The designs of the enemies of Israel. (1-8) Earnest prayer for their defeat. (9-18)
Verses 1-8 Sometimes God seems not to be concerned at the unjust treatment of his people. But then we may call upon him, as the psalmist here. All wicked people are God's enemies, especially wicked persecutors. The Lord's people are his hidden one; the world knows them not. He takes them under his special protection. Do the enemies of the church act with one consent to destroy it, and shall not the friends of the church be united? Wicked men wish that there might be no religion among mankind. They would gladly see all its restraints shaken off, and all that preach, profess, or practise it, cut off. This they would bring to pass if it were in their power. The enemies of God's church have always been many: this magnifies the power of the Lord in preserving to himself a church in the world.
Verses 9-18 All who oppose the kingdom of Christ may here read their doom. God is the same still that ever he was; the same to his people, and the same against his and their enemies. God would make their enemies like a wheel; unsettled in all their counsels and resolves. Not only let them be driven away as stubble, but burnt as stubble. And this will be the end of wicked men. Let them be made to fear thy name, and perhaps that will bring them to seek thy name. We should desire no confusion to our enemies and persecutors but what may forward their conversion. The stormy tempest of Divine vengeance will overtake them, unless they repent and seek the pardoning mercy of their offended Lord. God's triumphs over his enemies, clearly prove that he is, according to his name JEHOVAH, an almighty Being, who has all power and perfection in himself. May we fear his wrath, and yield ourselves to be his willing servants. And let us seek deliverance by the destruction of our fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.
\\<>\\. This is the last of the psalms that bear the name of Asaph, and some think it was written by him on occasion of David's smiting the Philistines, Moabites, Syrians, Edomites, and others, 2Sa 8:1-14, but these did not conjunctly, but separately, fight with David, and were overcome by him; whereas those this psalm makes mention of were in a confederacy together; and besides, the Tyrians in David's time were in friendship with him; but are here mentioned as joining with others against Israel, Ps 83:7, others are of opinion that this was prophetic delivered out with respect to future times, either to the conspiracy of the enemies of the Jews against them in the times of the Maccabees, ``Now when the nations round about heard that the altar was built and the sanctuary renewed as before, it displeased them very much. &c.'' (1 Maccabees 5:1) or rather to the confederacy of the Moabites, Ammonites, and others, in the times of Jehoshaphat, 2Ch 20:1, so Kimchi, Arama, and the generality of interpreters: perhaps reference is had to the enemies of God's people, from age to age, both in the Old and in the New Testament; R. Obadiah understands it of the war of Gog and Magog.