... just the Lord's Presence and
Psalmist did not want the Lord God Almighty to be compared to
the senseless gods of the false prophets, as back in the days of
Elijah! They failed miserably! Let's listen to Elijah speak of
Baal and his consorts. "And it came to
pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for
he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or
he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must
be awaked." 1st Kings 18:27
"And they took the bullock which was given them, and they
dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning
even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was
no voice, nor any that answered." 1st Kings 18:26
With Baal, there
was no hearing, no speaking and no doing!
With our powerful
God there is ... or at least there can be ... intervention!
People of God,
cry unto Him when trials come!
Our only fear in
this area should be any unconfessed sin in our lives! Because,
as Isaiah preached: "Behold, the LORD'S
hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear
heavy, that it cannot hear: but your iniquities have separated
between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face
from you, that he will not hear." Isaiah 59:1-2
What a God we
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 2, VERSE 2:
The Lord Himself has enemies!
That's what Psalm 83 says.
"For, lo, thine enemies
make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head."
The word "enemies" (in Hebrew = "oyeb") means
those who hate! Those who are hostile! The word here
is noticeably plural too.
The verb that is translated "make a tumult"
is "hamah" and means to growl or to roar or to rage or to be
loud and clamorous! It's the same kind of sound that flood
waters make (Psalm 46:3) and that an intense prayer warrior
makes (Psalm 55:17) and a dog makes (Psalm 59:6) and large
crowds at the town hall make (Proverbs 1:21) and the harlot
makes (Proverbs 7:11) and the waves of the sea make (Isaiah
51:15) and bears make (Isaiah 59:11) and that flutes make
(Jeremiah 48:36) and that mourning doves make (Ezekiel 7:16) and
that a drunkard makes (Zechariah 9:15).
The action being described here is
continuous, on-going and habitual.
The verb "hate" ("sane" in Hebrew) is in the
Piel stem, signifying intensive action! Bitterly and
deeply felt animosity!
To "lift up one's head" means to be
strengthened or to be encouraged in a matter!
God's enemies are growing stronger and more
Once the Psalmist David called God "the
Lifter Up of mine head!" He meant that the Lord God
Almighty was his Comfort and Power!
As apostasy continues to grow and spiritually
things become darker ... watch this carefully. More and
more outspoken enemies of God and His Word will arise!
It's happening today in the whole wide world.
Things are heading to a final battle, good
And, of course, we all already know Who is
Praise His Name!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 3, VERSE 3:
enemies of God have attacked the Almighty Himself! Psalm 2:2
describes their ravings this way: "The
kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel
together, against the LORD, and against
they will attack God's people!
"They have taken crafty counsel against
thy people, and consulted against thy
hidden ones." Psalm 83:3
"crafty" defines the Hebrew word "aram." It has come to mean
"sneaky behavior" or "subtlety." It initially meant to be made
"bare." This implies overt unashamed rebellion against God and
"counsel" (in Hebrew = "sod") means a company or assembly, but
nine times in the King James Bible the word is translated
"secret." The enemy plans his deadly maneuvers!
The noun "people"
is "am" in Hebrew and means a congregated unit of people. A
tribe or a flock of people. God's people are "one" in Him, a
holy assembly! The devil hates God's chosen people!
Then the verb
"consulted" ("yaatzs") means to plan or propose or advise or
even to determine something! Their minds are set, "made up,"
resolved! The battle will be pursued!
Then the precious
descriptive term "hidden ones" is derived from a verb that means
"to lay up treasure!" These are God's people ... but in His
eyes they are precious! Valuable! Esteemed! People with whom He
shares "secrets!" They are His jewels! Listen to the Lord in
Malachi 3:17. "And they shall be mine,
saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels;
and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth
The "enemy" of
our souls will pounce some day! God will be the Target of their
vicious plotting, but His people will bear the brunt of their
hatred as well.
We are not
ignorant of the devil's "devices" Paul said. This third verse
of Psalm 83 outlines them quite well.
coming ... just because we love the Lord!
May we stand true
to His Name, remaining faithful in these last days!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 4, VERSE 4:
Psalm 83 is both
historical and prophetical in some ways!
For example, verse 4 reveals a
deadly goal possessed by God's rebellious enemies:
"They have said, Come, and let us cut them
off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be
no more in remembrance."
God's enemies also
hate God's "chosen people," Israel! They even want to
destroy that little nation!
