Chapter CONTEXT from TOD: An appeal to God in a general manner fills Ps 83:1-4; and then the psalmist enters into details of the league, Ps 83:5-8. This leads to an earnest entreaty for the overthrow of the enemy, Ps 83:9-15, with an expression of desire that God’s glory may be promoted thereby.
Verse 16. Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O Lord. Shame has often weaned men from their idols, and set them upon seeking the Lord. If this was not the happy result, in the present instance, with the Lord’s enemies, yet it would be so with his people who were so prone to err. They would be humbled by his mercy, and ashamed of themselves because of his grace; and then they would with sincerity return to the earnest worship of Jehovah their God, who had delivered them.
This Psalm is written crying out to God to not keep quiet before the enemies of Israel v.1-2. Our main text v.16 for today is near the end but in context should be read with verses 8-18. I think Robert Hawker in his Poor Man’s commentary does an excellent job of laying this out:
There is not only a great beauty in this appeal and prayer of the church, against all her enemies, but also a great exercise of faith, in divine dependence. We give God credit for all that is to come, when we give him the glory of what is past, in redemptions. The church had many striking and signal deliverances to have recourse to, in the ancient monuments of the Lord’s dealing with her foes. The story of Jabin and Sisera, the captain of his host, who mightily oppressed Israel, was well known; and in the songs of Israel, no doubt, the children were taught from one generation to another. Judges 4:5. And so likewise was the victory of Israel over Oreb and Zeeb, Judges 7:1. But what I would particularly desire the Reader to remark upon this occasion is, the strength of faith, and the referring all the glory of salvation unto God. The prayer is, Do thou, Lord, accomplish these things for us; for it belongs not to an arm of flesh. It is blessed to learn where all our mercies are; and from whence to look for salvation. And what a divine thought doth the last verse close with, as the sum and ultimate attainment of all! That men may know Jehovah to be Jehovah. And as it is life eternal to know, God, and God in Christ: so the enemies of God shall, sooner or later, know, to their everlasting ruin and shame, the same sovereignty of his power. For the knee that will not bend to his grace, shall break under his rod. John 17:2; Psalms 2:12.
One last thought on this Plasm. While it is all about the condemning nature of the sins of our enemies and the hope of their repentance. We must never neglect to look inward at our own sinful nature.
Understand the Condemning Nature of your Sin
We must judge and condemn ourselves for our sins, and own ourselves liable to punishment.
I know that the law curses everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law and do them; Galatians 3:10(ESV) that the wages of every sin is death; Romans 6:23(ESV) and that for these things’ sake the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Ephesians 5:6(ESV)
And I am accountable to God; Romans 3:19(ESV) the Scripture has imprisoned me under sin; Galatians 3:22(ESV) and therefore you might justly be angry with me until you consumed me, so that I should neither be of your remnant, nor able to escape. Ezra 9:14(ESV)
If you should make justice the line, and righteousness the plumb line, Isaiah 28:17(ESV) you might justly separate me to all evil, according to all the curses of the covenant, and blot out my name from under heaven. Deuteronomy 29:20(ESV)
You might justly swear in your wrath that I should never enter your rest; Psalm 95:11(ESV) might justly strip me naked and bare, Hosea 2:3(ESV) and take back my grain in its time, Hosea 2:9(ESV) and put into my hands the cup of staggering, and make me drink even to the dregs of that cup. Isaiah 51:17(ESV)
You have been righteous in all that has come upon me, for you have dealt faithfully and I have acted wickedly. Nehemiah 9:33(ESV) Indeed, my God has punished me less than my iniquities deserved. Ezra 9:13(ESV)
You therefore shall be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment; Psalm 51:4(ESV) and I will accept of the punishment of my iniquity, Leviticus 26:43(ESV) and humble myself under your mighty hand, 1 Peter 5:6(ESV) and say, “The LORD is righteous.” 2 Chronicles 12:6(ESV)