Bible Commentaries

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

Psalms 83

Verse 1


The Psalmist is here again under affliction, and is looking to the mercy-seat for deliverance. He makes complaint against his enemies, and those of the church.


Song 1-8

Whether we behold Christ, thus appealing to the Father, under his exercises, for himself and church; or the church herself thus crying, in his name, for God to arise against her foes, the sense is the same. Jesus and his church have but one and the same cause. And it is for the oppression of the poor and the sighing of the needy, that the Lord saith he will arise; Psalms 12:5.

Verse 2-3

Do, Reader, remark the expression; the Lord's hidden ones. As Christ himself is said to be hid in the Father's shadow, in his hand, and in his quiver, Isaiah 49:2; so Christ's little ones are said to be hidden when the wicked rise; Proverbs 28:12. Hence the prophet describes Christ as a hiding place to his people; and the Psalmist sweetly considers Christ in this light; Isaiah 32:2; Psalms 32:7.

Verses 4-8

All confederacies are to the same purport, where God's grace doth not influence the heart. And what a host of them are formed against the Israel of God? And let the Reader remark, who they are that join thus together. As it was by the seed of Jacob of old, so is it now by the praying seed of Jacob. Edom was Esau's seed, Jacob's brother: Ishmael was the natural son of Abraham. And who are the foes of the child of God? It was not an open enemy, saith the prophet concerning Christ's foes, that reproached me; Psalms 55:12; and as by Christ, so by his people: a man's foes are those of his own household. Nay, we may all say, though not by him, yet of ourselves, our own hearts are confederate against us.

Verses 9-18

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, Jg 7. 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 17:2-3; Psalms 2:12.

Verse 18


MY soul! observe how implacable is the enmity of Satan against Christ's hidden ones: and what persecutions, from a variety of quarters, he will stir up, in order to draw them from God. But observe also, how eternally secure they are of God's favor. They are hidden with him, and hidden in him: and although for a time the Lord may seem to keep silence, while the enemy triumphs; yet, in due time, Jesus will arise to the destruction of all his and their adversaries; and while the Lord hides them, he manifests himself in their defense.

See, my soul, whether thou art in this happy number: The people that are hidden, dwell alone, and are not reckoned among the nations. They are so truly secret and unperceived, in all their sweet transactions with God in Christ, that the world knoweth them not, because it knew him not. And who shall describe their hidden life with Christ in God? Who shall say how, or when, it began; how it is carried on; how kept alive; by what channel communicated, and preserved to glory? Oh! the unknown mercies, the unnumbered blessings, from the day of their effectual calling, until grace is consummated in everlasting glory! Oh! the blessed visits Jesus makes to his hidden ones the manner he gives to them in secret the ten thousand foretastes of his love! Lamb of God! that feedest thy church above, surely no less art thou attentive to thine hidden ones in the wilderness below. Yes, thou precious Lord Jesus, thou art my life, my strength, my joy, my portion, my defense, when the Ishmaelites, and the Esaus, and Edoms, of the present hour, come on like troops of Tema, to destroy. Hide me, Lord, in thee and thy righteousness, and give me to see it, and daily to live by faith in present enjoyment of it, until faith is swallowed up in sight; until thou art in everything blessed to my soul, and I am blessed in thee. Then, like the apostle, I shall truly know that I am dead to everything but thee, and that my life is hid with thee in God; that when thou, who art my life, shalt appear, I shall appear also with thee in glory.

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Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 83". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". 1828.