Pursue them with your tempest and terrify them with your storm.
Many of us think of the water as a place to relax and play, like on a day at the beach. For seafarers, winds and waves are part of their daily work and can be deadly enemies. Regular maintenance is essential to make sure a ship is ready for a storm that might come up.
Seafarers take their enemies seriously, and God’s people need to do that too. The writer of Psalm 83 recalls how God delivered his people in the past, and the writer pleads with God to help them again. The psalmist speaks of blowing the enemies around like dust or sending a firestorm or a tempest to terrify them and make them repent.
At first, these verses might make us uncomfortable, but they describe the power necessary to overcome the enemy. God’s power is not arbitrary or cruel; it shows that God is loving and just. Both the enemies and the people of God will come to know that the Lord alone is “Most High over all the earth.”
Only God can banish evil. God’s action, described as a kind of storm in these verses, has tremendous power to overwhelm an enemy.
We can call on God to defend us. Jesus himself had to defend against Satan, the great enemy. And in Jesus’ case, he used the power of the Word of God—and Satan could not overcome it (Luke 4:1-13).
Dear God, protect us from the enemies of your kingdom—sin, death, and the devil. Thank you for the power of Jesus Christ in our lives. Amen.