What a wicked goal this is!
There are several nations,
specifically named in the next few verses of Psalm 83, who
literally "hate" the nation of Israel.
To "cut off" ("kachad"
in Hebrew) means literally
"to conceal" or "to hide."
It also can mean "to destroy," and that is the way our
King James Bible uses it.
The noun for
"nation" is "goiy" and 143 times in the Bible is translated
"heathen" and another 30 times "gentiles!" It is obvious to see
that Israel here is being slandered by her enemies!
What does that
The "el" at the
end is God's Name!
El or Elohiym is
used of God thousands of times in the Bible.
The "isr" root of
Israel means the same thing as did Sarah's name, wife of
Abraham. Prince or Princess!
means "princed by God" ... or ... "ruled by God!" Ideally, God
was their Leader, their Guide, their Provider!
That's one reason
the nations of the world hate her so!
And the word
"remembrance" certainly means to call to mind ... but also to
mention or to think upon or to record! It is derived from
a root word meaning "to mark" or "to distinguish" in some
The goal of these
anti-Semitic people is to "annihilate" Israel, to erase the Jews
spews hatred for God's chosen people!
But, we had all
best remember this. God, in Genesis 12:1-3, promised Abraham:
"Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country,
and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land
that I will shew thee: and I will make of thee a great nation,
and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt
be a blessing: 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."
cursing her, I just believe I will bless Israel!
God is pleased
with such behavior!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 5, VERSE 5:
We live in
Whether one considers the world of
politics or theology or science or nearly anything else, there
is disagreement among the experts.
Yet occasionally, a strange and
sometimes inexplicable unity develops in some unexpected places!
Psalm 83 gives us an example.
Ten heathen nations, all with varied
backgrounds, join in one common trait ... hatred of Almighty
writes, addressing God: "For they have
consulted together with one consent: they are confederate
against Thee." Psalm 83:5
The verb "have
consulted" is "yaatzs," already used back in verse three. It
means "to determine" or "to propose" as well as "to advise" or
"to consult." These nations have held meetings dedicated to the
destruction of Almighty God! They live at variance to His Will!
They are rebellious! They are resolute!
"one consent" is indicated in Hebrew by a single word, "leb."
That means "heart!" They, those ungodly nations, have opposed
and challenged the great God of Israel with all their "heart!"
It is singular in the Text. Again, that's unity! Sinful unity,
but unity nonetheless.
these nations whose leaders and armies have fought each other
for centuries are now in perfect harmony about something! I
should say Someone!
confederate" against our dear Lord!
This verbal term
is translated from two Hebrew words which literally mean "to cut
a covenant!" Yes, the verb "to cut" ("karath") and the noun
"covenant" ("beriyth") are both used here.
This is a somber
way to describe their united hatred for God.
religiously at war with Him!
They have vowed
to oppose Him!
treaty to do so!
This is spiritual
warfare that will spill over into physical military conflict as
I believe it is a
foreshadowing of Armageddon itself!
By the way, this
is not the first time some strange opponents, formerly enemies,
gathered together as one against our Lord!
The day of Jesus'
Crucifixion, Pilate and Herod became friends AGAINST Jesus!
"And the same day Pilate and Herod were
made friends together: for before they were at enmity between
themselves." Luke 23:12
In 2006, in
America at least, there has never been as much boldly expressed
opposition to the Word of God! And to the Person of Christ
Jesus! And to God's obvious Will.
Yet this must be
While an ever
growing segment of this sinful world hates the good God of
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob ... some still love Him!
I am among that
Some honor Him
and adore Him and worship Him!
Some have even
believed on His Son Jesus, trusting Him for salvation!
Some accept the
fact that Christ is alive, sitting in Heaven today at His
Father's Right Hand!
And that He will
return to earth some day!
Then, when Jesus
does come again ... Psalm 2 describes the scene ...
"Why do the heathen rage, and the people
imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and
the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against
his anointed, saying, let us break their bands asunder,
and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the
heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision."
Then God the
Father says to Jesus: "Ask of me, and I
shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance,
and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them
in pieces like a potter's vessel."
And some final
advice is given to the earth's wayward nations:
"Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be
instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear,
and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and
ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a
little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in
Sounds to me like
God will have the last word!
The last laugh,
according to Psalm 2:4!
Even so, come
Deal with this
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 6, A PREVIEW:
In the 83rd Psalm the little Nation
of Israel is under attack!
