Israel has a lot of enemies. Basically all their neighbors. They do not like many folks, at this juncture of history. Understandably so, they are at war more often than not. This morning it struck me that out of the 9 nations listed in 83:6-7, I know 4 to be relatives.
- The descendants of Lot (Abraham’s nephew): Moab and Ammon (see Genesis 19:37-38)
- The descendants of Ishmael (Abraham’s son)
- The descendants of Esau (Abraham’s grandson): Edom
None of these groups would exist if not for Abraham, as two are offspring, and two were spared the fire rained on Sodom because of his interceding.
I begin to wonder what the LORD thought of these prayers of cursing for their enemies: Is He into that? Is this a Spirit-filled prayer? Does the arrival of the Messiah, who beseeches love for enemies give insight into this? Is He remembering His friend, Abraham, who advocated for mercy on Sodom?
To be sure, these nations did messed up stuff and had pagan idols, but so did Israel, the intended conduit of blessing extended through Abraham. Asaph’s prayer seems good, because he says,
“Let them be ashamed and dismayed forever, and let them be humiliated and perish, that they may know that You alone, whose name is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth.” (83:17-18)
But Jesus came to teach us this isn’t the right approach. There’s another way for people to know the LORD is the Most High over all the earth besides eternal shame, humiliation and death.
Let us seek the LORD together to know this more beautiful way.
Who might you consider an enemy? How could God use you as a conduit of blessing to reveal His Most High-ness?