Sunday 10 June, 2018

Psalm 83

A song. A psalm of Asaph. 1 O God, do not remain silent; do not turn a deaf ear, do not stand aloof, O God. 2 See how your enemies growl, how your foes rear their heads. 3 With cunning they conspire against your people; they plot against those you cherish. 4 “Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation, so that Israel’s name is remembered no more.” 5 With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you— 6 the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, of Moab and the Hagrites, 7 Byblos, Ammon and Amalek, Philistia, with the people of Tyre. 8 Even Assyria has joined them to reinforce Lot’s descendants. 9 Do to them as you did to Midian, as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon, 10 who perished at Endor and became like dung on the ground. 11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna, 12 who said, “Let us take possession of the pasturelands of God.” 13 Make them like tumbleweed, my God, like chaff before the wind. 14 As fire consumes the forest or a flame sets the mountains ablaze, 15 so pursue them with your tempest and terrify them with your storm. 16 Cover their faces with shame, Lord, so that they will seek your name. 17 May they ever be ashamed and dismayed; may they perish in disgrace. 18 Let them know that you, whose name is the Lord— that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.

I’ll be honest when I got asked to write a short blog on this passage I thought no thanks. This passage reads as a cruel request from a traumatised man. It’s vengeful, it’s angry and bitter, and it’s aggressive. Not a nice early morning bible reading.

Asaph (this is a psalm of Asaph) has been watching his enemies destroy and over take the cities and lands that had once belonged to God and his people. He is saying to God, “Why? Don’t let this happen. Do something! Why stay silent now?”

Some of us may have lived through war and displacement and might be able to relate literally to this psalm. Many of us haven’t. However have you ever asked “why are you silent God?” Or “ I need help I’m sinking.”

For us here in Sydney today the enemies that we face, that appear to crowd out God’s Presence/Voice in and to us, are our thoughts, focus and time. God can appear silent in the busy mess of life and we can find ourselves asking “why are you silent God?”

God please don’t appear silent to us.  Take away all that crowds you out. Be the Lord of our thoughts, focus and time today. Help us to hear you and to know you are at work in us and for us.

Written by Ps. Zoe Stewart

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