Ten specific enemies have gathered
all around her.
Their goal is plain:
"Come, and let us cut them off from being
a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in
remembrance." Psalm 83:4
Preacher Bagwell, did you really say
Yes, I counted them.
"The tabernacles of Edom, and the
Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and
Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur also
is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot.
Selah." Psalm 83:6-8
Now this looks
like 12 enemies, but the "children of Lot" are named twice.
Lot's children, by his two daughters in a wicked incestuous
affair, led to the Ammonite and Moabite nations!
something about these Jew-hating people. If you consult a map,
it is easily seen that they lived east of the Holy Land ... and
south and north and even west! All around!
Now, it's hard to
live west of Israel. That little Nation borders the Sea! But
two slivers of land, one belonging to the Philistines and the
other to the Phoenicians ("inhabitants of Tyre"), were located
to the west!
point is ... Israel was surrounded by her enemies! In
Psalm 27:6 David admits that "enemies" live "round about" him!
"Thou makest us a reproach to our
neighbours, a scorn and a derision to them that are round about
us." Psalm 44:13 also says so!
"I will not be afraid of ten thousands of
people, that have set themselves against me round about"
thunders Psalm 3:6
I suspect someone
reading here today feels the same way.
If not literally
people who are opposing you ... then fears and worries and
doubts and sins and problems encircle you!
But, wait a
minute, dear Child of God!
Not only can the
enemy gather all around you ... much more so is your Great God
everywhere ... omnipresent!
Read with me.
"The angel of the LORD encampeth round
about them that fear him, and delivereth them."
Let me briefly
try to be more precise. To His Believers, His Followers, His
Children ... God is:
you: "The eternal God is thy
refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he
shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say,
Destroy them." Deuteronomy 33:27
you: "After this manner therefore pray ye:
Our Father which art in heaven ...."
behind you: "For ye shall not go out
with haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you;
and the God of Israel will be your rereward." Read
here our King James noun "rereward" as "rear" ward! That's
exactly what it means! God is behind us, protecting and
guarding! Isaiah 52:12
you you: "He leadeth me ... beside the
still waters! He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for
His Name's sake." If He's leading, then he's up ahead of
us! Psalm 23:2-3
you too, both sides!
"The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade
upon thy right hand." (Psalm 121:5) But I mean on the
right hand and on the left! Paul, in 2nd Corinthians 6:7, speaks
of "The armour of righteousness on the
right hand and on the left." Amen!
Yes, there may be
powerfully and more certainly and for all eternity, there is the
Eternal God ... all around us!
Oh, did I say "within"
Paul taught us in
Colossians 1:17 of ... "Christ in
you, the hope of glory." He is amazing!
So, fear not,
Where the devil
abounds, God much more abounds!
abounds, Grace much more abounds!
Praise the Lord
this last Friday in March!
How safe we are
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 7, VERSE 6:
Now the Psalmist lists the enemies of Israel!
His doing so reminds one of Paul's naming of
Alexander the Coppersmith! "Alexander the
coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to
his works. Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly
withstood our words." 2nd Timothy 4:14-15
When we have finished the list given here,
there will be a total of ten rogue nations!
Ten Jew hating nationalities!
Verse six names four of them.
"The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the
Hagarenes." Psalm 83:6
The Edomites were descendants of Esau.
Genesis 25:30 illustrates this point. "And
Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red
pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name
The Edomites refused to let Israel pass
through their land! They refused their tired and weary relatives
any hospitality at all! You can read about this beginning
in Numbers 20:14. In fact, the whole Book of Obadiah is dedicated to
God's judgment upon the Edomites, mostly because of their hatred
of Israel. They so hated the children of Abraham that they
"rejoiced" when the Babylonians took them captive! What hatred!
The Ishmaelites were descendants of Ishmael,
the fleshly son of Abraham by Hagar. Remember that Ishmael
"mocked" Isaac even when they were lads. See Genesis 21:19.
The Moabites were named for their forefather
Moab, a son of the incestuous relationship between Lot and his
daughters. It was this nation that hired Balaam the false
prophet to "curse" Israel back in Numbers 22-24.
The Hagarenes are harder to identify.
They are somehow related to Hagar it is believed. In the Old
Testament they may also be known as the Hagarites or Hagrites.
