O God, Do Not Keep Silent

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O God, Do Not Keep Silent

Psalm 83
Andy Nagahara

A. Is God silent?

1) When it feels like God is silent?(1)

A song. A psalm of Asaph.  O God, do not keep silent; be not quiet, O God, be not still. 

2) Our refusal to listen (2-8, Genesis 10:14,15, 16:11, 19:37, 25:29-34Jeremiah 5:21, Acts7:57)

See how your enemies are astir, how your foes rear their heads.  With cunning they conspire against your people; they plot against those you cherish.  “Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more.”  With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you–  the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, of Moab and the Hagrites,  Gebal, Ammon and Amalek, Philistia, with the people of Tyre.  Even Assyria has joined them to lend strength to the descendants of Lot. <Selah>

Hear this, you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear (Jeremiah 5:21)

At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, (Acts7:57)

B. Who is the enemy?

1) Beyond dualistic thinking (9-17)

Do to them as you did to Midian, as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon,  who perished at Endor and became like refuse on the ground.  Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,  who said, “Let us take possession of the pasturelands of God.”  Make them like tumbleweed, O my God, like chaff before the wind.  As fire consumes the forest or a flame sets the mountains ablaze,  so pursue them with your tempest and terrify them with your storm.  Cover their faces with shame so that men will seek your name, O LORD.  May they ever be ashamed and dismayed; may they perish in disgrace. 

2) Jesus: the center of all reconciliation (18, Colossians 1:20)

Let them know that you, whose name is the LORD– that you alone are the Most High over all the earth. 

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (Colossians 1:19, 20)


As humans, we have a tendency toward dualistic or binary thinking, that is, reducing reality into two mutually exclusive categories. This is true even in our understanding of the things of God. Friend and foe, good and evil, justice and injustice, the kingdom of God and the world, the righteous and sinners, believers and heathens. It is tempting to use these categories and they might even appear to be useful, but reality is never that simple. Jesus’ harsh rebuke of legalism was, in part, a rejection of dualistic, or binary, thinking. People who use binary thinking to judge other people are not followers of Jesus.

For Discussion

  1. Who is God’s enemy?
  2. What is the problem with dualistic thinking?