The tribes of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh made war against them
according to 1st Chronicles 5:10, 19 and 20. Whatever their
past, they definitely take part in this confederacy against
Israel in Psalm 83.
It's discouraging to have one enemy!
But here are four enemies, nations, that hate Israel and are
ready to attack her!
What can one little nation do ... except call
upon the Lord?
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 8, VERSE 7:
"Gebal, and Ammon, and
Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre."
And they all hate God's people, the
Gebal is a district southeast of the Dead
Sea. Its name means "a mountain." Josephus says the area is part
of the Biblical land of Idumaea. It was inhabited by the
Edomites. Mountain folks hate Israel. So do the coastal
The Ammonites, relatives of the Jews through
Lot, hated the Jews too! During the days of the Judges, Jephthah
particularly, the Ammonites oppressed the Israelites. They still
opposed them in the days of Saul (1st Samuel 10) and David (2nd
Samuel 11). They are still around and fighting in the days of
Nehemiah too! Their chief god was Molech, the fire god, to whom
they sacrificed human beings. Even babies and children!
The people of Amalek were also permanent
enemies of God's people. Amalek himself was the grandson of
Esau. They fought Israel again and again. See passages like
Exodus 17:8-13 and Numbers 14:39-45.
Then the Philistines, dwellers on the west
coast, lived by the Mediterranean Sea. Goliath of Gath belonged
to this crowd. These were sea-going people and perennial haters
The people of Tyre lived on up the western
coast of Israel. The Phoenicians lived there. While at times
linked to the Jews in commerce and business, it seems that Psalm
83 prophetically gives us some bad news. These people will
eventually attack God's Holy Land and its people! The name means
Five more antagonists of the Nation!
Still it is true ...
"If God be for us, who can be against us?" So says Paul
What a battle is coming!
And the winner is ... Israel!
With God's direct intervention!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 9, VERSE 8:
The list of enemies continues! These are
people who oppose Israel.
"Assur also is joined
with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah."
The name Assur is identical to Assyria. This
is the giant empire that virtually ruled the world for nearly
Their armies were ruthless. They by nature
seemed to be fighters. Their capital city was Nineveh.
Once Assyria with all her might joined this
anti-Semitic coalition, things worsened drastically for Israel.
The verb "joined" is derived from the Hebrew
root that gives us the name "Levi." It also can mean "to lend"
to someone. Assyria lent her power ... against the Jewish
The verb "holpen" translates "zeroa" and
means one's arm or shoulder (as a symbol of strength) and in the
King James Bible is translated "power" occasionally.
Lot, Abraham's nephew, fathered two children
by his own daughters. Shame! Those boys grew and became the
fathers of two nations, the Moabites and the Ammonites. They
have already been mentioned here in Psalm 83 as enemies of
But, now, the verse closes very strangely!
Why a "selah" at the end of a list of
The word, a "loan word" from Hebrew, means
"to lift up" or "to exalt" something! It is used 74 times in the
King James Bible but is never translated. It's always rendered "selah."
It is thought to be a musical indicator of
some kind. Some teachers say it means a pause is needed, a pause
to reflect upon some truth! Others say it indicates the singers
are to go to a higher note as they continue the Psalm's message.
A few even say that it just divides sections of a musical piece.
Why can't we just go by its definition and
believe that it is there "to exalt" someone or something?
But, what could one's enemies possibly exalt?
I'll tell you what!
The defeat of one's enemies will exalt the
God of the victorious Nation!
Any God Who can handle such a wicked
confederacy of heathen nations could do anything!
Paul used his trials to exalt our mighty God!
Praising God ... after all that!
What proof of the reality of our Faith that
Praise the Lord!
I mean, Selah!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 10, VERSES 9 AND
The Text reads: "Do
unto them as unto the Midianites; as to Sisera, as
to Jabin, at the brook of Kison: which perished at
Endor: they became as dung for the earth." Psalm
Obviously the Psalmist is praying.
He is asking God to judge the rebellious and
murderous enemies of Israel!
The Midianites were constant enemies of God's
people. Israel fought them again and again!
It was the Midianites who bought Joseph as a
slave, transporting him to Egypt and selling him again, no doubt
for a tidy profit! Genesis 37:28 and 36
And during the days of Gideon war again had
to be declared on this hateful tribe! Judges chapter six
provides us the details. God gave a great victory too! In fact,
he confused the Midianites and they began to fight each other!
the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the LORD set every
man's sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host:
and the host fled to Bethshittah in Zererath, and to the
border of Abelmeholah, unto Tabbath." Judges
Then our Psalmist mentions Sisera, whose name perhaps means "battle
array." Now he was a professional fighter! He was the General of the
army of Jabin King of Canaan. He fought Israel in the days of
Deborah and Barak. He too was defeated. This time by means of a
tremendous rain storm sent by God. Then, as he fled the
battlefield, he rested in the tent of a Jewish woman named Jael,
who drove a nail through his head as he slept! Judges 4:21
The particular word used here for "dung" is "domen"
and in the Bible is only used of human remains! People who died
under God's mighty Hand of judgment!
And the verb "perished" is translated
"destroyed" 92% of the times it appears in the King James Bible.
It means "to exterminate" something!
This is pretty strong praying!
Nails through people's heads!
Their bones being used as fertilizer for
pastures of the land!
Yet is this any different that some of the
prayers Paul prayed?
"But though we, or an
angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that
which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said
before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other
gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be
accursed." Galatains 1:8-9
Could any prayer be stronger than that, that
someone be accursed?
This form of petition is called
Yet in reality it is only asking God to do
what He has already promised to do to the reprobate wicked!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 11, VERSES 11
The two verses in focus here continue Asaph's
astounding prayer of imprecation against the enemies of Israel.
"Make their nobles like
Oreb, and like Zeeb: yea, all their princes as Zebah, and as
Zalmunna: who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God
in possession." Psalm 83:11-12
Obviously the Psalmist is drawing on his
knowledge of Bible history.
He is familiar even with some rather
incidental characters of Scripture.
The word "nobles" ("nadiyb in Hebrew) means
"free or generous or willing!" The term actually reflects the
kind disposition a true leader should have! Its first Bible
occurrence describes those who gave so lavishly to build the
Tabernacle of Israel. "Take ye from among
you an offering unto the LORD: whosoever is of a
willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD;
gold, and silver, and brass ..." Exodus 35:5
But Oreb, whose name means "raven," and Zeeb,
meaning "wolf," were two princes of the Midianites. This heathen
nation was first mentioned in verse nine of our Psalm. By the
way, both the animals these names typify were "unclean" and
unfit for consumption by God's people the Jews.
Here's what Gideon's men did to these enemy
princes. "And they took two princes of the
Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb; and they slew Oreb upon the rock Oreb,
and Zeeb they slew at the winepress of Zeeb, and pursued Midian,
and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other
side Jordan." Judges 7:25
And the names Zebah, which means "a
slaughter," and Zalmunna, which means "the shade has been
removed," both have significance in this Text. Incidentally, a
removed shade area implies that one's protection has been taken
away from him! And "slaughter" here implies a sacrifice,
as unto God!
These two men, both Midianite Kings, were
also pursued and slain by Gideon, one of the Judges of Israel.
"And Gideon arose, and slew Zebah and
Zalmunna, and took away the ornaments that were on their
camels' necks." Judges 8:21
As far as I can tell, every time Zebah is
mentioned in Scripture, so is Zalmunna. What a wicked pair they
But what did they say specifically, these
four Midianite haters of Israel?
We know exactly.
"Who said, Let us take
to ourselves the houses of God in possession." Psalm
They wanted the houses and dwellings of the
Jews ... for themselves! Just like Hitler's Nazis took the Jews'
possessions greedily! Just like Israel's enemies, all fanatics,
yet today want her land and her money and her homes and her very
identity! "No more Israel," they cry!
The verb "take" translates "yarash" and means
to occupy, to seize, to rob or to expel! Sounds familiar,
doesn't it? In our King James Bibles "yarash" is rendered
"take in possession."
It's first Bible use: to be an "heir!" Read
it with me in Genesis 15:3. "And Abram
said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born
in my house is mine heir."
The noun "houses" is unusual. It is "naah"
and means pastures or abodes or meadows! Now here's the land
being in dispute!
These "ten" enemies of Israel are still alive
today in spirit!
Anti-Semitism rages this very hour across the
But they can't have Israel's land and homes
They belong to God Himself!
He calls the Jewish people
"My jewels" in Malachi 3:17.
And "the apple of Mine
eye" in Deuteronomy 32:10.
And "Mine heritage"
five times in Jeremiah.
And "His holy nation"
in Exodus 19:6.
And God claims the very land too!
"My land" He calls it! This can be
documented at Jeremiah 16:18 among many other places in the Word
Long live Israel!
The Israel of God!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 12, VERSE 13:
The prayer of Psalm 83 now uses some very
accurate word pictures. Interceding against Israel's greatest
enemies, Asaph pleads: "O my God, make
them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind." Psalm
The precise name for God here is Elohiym,
which emphasizes His great Strength and Power! This imprecation
is addressed to the all powerful One! It is used 2606 times in
the Bible with nearly 2350 of them being direct references to
The verb "make" translates "shiyth" means "to
appoint" or "to set in place" or "to fix" someone or something.
The verb is also an imperative, revealing the intensity behind
The preposition "like" is something close to
"ke" in Hebrew and means "as" or "like" or "the likes of." In
English we would call this construction, "like a wheel," a
simile. It is a proper way to express comparison.
And a "wheel" ("galgal") is once in the King
James Bible expressed as "a rolling thing." See Isaiah 17:13.
"The nations shall rush like the rushing
of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall
flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains
before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the
whirlwind." When "pointed" differently our word here
becomes "Gilgal," the well known city from the days of Joshua.
Lord, roll the enemies of Israel out of here!
Move them on down the road!
May their exit be swift and smooth!
And, he continues praying, make them "as the
stubble" too! "As" is "ke" again, the preposition of comparison.
Stubble is "qash" and means the useless and short and wind blown
pieces of stubble or chaff. It is light in weight and easily
blown into oblivion by even the slightest puff of wind!
Every Jew had seen such sights on windy days around his
Lord, blow them away!
Let the sweet breezes (or the terrible
tempests) of Thy Holy Spirit scatter them away from Thy people
and Thy land!
Here we have a pretty accurate way of praying
for the enemies of God!
We hear a lot of talk today about being
I guess the real question is, "In whose
But I will guarantee you this much. To be
anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, a Jew hater (secular "political
correctness" aside) is to ask for God's wrath and judgment upon
oneself! That I know!
Asaph ... and friends of Israel ... keep on
God will answer this prayer!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 13, VERSES 14
The Text continues ...
"As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the
mountains on fire; so persecute them with thy tempest, and make
them afraid with thy storm." Psalm 83:14-15
This astounding prayer of imprecation just
freely flows, calling judgment upon the numerous enemies of
The verb "persecute" is "radaph" in Hebrew
and means "to pursue" or "to run after" or "to chase." It
implies chasing someone to do them harm!
The noun "tempest" ("saar") is translated
simply as "storm" once in the Scriptures. Four more times it is
To "make them afraid" (Hebrew = "bahal") is
"to alarm, to terrify or to disturb."
The second weather term, "storm," means
a "whirlwind" or tornado!
Now the elements are being called down upon
these Jew haters!
Like combustible kindling wood, burn them
As the dry
mountains violently spread a deadly fire, so ignite this ungodly
confederacy with thy wrath!
Settle on them as a fierce storm might do,
Lord! Bring Thy winds and Thy lightning and thunder and floods
against their hateful hearts!
Again, this is pretty strong praying!
God has done such things before!
Our great God can use whirlwinds to test and
strengthen his servants, for example Job, or He can use them to
destroy His enemies, as here!
And He certainly knows how to use fire to
achieve His goals!
Think about Hell itself!
After all, He made the earth and all that
He is the Author of wind and rain and hail
and snow and fire and sunlight too!
All things are at His command!
Long live the Jewish people!
I believe the Israelites will exist forever.
God promised such in Genesis 17:7. "And I
will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed
after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to
be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee."
An everlasting covenant!
You do not want to be anti-Semitic!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 14, VERSE 16:
The prayer continues. It is a classic
Lord, asks the Psalmist:
"Fill their faces with shame; that they
may seek thy name, O LORD." Psalm 83:16
The verb "fill" (in Hebrew = "male") means
And the enemies' "faces" ("paniym") represent
their whole beings! Body, mind, soul, spirit ... all of
And the noun "shame" is represented by the
Hebrew term "qalon." It means "confusion" and sometimes
This word is only used 17 times in the whole
Job said (10:15) that he was "full of
confusion," using our precise word here.
Solomon in Proverbs loves this word!
There "shame" is the "promotion of fools!"
It is also the fruit of adultery ...
"confusion!" Proverbs 6:33
It accompanies pride in Proverbs 11:2.
"When pride cometh, then cometh
shame: but with the lowly is wisdom."
A prudent man covers such "shame." Proverbs
While this trait is a companion to the
rebelliously unlearned! "Poverty and
shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but
he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured."
It's the end result of scorning in Proverbs
22:10. "Cast out the scorner, and
contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall
It is quite close to plain old embarrassment
in Jeremiah 13:26. "Therefore will I
discover thy skirts upon thy face, that thy shame may
Look what God can do ... "As they were
increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I
change their glory into shame." Hosea 4:7
God spoke these words to a wicked nation:
"Thou art filled with shame for
glory: drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered: the
cup of the LORD'S right hand shall be turned unto thee, and
shameful spewing shall be on thy glory."
But, in a real twist of irony, look at God's
great Grace appear on the scene!
"Fill their faces with
shame ... that they may
seek thy name, O LORD."
That they may seek God's Name!
They obviously will not do so, but Grace has
once again appeared to them!
Their subsequent rejection of God's loving
appeal further guarantees their destruction and eternal
That verb "seek" ("baqash") is rendered
"begging" once in the Bible!
It is even possible, according to the Bible,
for a man or woman ... or a nation or confederacy of nations ...
to sin so violently and habitually and unrepentantly that ...
"Then shall they call upon me, but I will
not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find
me: for that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear
of the LORD: they would none of my counsel: they despised all my
reproof." Proverbs 1:28-30
It sounds to me like hating Israel,
God's chosen people, is one serious sin!
Yes, Deuteronomy 7:6 is still true. God spoke
it to the Jews over 3500 years ago. "For
thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD
thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself,
above all people that are upon the face of the earth."
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 15, VERSES 17
The prayer ends without any de-intensifying
"Let them be confounded
and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and
perish: that men may know that thou, whose name alone
is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth."
The verb "confounded" basically means "to
pale." It is in the King James Bible once "delayed" and once
"dried!" It likely here clothes some kind of request for
physical weakness. Psalm 70:2 captures it essence quite well.
"Let them be ashamed and confounded
that seek after my soul: let them be turned backward, and put to
confusion, that desire my hurt." But, if you didn't "get"
it, "Let them be confounded and
consumed that are adversaries to my soul; let them be
covered with reproach and dishonour that seek my hurt."
Or see Psalm 86:17. "Shew
me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it,
and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen
me, and comforted me."
To be "troubled" as requested here by Psalm
83:17 is "bahal." It means disturbed, alarmed, terrified, or
dismayed! Using this verb, Joseph's brothers were "troubled"
when they learned he was in control of Egypt! Genesis 45:3
Saul was this "troubled" the night before his
death, when he consulted the witch of Endor! 1st Samuel 28:21
This same verb was used earlier in Psalm 83,
in verse 15, where it was translated "make afraid."
To be "put to shame" translates "chapher,"
meaning "searched out, explored or investigated!" In the King
James Bible its "root" is translated "dig" and even "paw" as
well as "seek."
But ... why?
What's the over-arching purpose for this kind
of judgment on the wicked?
What is the Psalmist's ultimate intent?
"... that men may know that Thou, whose
name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth."
The verb "know" is "yada" and means to
discern or perceive or distinguish or consider ... in all levels
By the world's standards there may be idols
or other gods ... but by the Word of the Lord God Almighty there
is none other than Him! His Name "alone" is Jehovah! "Alone"
translates a little Hebrew word that means "separated" or "all
"Jehovah" is God's saving Name!
The God Who is!
The great "I am That I am!"
And here, inclosing, we are told one more
thing about this God, Jehovah. He is "most high" over all the
Not being a local deity or a tribal
invention, God is "elyon," or Most High! The term just means
The first time we Biblically meet the "Most
High God" is in Genesis 14 where Abraham and Melchizedek come
face to face. There the Most High God is the "Possessor of
Heaven and earth!"
Immediately after that great revelation
Abraham refused to take any persona' battle spoils from the King
of Sodom, a highly unusual response! Instead Abraham will trust
his God, "El Elyon," to meet every need!
Folks, God owns this earth and all that it
Some day, when it's far too late for
multitudes, everyone will know!
The end of Psalm 83, its goal ... as is the
goal of the entire scope of history ... is the
acknowledgement and glorification and worship of our Great God!
After all, He is Most High!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
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